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Romney’s Solyndra stunt was off base

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POSTED June 6, 2012 11:03 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

I couldn't help but notice the bias on behalf of Willard Romney contained in the column which appeared in the Saturday edition in the Other Views section. I admit it shouldn't have been a surprise, the columnist, Debra Saunders isn't exactly an Obama fan. The subject of her piece wasn't a surprise either (Romney follows Obama to Solyndra), the subject seems to have taken on a new life with the Romney campaign and was probably expected.

The fact that the Romney campaign is willing to bring up Solyndra which ended up losing about 1,000 permanent production jobs and burning through a $500 million federal loan, on the surface, sounds bad. But compare that failure with the astounding success of the Auto Industry Bailout (which Romney is on record as opposing "We should Let them go bankrupt" were his words) where thousands upon thousands of jobs were saved and billions were pumped into the economy and Solyndra pales in comparison. Just putting things in perspective is enough to cast a big shadow over this little overly dramatic Romney stunt.

But wait, there is more:

1. Not only does the Romney stunt look like a campaign flub from a perspective point of view, but apparently the campaign must have forgotten Romney's own "Solyndra" as governor of Massachusetts, Romney handed out loans to firms in emerging technology fields, some of which ended up (like Solyndra) going bankrupt. Romney handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The two companies — Acusphere and Spherics Inc.

2. Romney made a big deal out of the job situation report which came out the same day, showing a dismal increase in the jobs report for the month, somewhere in the neighborhood of 62,000jobs gained. A sorry number for sure, however perspective comes into play here as well. Remember when Obama came into office, we were hemorrhaging 700 to 800 thousand jobs a month, since then there have been something like 42 straight months of job increases, not loses, increases. Now what would you like better.

3. And in my view, the most disturbing. during the Solyndra stunt, Romney made this incredible statement: ""An independent inspector general looked at this investment (Solyndra) and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family -- to campaign contributors." It is an astonishing bald faced out and out lie. The facts, if his campaign had bothered to research, maybe they did and just thought everyone would just take him at his word but given his record of just saying whatever that particular audience wants to hear (His own Campaign dubbed him the Etch-a-Sketch candidate), I am surprised the Campaign had such a low regard for the voting public. Anyway, the fact is Romney simply cited a Newsweek article that referred to a statement made by IG Gregory Friedman in March of 2011 about stimulus contracts that may have been steered to friends and family, presumably of government officials in charge of spending stimulus money. But Friedman did not say that such claims had been proved and he never mentioned Solyndra, in fact his statement came nearly six months before Solyndra declared bankruptcy.

Larry Baca

Manteca

June 5, 2012

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