Monday, May 05, 2014
Another Obama-Backed 'Green' Company Implodes, Along With Millions Of Taxpayer $$
Remember back in 2010 when President Obama showed up in shirtsleeves in Kansas City to tout another one of his stimulus recipients?
“Come see what’s going on at Smith Electric," the president said, inspecting a table full of bright green truck batteries in what was once a maintenance hangar for TWA. "I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to tell you that you’re not better off than you would be if we hadn’t made the investments in this plant.”
Ummm, better off? Not exactly:
Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Obama's favorite "green" companies, the firm has halted production, having built just 439 of the promised 510 vehicles.
It has also left a trail of broken promises and unpaid bills.
Smith created just a quarter of the jobs it initially promised the state of Missouri it would create in return for $1.4 million in tax credits. Meanwhile, it has also stiffed the Missouri University of Science and Technology, the state government, and a local electrical supply company, as well as its landlord, the Kansas City city government, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to interviews and reviews of public records by the Washington Examiner.
As of today, the company still owes $36,000 to Missouri S&T for work the university performed as a subcontractor on a U.S. Army project.
“If you’re not going to pay your [subcontractors] for satisfactory work that was performed, then it does wave a red flag whether the company was a responsible company and whether it should even be doing business with the federal government," said Scott Amey, general counsel for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight.
Smith Electric Vehicles somehow got its hands on the stimulus dollars and all those tax grants in spite of its continued losses, $128 million since 2009. At one point, there was talk of a partnership with China's Wanxiang Group, one of the largest non-government owned companies in China but the Chinese took a second look and bailed.
They were a lot smarter than the president and the State of Missouri, both of whom were stiffed totally.
And job creation? *chuckle*
Smith made a deal with Missouri to hire at least 100 workers over a two-year period in return for up to $1.4 million in state tax credits. Their original commitment to get the tax credit was a minimum of 202 new jobs, but the Missouri Division of Workforce Development halved that goal — a change that division official Alicia Roling described in a 2011 internal email as an “unprecedented modification.”
They've created a grand total of - wait for it - 54 jobs, and now that the firm's essentially shutting down all production those will be gone soon too.
As you can read in the linked article, Smith Electric owes substantial funds to a lot of people that have never been paid, their accounting is, shall we say, sketchy and no one really seems to know where all the money went.
Sounds like another successful 'green bankruptcy' on the taxpayer's dime, and since 95% of these have had some connection to Obama campaign donors or political allies, this one probably does too if you dig deep enough.
(H/T, Louie Louie)