Dear Concerned Taxpayer,
The results are in! Energy Secretary Steven Chu is the “winner” of CAGW’s online poll for 2011 Porker of the Year. Drawing 43 percent of the vote, Sec. Chu finished first in a field of six nominees.
The secretary earned this dubious award for his lax oversight of the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), which proved not-so-sunny when solar panel manufacturer Solyndra went belly-up, leaving the government on the line for a $535 million loan guarantee. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the Solyndra debacle was but the dawn of a series of LGP-recipient bankruptcies, including: Beacon Power, Evergreen, Inc., and SpectraWatt.
The LGP has been troubled for some time. According to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report, the LGP has "treated applicants inconsistently, favoring some and disadvantaging others." The program’s expansion under the 2009 economic stimulus package and the continued funneling of taxpayer dollars toward bad investments reeks of poor management and crony capitalism, since Solyndra’s major investors were among President Obama’s largest campaign donors. Solyndra’s bankruptcy is another example of the waste that results when government officials try to dabble in the markets with the public’s money. Sec. Chu used taxpayer dollars to play with fire, and we all got burned.
In CAGW’s poll, Sec. Chu clearly outshined his closest rival, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who attracted only 27 percent of the vote. The other 2011 Porker of the Year nominees, in order of votes received, were: Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) (16 percent), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) (5 percent), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) (3 percent), and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis (2.5 percent). President Obama rose to the top of the list of write-in candidates for the third year in a row, winning 2 percent of the total vote.
Our thanks to the many CAGW members who took the time to participate in this poll. We appreciate your interest and support!
Thomas A. Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest taxpayer watchdog group with more than one million members and supporters nationwide. It is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Donations to CAGW are tax-deductible as charitable contributions to the extent permitted by law. For more information about CAGW, visit our website at www.cagw.org. Make a tax-deductible contribution today to support CAGW’s waste-fighting efforts that have saved taxpayers $1.2 trillion.