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Romney-backed Solar Company Files for Bankruptcy

Jun 4, 2012, 1:07 pm EDT
Romney-backed Solar Company Files for Bankruptcy

Mitt Romney’s criticisms of the $535 million tax-payer backed loan to solar firm Solyndra could be losing some of their punch. A Massachusetts solar company which the former governor gave a $1.5 million state-backed loan to has filed for bankruptcy.

Konarka Technologies, along with four other renewable energy companies, received the loan in January 2003, less than three weeks into Romney’s term as governor. One of the companies, Evergreen Solar, filed for bankruptcy last year.

On Friday, Konarka Technologies announced plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, stating it would lay off more than 80 workers and liquidate assets. President Barack Obama’s campaign immediately pounced on the news, particularly in the wake of his recent visit to Solyndra headquarters to criticize the quick review of the company’s loan application and subsequent bankruptcy filing. Read 

Taxes: Romney May Owe $5M More If Obama Wins

Jun 4, 2012, 11:45 am EDT
Taxes: Romney May Owe $5M More If Obama Wins

A loss to President Barrack Obama in November’s election could cost GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a lot more than just the White House.

It could cost him almost $5 million.

Or at least, Romney might have to pay that much more in taxes if Obama wins re-election and manages to push his tax plan through Congress, according to the Associated Press. Read 

Romney Might Unveil VP Pick Early

Jun 4, 2012, 10:27 am EDT

Traditionally, vice presidential candidates are unveiled close to a party’s national convention — about two months before the election. However, outside advisers to the Romney campaign told Reuters the Republican nominee may go against the grain and announce his VP pick earlier in the summer.

According to one anonymous source, the Romney team has discussed the advantages of naming the No. 2 pick a few weeks earlier than usual to pump up enthusiasm during August, which could lead to an increase of fund-raising dollars.

“You double your ability to campaign, you double your ability to raise money,” one Republican official told Reuters. Read 

Dumb and Dumber: Congress, Language and the Facebook Fiasco

Jun 1, 2012, 10:00 am EDT

You’re not imagining things. Congress is dumb and getting dumber. According to the Sunlight Foundation, the median grade level for Congressional proceedings and speeches has dropped nearly a full grade level from eleventh to tenth grade. The result of studying the Congressional Record for the past seven years, the Foundation’s data also suggests that both conservatives and new congressmen are responsible for dumbing the entire legislative body down.

But I don’t know if I buy that when you consider that Republicans own both ends of the scale. For example, Rep. Rick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), speaks at an average grade level of 7.9 while Rep. Dan Lungren (R-C.A.), uses speech consistent with a college senior. What I do find very interesting is that the majority of “sophisticated” speakers are only sophisticated when using prepared notes.

The Sunlight data tells us when the majority of our leaders have to speak extemporaneously — a five dollar word in itself — they appear just as “dumb” as the rest of us. Read 

Mega-Donors Catching Grief From Media, Obama Campaign

May 31, 2012, 5:55 pm EDT
Mega-Donors Catching Grief From Media, Obama Campaign

The rise of super PACs has had many consequences this election cycle. The unlimited money available to groups who support — but don’t collaborate with — candidates for office kept Newt Gingrich in the Republican nomination race far longer than many pundits thought possible, and has given Mitt Romney a fighting chance against the Obama campaign’s fundraising machine.

But it isn’t just the candidates that super PACs support and oppose being affected by these donations. Sometimes, it’s the donors themselves.

Several of the largest super PAC donors have found themselves under increased scrutiny from the media and both sides of the political divide for their largesse. A $1 million Romney super PAC backer found a story written about him once being wanted for criminal mischief after driving a photographer’s SUV into a pond. Other donors have said their businesses have suffered from being on a list Obama’s campaign compiled of the largest conservative super PAC donors. Some conservative web sites have even countered by posting their own lists of rich donors to Democratic causes. Read 

Politwoops! Web Site Reveals Deleted Tweets By Pols

May 30, 2012, 5:38 pm EDT
Politwoops! Web Site Reveals Deleted Tweets By Pols

Politicians who think their Twitter gaffes can be fixed by simply deleting their tweets are in for a rude awakening.

The Sunlight Foundation has created a web site, Politwoops, which is designed to save Twitter messages deleted by the official accounts of politicians and presidential candidates.

Unlike more traditional political messaging methods, such as campaign speeches or interviews, Twitter is a more ephemeral media. Tweets deleted from the site often disappear forever, unless someone is there to notice them and save them. That’s what Politwoops is designed to do, according to Tom Lee, director of Sunlight Labs. Read 

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