First Wind Holdings LLC will get a $117 million loan guarantee from federal "stimulus" funds to finance the construction and start-up of a wind energy project in Kahuku, Hawaii, the federal Department of Energy announced Friday. Once complete, the project will create "six to ten" jobs, according to the Department of Energy. At $117 million, works out to a federally guaranteed loan of between $19.5 million and $11.7 million for each job created.
Last year, when the Obama administration awarded its first windmill windfall of $115 million to First Wind, we reported on some of First Wind's connections to the administration:
First Wind ... had owners that included D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn Partners. Shaw is the firm at which President Obama's chief of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held a $5.2 million a year, one-day-a-week job, and Madison Dearborn is the firm of which Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff, said, "They've been not only supporters of mine, they're friends of mine."...
First Wind, for its part, paid $150,000 in the first 6 months of 2009 to lobbyists at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP. Disclosure forms indicate the firm lobbied the Energy and Treasury departments on behalf of First Wind in relation to the stimulus law. Brownstein Hyatt listed four lobbyists working on the case: a former Treasury department official, Michael Levy; a former Energy department official, C. Kyle Simpson; Michael McAdams, and Norman Brownstein. Mr. Brownstein goes back so far in Democratic politics that a New York Times article back in 1996 was already describing him as a "longtime Gore friend." This release from the Campaign Finance Institute reports that Mr. Brownstein pledged to raise $1 million for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver at which Mr. Obama was nominated, over and above Mr. Brownstein's law firm partner Steven Farber's efforts as a co-chairman of the convention host committee.
First Wind also paid $75,000 in the first half of 2009 to a Boston-based lobbying firm, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications. Rasky Baerlein's filings indicate it lobbied Congress rather than the administration. The firm listed a total of five staff members assigned to the project: Mike Gorman, George Cronin, Jeff Terrey, David Tamasi, and Emily Gombar. Mr. Cronin, the firm's Web site says, was "a senior advisor and New England political director for US Sen. Joseph Biden's 2008 Presidential campaign." The firm's namesake, Larry Rasky, took a leave from the firm in 2007 "to join the "Biden for President" campaign as its communications director. He previously served as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden's 1988 presidential bid," according to the firm's Web site, which notes Mr. Rasky was also "deputy press secretary for President Jimmy Carter's re-election campaign in 1980."