A Massachusetts solar company that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney handed a $1.5 million government loan to whas filed for bankruptcy and laid off its employees. But don’t expect right-wing blowhards to care too much.
It is no surprise that the Romney campaign is having a hard time connecting with the American public. Recently the campaign has been trying to show Romney as the everyman, the average Joe next door. Why? Because the Romney campaign is grasping at straws — it is one thing after another. He can’t communicate with the common man, and every attempt at doing so only seems to further isolate him as an out-of-touch rich guy.
In January 2003, just less than three weeks into his term as governor of Massachusetts, Romney personally delivered a $1.5 million loan check (state money) to Lowell-based Konarka Technologies executives. At the same time Romeny also gave out subsidies to four other renewable energy companies including Evergreen Solar. Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy last year; meanwhile Konarka publicly went belly up around the same time that Romeny was doing a campaign speech in front of the closed Solyndra factory.
The Romney campaign tried to defuse the issue by noting that Massachusetts officials approved Konarka’s loan application for a new pilot production assembly line in December 2002, the month before Romney was sworn in. While this is indeed accurate, the press conference video shows Romeny handing over the check followed by a speech — you cannot distance yourself that.
Konarka Technologies, was a manufacturer of thin organic solar films. The company developed organic thin films that were planned to be installed as part of building façades capturing sunlight and turning it into electricity for the building, and despite raising close to $200 million, the company just never took off. 80 employees are not out of a job.
The alternative fuel market is far from perfect, but what is important to remember is that it also rather new and in a state of evolution. Not every idea is going to work the first time but that does not mean that ideas should not be tried. If things are not tried than things go unknown, without failure there is no growth. Politicians need to stop focusing on failures, take calculated risks for the betterment of our nation and not for their own reputations.
We must encourage growth within this struggling economy through a multitude of industries — be they green or otherwise.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison