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Surprise: Stimulus Money Misspent - A grant of $10 million in Wyoming produced zero jobs, no...
National Review Online ^ | April 30, 2013 | Andrew Stiles

Posted on 05/01/2013 4:08:53 PM PDT by neverdem

A grant of $10 million in Wyoming produced zero jobs, no results, and plush salaries.

Two Elks Energy Park in Wyoming

What kind of project pays a couple of politically connected people hundreds of thousands of dollars for producing next to nothing? An Obama stimulus project, of course.

More than four years after President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law, troubling details continue to emerge. Earlier this month, for example, the nonprofit news site WyoFile reported that a $10 million stimulus project in Wyoming has been suspended and referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office for an investigation into possible fraud.

Between 2009 and 2010, the federal government awarded two stimulus grants totaling more than $9.9 million to Colorado-based North American Power Group (NAPG). The funding was designated for a “characterization” study to determine whether a river basin near the Two Elk Energy Park in northeast Wyoming had potential as an underground site for carbon storage. However, as WyoFile has extensively documented, the project appears, at best, to have been a questionable use of taxpayer dollars. The project created zero jobs, according to, and many of the study’s primary components, including the drilling of a deep “characterization well,” were never completed — or even formally initiated. Records show nearly $3 million in dubious invoices from North American Land & Livestock, a company managed by NAPG CEO Michael Ruffatto.

Federal records also reveal that at least $1.1 million in stimulus funding went toward paying the salaries and benefits of two NAPG employees: Ruffatto and Wyoming representative Brad Enzi, the son of U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.). Ruffatto was reportedly compensated with taxpayer funds at a rate exceeding $500,000 a year, while Enzi earned nearly $130,000 for his work on the project between September 2009 and July 2011, at a rate of about $80 per hour. Ruffatto received more than $73,000 in salary and benefits in October 2010 alone, after he reported working 76 hours per week on the project, in addition to his other responsibilities as NAPG chief executive. Enzi earned as much as $17,363 in one month. Enzi told WyoFile he was unaware of the accounting details of his work on the project, and he denied receiving any special treatment owing to his father, a stimulus opponent.

In contrast, a similar stimulus-funded characterization study conducted by the University of Wyoming has made considerable progress and avoided exorbitant salary and benefit costs. The highest-paid worker on the project was a research scientist who earned $110,000 in salary and benefits.

Ruffatto, a millionaire philanthropist and socialite with homes in Colorado and California, has not contributed extensively to federal politicians, but his donations have been mostly to Democrats. He gave $4,800 to the successful campaign of Senator Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) in 2010 and contributed $2,300 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2007. Ruffatto also donated to Senator Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) in 2005.

The Department of Energy (DOE) ultimately suspended the NAPG project in January 2012, and the project is currently under review by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Pittsburgh. The attorney in charge of the case, Paul Skirtich, specializes in fraud and public-asset recovery.

The central focus of the Two Elk project — carbon-capture technology — was an important aspect of President Obama’s green-energy agenda. The stimulus package provided nearly $1.5 billion in funding for the DOE’s Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Program, and in 2010 the president established an interagency task force to promote the “rapid commercial development and deployment of clean coal technologies, particularly carbon capture and storage.”

A March 2013 audit(PDF) by the DOE’s inspector general (IG) found that the department had “not always effectively managed” the carbon-capture program and appears to cite the Two Elk project as an example. The IG report notes that the DOE reimbursed one grant recipient (working on a project that was suspended in January 2012) about $3.7 million, or nearly 75 percent of the total award, “even though documentation submitted to the Department lacked evidence that the costs claimed corresponded to the items in the approved project budget.”

The audit reviewed 15 out of 46 stimulus-funded “cooperative agreements” such as the Two Elk project, which had received a combined $1.1 billion in taxpayer funding. The reported identified up to $18.3 million in “questionable reimbursement claims.” Three particular recipients were awarded a combined $90 million despite “significant financial and/or technical issues” identified during DOE’s merit-review process, the report found, including $48 million in funding given to a recipient “whose financial condition precluded it from obtaining a satisfactory merit review.” And the DOE had failed to review millions of dollars’ worth of contracting arrangements to ensure they did not involve conflicts of interest; the audit identified more than $1.4 million in transactions between one grant recipient and an affiliated company that had representatives on the board of directors at the recipient’s firm.

These figures pale in comparison with some of the more high-profile stimulus failures such as Solyndra, the California solar-panel firm that went bankrupt after receiving more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer-guaranteed loans. But the numbers add up, and all in all they do not inspire confidence in the government’s ability to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. Agency inspectors’ general audits routinely shed light on this sort of fiscal mismanagement.

Perhaps the only upside is that the federal government is even inefficient when it comes to wasting money. The DOE IG’s report found that as of February 2013, four years after the stimulus was signed, and more than two years after the funding for the carbon program was fully obligated, less than 42 percent ($623 million) had actually been spent.

— Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: css; fraud; porkulus
What does Joe Biden have to say? Wasn't he supposed to keep an eye on this BS?
1 posted on 05/01/2013 4:08:53 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: archy; 3boysdad; NVDave; microgood; wildandcrazyrussian; Big Horn


2 posted on 05/01/2013 4:11:48 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

Just another repeat of the 1970’s Carter administration.

3 posted on 05/01/2013 4:12:54 PM PDT by aimhigh (Guns do not kill people. Abortion kills people.)
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To: neverdem

Some people think that government office gives them the right to give out the public’s money to their friends and contributors.
This is criminal.

4 posted on 05/01/2013 4:19:14 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Pi$$ed off yet?)
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To: I want the USA back

We admit to having criminals in Wyoming.

5 posted on 05/01/2013 4:27:30 PM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: All
Down the Drain - How the federal government flushed away the $833 billion stimulus
Reason ^ | May 2013 | Peter Suderman / FR Posted by neverdem

If you want to see where a little bit of your $833 billion stimulus went, head south from St. Louis on Interstate 44 until you reach the Mark Twain National Forest. On March 13, 2009, less than a month after President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law, the federal government awarded $462,912.30 to a Spokane, Washington, construction firm called CXT Incorporated to build and install 22 “precast concrete toilets” in the park.

These bunker-style commodes did not add to the number of bathrooms in the forest; they replaced existing toilets that didn’t meet Forest Service condition standards or accessibility requirements. And they were not just isolated outhouses. New Mexico got $2.8 million to spend on new toilets in its national parks. Another $42 million went to upgrading toilets and other sanitation facilities in Alaska.

The stimulus wasn’t sold as a plan to build bathrooms. “We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead,” President-elect Obama said in a November 2008 address. The stimulus, Obama vowed, would “put people back to work and get our economy moving again,” creating between 2 million and 2.5 million jobs. Instead, the economy followed the money right down the drain. ---SNIP---long read


FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS Behind The Real Size of Obama's Wall Street Bailout; A guide to the abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure programs that make up the $14 trillion federal bailout.
Mon Dec. 21, 2009 12:23 PM PST

The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is often put at $700 billion—the size of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the best known program in an array of more than 30 overseen by Treasury Department and Federal Reserve that have paid out or put aside money to bail out financial firms and inject money into the markets.

To get a sense of the size of the real $14 trillion bailout, see our chart at web site. Below, a guide to the pieces of the puzzle:

Treasury Department bailout programs
(Remember that Obama's Treasury Dept was controlled by his then-COS Rahm Emanuel---a savvy, connected G/S lobbyist in the WH)

Money Market Mutual Fund: In September 2008, the Treasury announced that it would insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds. According to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), these guarantees could have potentially cost the federal government more than $3 trillion [PDF].

Public-Private Investment Fund: This joint Treasury-Federal Reserve program bought toxic assets from banks and brokerages—as much as $5 billion of assets per firm. According to SIGTARP, the government's potential exposure from the PPIF is between $500 million and $1 trillion [PDF].

TARP: As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury has made loans to or investments more than 750 banks and financial institutions. $650 billion has been paid out (not including HAMP; see below). As of December 21, 2009, $117.5 billion of that has been repaid.

Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) stock purchase: The Treasury has bought $200 million in preferred stock from Fannie Mae and another $200 million from Freddie Mac [PDF] to show that they "will remain viable entities critical to the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets."

GSE mortgage-backed securities purchase: Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury may buy mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to SIGTARP, these purchases could cost as much as $314 billion ---SNIP---.

LONG READ---go to web site to read more and checkout the shocking financial charts.


6 posted on 05/01/2013 4:32:59 PM PDT by Liz (To learn who rules over you, determine who you are not allowed to criticize. Voltaire)
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To: All
Feds say they have 1900 cases of stim wrongdoing.....with that number about to explode. Obama said at the stim bill signing at a special ceremony in Colorado that VP Biden would be in charge of "keeping track of every penny."

"Hi there, Americans. Obama put me in charge of the trillion dollar stimulus. My son and brother are gonna help me disperse the money. "


Offshore Fraudster had links to offshore fund run by VP's relatives
Reuters on Yahoo | 2/23/09 | BY Ajay Kamalakaran

(Reuters) – A fund of offshore hedge funds run by two members of VP Joe Biden's family was marketed exclusively by offshore firms controlled by Texas financier Allen Stanford, charged by regulators with an $8 billion fraud, the Wall Street Journal said.

The Bidens $50 million fund was jointly branded between the Bidens' Paradigm Global Advisors LLC and the offshore Stanford Financial Group entity headquartered in Antigua, and was known as the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund, the paper said. Stanford-related offshore companies marketed the Biden fund to investors and also invested about $2.7 million of their own money in the fund, the paper said, citing a lawyer for Paradigm.

Paradigm Global Advisors is owned through a holding company by the vice president Biden's son, Hunter, and Joe Biden's brother, James, according to the WSJ. Paradigm's attorney, Marc LoPresti, who represents Hunter Biden and James Biden, as well as Paradigm, told the paper he did not know which Stanford entity invested the roughly $2.7 million. (Excerpt) Read more at ...

NOTE A lawyer for Hunter Biden and James Biden told reporters the Bidens NEVER met or communicated with Stanford. (/snicker)

Stanford is in jail for 110 years---but the Bidens got off scot-free.

7 posted on 05/01/2013 4:34:41 PM PDT by Liz (To learn who rules over you, determine who you are not allowed to criticize. Voltaire)
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To: neverdem


“Socialism Is Legal Plunder”...much

Proof...(rapidly approaching 17T),,,

535 “representatives” /s can’t stop and reverse the clock?

Debt slavery without representation. Nobody.

“—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

It’s time.

8 posted on 05/01/2013 4:37:03 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: neverdem

Another money laundering operation with a private checking account to Obama.

9 posted on 05/01/2013 4:39:03 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Liz

Thanks Liz. OUTSTANDING post! There should be “WANTED” posters.

10 posted on 05/01/2013 4:39:17 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: Liz

Biden the old plugger.... He must be on the Avodart hair growth treatment...

11 posted on 05/01/2013 4:40:50 PM PDT by ptsal (E)
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To: neverdem
Michael Ruffato link to CorporationWiki.


Looking further Check out biomass Fun reading, I am sure.

12 posted on 05/01/2013 4:50:15 PM PDT by ptsal (E)
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To: PGalt; ptsal; thouworm; CutePuppy; ken5050
Biden and the liberal elite justify their govt corruption---saying 'they give voice to the voiceless and protect blacks from being put in chains."

Yeah----there's lotsa pols of Biden's ilk blubbering about how they're "for the poor and downtrodden"----- and hoping to make a buck on it.

That "for my fellow-man" line provides cover for progressives real job of raking in tax dollars and giving it to their friends. Al Gore's a true progressive - $100 million sale for Current TV.

Nothing gets done in DC b/c all of the insiders on Capitol Hill are busy salivating over pages and pages of their ill-gotten holdings.

Hannity ran a Fox-TV special WRT Offical Washington living large---Congressmen and their extended families rolling in dough as lobbyists, sipping the finest wines, driving luxury cars, and so on.

One FReeper posted----on a Carribean cruise, a luxury beachfront home was pointed out----supposedly "owned" by Biden's brother----but that Air Force Two is frequently seen flying in. (Remember that Ohaha put Biden in charge of the hundreds of billions in stim.)


THROW THEM ALL OUT (how Official Washington gets rich on insider deals) book by Peter Schweitzer.

BOOK REVIEW One of the biggest scandals in American politics is waiting to explode: the full story of the inside game in Washington shows how the permanent political class enriches itself at the expense of the rest of us.

<><>Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, yet it is routine among members of Congress.

<><> Normal individuals cannot get in on IPOs at the asking price, but politicians do so routinely.

<><> The Obama administration has been able to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to its supporters, ensuring yet more campaign donations.

<><> An entire class of investors now makes all of its profits based on influence and access in Washington.

Author Peter Schweizer has doggedly researched through mountains of financial records, tracking complicated deals and stock trades back to the timing of Congressional briefings, votes on bills, and numerous profitable point of leverage for DC politicians. The result is a manifesto for revolution: the Permanent Political Class must go.

13 posted on 05/01/2013 4:56:39 PM PDT by Liz (To learn who rules over you, determine who you are not allowed to criticize. Voltaire)
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To: neverdem
What does Joe Biden have to say? Wasn't he supposed to keep an eye on this BS?

He's busy running up millions upon millions in travel expenses.

14 posted on 05/01/2013 4:57:58 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: neverdem
Political contributions, Michael Ruffatto:

15 posted on 05/01/2013 5:21:44 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Liz


16 posted on 05/01/2013 5:26:28 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: aimhigh
My first jobs in the late 70's were for a builder who did custom homes for the very wealthy that had a sub basement full of 55 gallon drums and rocks plumbed to a solar collector which heated the water, for a recirculating pump to heat the home. The homes sold / were built for $300,000 in 1979. The government paid half the cost.

Millionaires mostly building homes for their kids and a few headmaster's residences for private schools and some old money people from Lippincott publishing. Some Woodward heirs as well(a philly thing)

17 posted on 05/01/2013 5:29:20 PM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
FDA Approves Sale of Plan B Morning After Pill to Teenagers

Downsize the Liberals

Election Fraud in a Presidential Election: Did forged signatures tip the 2008 race?

'Any race except Caucasian'

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

18 posted on 05/02/2013 12:04:05 AM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

It was never about jobs. It was always about redistribution. (I’m being optimistic here and trying to believe that it isn’t the deliberate destruction of America.)

Want to create jobs? Get the government out of the private sector. Stop taxing us to death - both individually and corporately. Stop regulating businesses to death. Stop jerking us around with laws and executive orders that change on a dime and prevent people from being able to make fiscally sound plans that don’t have to be drastically changed every time the doofus in the WH gets another random notion about how to infringe on our liberty.

19 posted on 05/02/2013 3:44:00 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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