Did a failing solar company receive federal funds with help from George Miller?

October 13, 2011 8:45 am · 118 comments

Claycord Congressman George Miller is in the middle of a scandal, and it has to do with the same company that is currently installing solar panels at 51 different sites for the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

Click on the video above to watch the report, which has to do with Sunpower, Congressman George Miller, and his son, George Miller IV.

1 CJ October 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Hey Miller,
You’re no stranger to Claycord so I know you’ll see this. When can we look forward to your response to this story. I hope you will either factually refute the claims made in this video, or somehow justify what has happened here. That being said, I don’t know how any of it could possibly be justified. Please don’t waste our time trying to deflect our attention to other actions by other career politicians. You and Salazar had better have an explanation for this.

2 Make My Day October 13, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Solar panels for the Mount Diablo Unified School District manufactured in Mexico??? I guess we have jobs to spare.

3 Wall&Broad October 13, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Forget Miller, when is the DA going to look into the Gary Eberhart! Seriously people! The only backers of his little pet project were bond underwriting and bond insurance companies.

People like me made a lot of money by these bonds being issued and now you people will be paying these loans back over the next 40 years (with $1.5 billion in interest)

4 MDUSD Board Watcher October 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM

I would be interested to know if there was an nexus with the MDUSD Board.

Gary’s project is purportedly the largest solar project of its kind in the world being done by Sunpower.

A federal investigation would probably throw some cold water on the chutzpah of the solar project proponents.

5 Anon October 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM

WOW, people need to be protesting this kinda of stuff. I’m getting so tired of hearing about this bullsh*t.

6 anon October 13, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Pete Pedersen told the parent advisory council in September that no if’s and’s and but’s all panels were built in america – it was actually a question that a parent asked after they all bragged about how solid sunpower is as they are now owned by some super duper french company.

7 Voss October 13, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Sunpower, Solyndra…people, listen, solar is a scam. It just is not economically viable. Hardly anyone would be putting these panels on their homes if it weren’t for “government” (read: we the taxpayer) subsidization. But so many of you are gullible fools who lose all self-control and common sense when someone says “green” or “alternative energy.” While there are some crooks on the ‘R’ side of the aisle who are in on these scams, it’s overwhelmingly ‘D’s who pimp these various “programs” and are getting paid off on the back end.

8 claytonista October 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Did Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin ever cry foul over billions of dollars going to Bechtel and Halliburton through no-bid contracts? Just curious.

9 comeonnotfox October 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Mr. Mayor there must be another news source other than fox that is covering this. Fox never covered any of corruption of the Iraq War monies that the Bush Administration wasted – Billions after Billions just stolen. I’m sure CNN or one of the other networks must have coverage.

10 Make My Day October 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Serious question: Have we seen/heard of any updates on the savings from the installation of the solar pannels at CHS and CVHS which apear to be functional now?

11 @claytonista October 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Don’t blame the reporters for something your dear congressman did.

Who cares what they report on? It doesn’t change the fact that miller is caught up in the middle of this mess.

12 Anon777 October 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM



13 Rico October 13, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Thank you Mayor. I feel this is a good balance to his regular freeloading off this site with his partisan propaganda.

14 CJ October 13, 2011 at 9:31 AM

@Claytonista: Do you know for a fact that they didn’t? Just curious.

Typical response from any one who is too far left OR right of center. Let’s deflect attention on to something else until hopefully this goes away.

15 Anon777 October 13, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Wonder if this is why Silverwood’s solar has not been finished. Anyone know if it will be? Otherwise I’m on the campaign to have them take down the partial work already started. I’m sick of looking at this half-a$$ed POS.

16 Mad Mom October 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Just say NO to FOX already!

17 claytonista October 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM

#11: It’s not blame. I really am curious what their take was on wasted spending on war-related services carried out by Vice President Cheney’s corporate buddies–service which, by the way, was often very poor (old food and stale drinking water given to our troops, for example) and for which they definitely overcharged.

But is it “corruption”? That I’m not so sure–it’s quite a charge. Cronyism, ostensibly…motivated by greed, sure, but to insinuate nefarious behavior might be a stretch, and an unnecessary one.

Where Hannity and Malkin get off referring to as “corrupt” Congressman Miller and his association with Sunpower, I don’t know. I do wonder if they leveled such big accusations so freely at VP Cheney back in the day. My guess is no.

So then, what motivates Hannity and Malkin here? Hmmm…blind bias, most likely. Their “reporting” should be taken with a big grain of salt.

18 Dangerous October 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM

@comeonnotfox, The president can propose a budget but cannot control it. Being that the democrats held the senate and the house from 2006 thru 2010 why don’t you blame the dumbacrats. I’d say you need an updated course on thinking or logic.
Have you ever heard of Modus Operendi, it is a means of finding patterns, patterns tell stories. When you have 50 media outlet’s telling you the same story and then there is one telling you a different perspective that should cause a light to go on in your head, unless you are the dullest bulb. Then all 50 point at this one and scream he’s lying! Why, you might ask, but more than likely you won’t, that would take thought. It is much easier to FEEL superior rather than exercise the gray matter to find out if what you are being told is in fact, truth. Everyone likes to think they are different but when it comes to thinking out of the box few do, they are the herd thinkers.

19 what the heck October 13, 2011 at 9:45 AM

CHS just started using their’s on Sept 23, 2011. So it is to soon to know what the savings if any are going to be. It would be nice if they cleaned up their crap at the school. Port-a-potty’s still there along with other stuff.

20 CJ October 13, 2011 at 9:47 AM

@Mad Mom: You show me a news organization that is TRULY moderate and I will gladly tune in. Unfortunately, at this point my only choice is to watch all of them and try to find the truth that usually exists somewhere in the middle.

21 Birds of a feather flock together October 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Mayor, you bring the tar. I have the feathers!

Sadly, WE, the American people are being duped everyday by government corruption.

22 Rico October 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Mad Mom, shoot the messenger. We all have been put on the hook for this. Should these questions not be asked? Should these lobby relationships not be questioned? Crony capitalism with a green label is still crony capitalism. Just because solar makes you feel good doesn’t mean that we all should be getting screwed over it. These deals with Sunpower were set up over a 20 year service life of the panels. What happens if/when they go bell up leaving the district with very expensive covered parking? That is above the screwing we’ve just gotten from the DOE.

23 Makes me Furious October 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Look at these hideous solar monstrosities every day at OGMS, and think what graft. I am a moderate politically but have a feeling that the solar scandal is going to reach far, will probably tar both Miller and Pelosi.

24 chevronisonthis October 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Did some checking and groups that are lobbying for Chevron and oil companies have been working against SunPower and are pushing for investigation. Remember Chevron had been awarded a no bid contract to install the Solar at MDUSD for a much higher price that what SunPower is doing it for – I’m sure Fox didn’t look into that angle.

25 claytonista October 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Just wanted to add: None of this is to say that I am not concerned about the seemingly slow progress of the solar panel work at MDUSD–I *am* concerned. I am also curious to learn how *this* company got the job when it appears to not have the capacity to get it done anytime soon.

I just wish the news source had been one that reports with a more objective eye.

26 comeonnotfox October 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM

@claytonista and Dangerous I have no issue with the Hanity show I view it like The Daily Show and Colbert Report – entertainment. If you want to believe they have unbiased news coverage – more power to you.

27 The Stocker October 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM

So Obama, Steve Chu, Ken Salazr, George Miller, Jerry Brown, et al. boasted that this $1.2 BILLION loan would produce 10-15 permanent jobs. One. Point. Two. Billion. Dollars. American Dollars. For 10-15 jobs.

With a company that has debt far exceeding their market cap. Making such a poor “investment” of this magnitude in the private sector would result in people getting fired and perhaps even going to jail for such malfeasance.

28 anonamom October 13, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Mr. Mayor: You should ask Pedersen to provide copies of the RFP that supposedly went out and the dated and signed Bids that supposedly came in for the Solar Project. Good Luck with that!

The promise made in order to get the $1.2 billion dollars was that it would “create jobs”. Apparently that was enough to qualify it as “creating jobs”. But now we find that the reported 15-20 jobs it will create will be for the manufacturing plant in Mexico. The panels being put on MDUSD projects were already made in USA I think, but there seems to be a “lag” in production right now???

Although solar at the Maintenance yard has nothing to do with school facilities or anything else (like class size reduction and school safety) required under Measure C, the maintenance yard is getting nice shady solar panels before some of the schools. MDUSD priorities at its finest!

29 claytonista October 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

comeonnotfox (#26) – Please don’t lump me in with Dangerous!! :-O

30 JIm October 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Imagine that a other democrat from our district who has his hands in the cookie jar…I’m shocked…..NOT!

@Mad Mom…
FOX or not at LEAST they cover the scandals…I didn’t hear a thing from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN…I wonder why? or maybe you’re happy the goverment keeps spending your children’s children’s future away…I am not!

31 The criminal ongoing of our October 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

elected representatives is coming into the light. (no pun intended) You people keep re electing these people and they keep getting bolder and breaking more laws. There really is no one to blame but yourselves, you voted them in. Tired of these crooks? Vote them out.

The Gary, Georgie and everyone else that has been elected over the last 30 years, vote them all out. Its way past time for new people and much more turn over of politicians.

32 curious.... October 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I recall a certain MDUSD board member gushing over SunPower being awarded the MDUSD contract for solar panels.

Gosh, I wonder if it’s slightly possible that this particular board had/has some kind of “relationship” with SunPower. And didn’t a board member take some “classes” to learn about solar?

On a completely unrelated note, I bet some companies might be willing to, say, give someone (or a friend/relative) a job, or some type of renumeration in return for certain “favors.”


33 finish project sliverwod October 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

There are a few schools with in the school system tha are in stages of being finish not just sliverwod. People if you were up to date you would know like building anything a house a car even a puzzle there are different stages. Many don’t get done overnight. So they are going to finish what they started so everyone just stay calm.

34 Barbara October 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Note to George Miller: “Send me your stories about the economy!”, Claycord.com, September 22, 2011 13:00 pm

My Story: Read the current blog. Better yet, respond.

35 Doctor J October 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Which financial genius on the MDUSD committee evaluated the financial stability of SunPower ? Gary ? Pete ? Bryan Richards ? Steve Lawrence ?Greg Rolen ? Someone else ? And I just can’t wait to hear Pete Petersen’s explanation of how “Hecho en Mexico” means “Made in the USA”.

36 Judge Roy Bean October 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

GM..is a political rascal…vote him out. He has done more to damage this County than one can fully imagine. VOTE HIM OUT. Green projects = more green in scoundrels pockets.

37 MDUSD Board Watcher October 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

We need to follow up with how this relates to the MDUSD board. What did they know and when did they know it?

I would love to see our BOE on the evening news doing the perp walk.

38 Ian October 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Solar is not a scam. It is economical. As long as you use panels that are made in China. Bummer, huh? American made panels are just not cost competitive yet.
The problem I see most of the time is companies are drastically underbidding projects to get their contracts. Many questionable projects will be due online around 2014-2015. We’ll see if these companies are able to deliver at the price bid. My guess is, they’ll be coming back for renegotiation.

39 Bob Loblaw October 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Hannity and Malkin? Really Mr. Mayor? Really?

40 CLAYCORD.com October 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

@Bob, if you can find a link that shows it’s being covered on MSNBC or CNN, then I’ll put that up, too.


41 Ian October 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM

I disagree!!!
You intended that pun!

42 anon October 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I remember part of the deal for the solar panels was that SunPower would maintain the equipment and guarantee a certain amount of $ savings. What happens if they go out of business?

43 Anon Redux October 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM

@Barbara #34. Great comment. And, George MIller since you want us to send you our stories about the economy, here’s one:

I drove by the Solyndra campus the other day on my way home from San Jose. It is highly visible from Hwy 880 (in Fremont going south). There are several multi-story, empty, beautiful buildings. The parking lots are empty, except for a few cars, that probably belong to liquidators (or investigators).

I hope Sunpower remains solvent, and that has its act together enough to avoid a “Solyndra-style” bankruptcy. But, I wonder. If Sunpower did go bankrupt, who would get paid first? The investors or the taxpayers?

44 anon October 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

@Voss – I love that you are against this while at the same time being against the wall street protesters. These types of actions are exactly the types of thing they are protesting. Fox news much? That’s a rhetorical question, I know from your narrow view point and strong convictions.

Solar power is not a scam, our implementation of solar power is. There is a huge difference between the two.

45 Makes no Sense October 13, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The only reason the new solar panels are cost effective for the MDUSD is that they didn’t have to pay for them. Without the measure C money, state grants, federal grants, subsidized loans etc. solar doesn’t make any sense. If it did every home and business would go solar. We the taxpayers are paying for this boondoggle. Think of all the better uses this money could have gone for. (more teachers, sports, music, etc.) At the end of the day total costs for taxpayers will far outweigh the savings. There is no free lunch!

46 Anon October 13, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Pete Pedersen and The Gary have been repeadetly promising everyone that we have 20 year guarantees on the savings.

Do you think that is still the case? Sunpower goes out of business the solar panels degrade in five years.

Taxpayers left with $1.6 Billion bill. Gary and Pete laugh all the way to the bank.

47 Shuley October 13, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I certainly hope this is not true. I’m sure there is some truth to it, but until a credible new source reports on it, I’ll just have to wonder.

It’s too bad Reagan eliminated the Energy Security Act of 1980, or we would be so much further along with technology in solar than we are now. Solar makes perfect sense, it’s just that 3rd world countries can produce these panels so much cheaper.

I dont see why right wingers on here are so pissed off. They had zero sympathy for homeowners that signed onto bad deals and feel that “caveot emptor” is the way to run a country. Well, looks like corporations will screw the government with the same amout of zeal that they’ll screw consumers.

48 Anon Redux October 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Correction. I was headed “north, not south”. It’s harder to see Solyndra if you drive south on Hwy 880. But then, both Solyndra and Sunpower, are local companies, and national scandals. The Solyndra headquarters is located in Fremont–40 miles south of Concord. The Sunpower headquarters (in San Jose) is about 47 miles south of Concord.

49 anonanonagain October 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Why should this come as any surprise to the people of the United States????
We HAVE become a country of corruption, scandal and oversight in our spending and in our every day lives. When will it stop?? When we have become a broke, 3rd world nation again, clamoring for the world to take us seriously again and not see us as the pathetic, arrogant big spenders that can BUY our way out of debt?? Politicians are nothing but thieves and greedy scumbags. Now I’m convinced of it……..

50 Rico October 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I don’t think anyone thinks solar power is bad (save some oil tycoons). However, why should we be padding the misinformed investors losses with public money. Make no mistake, this is what is happening with this money. The web will be huge. Many pols will be ensnared by it (jackasses as well as pachyderms). I don’t trust either party to properly investigate this. They tend to circle the wagons when both sides are exposed. WE THE PEOPLE (with the help of Da Mayor) need this story to be disseminated. Heads need to roll. Millers bowling ball cabeza would be the perfect one to start with.

51 Voss October 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM


I realize you fancy yourself some type of energy expert, but solar is absolutely not economically viable at this point, and the constant arm-twisting by certain politicians to pass bond measures, make loans, etc. make it, indeed, a SCAM.

Look at Stirling Energy, another Obama Administration “darling” that was just forced to declare bankruptcy.

One can get bogged down in the minutia of levelized costs of energy, but bottom line is solar costs more than nuclear and a LOT MORE than coal and NG. The only way solar is even nominally “viable” is with some combination of subsidies, “coerced” use, and high energy prices…all needed for their to be a net positive ROI. So think about that…you have politicians stumping for the govt to make huge loans to sketchy “green” companies, and one thing that will help make it work is neessarily HIGH ENERGY PRICES. Golly gosh, you don’t think this would create an atmosphere ripe for price manipulation, do you?

52 Noj October 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Not surprised that the Contra Costa Times has buried this story. Big George is their boy. sfGate is also covering this story. Thank you Mayor.

53 inmotion October 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I think we can all agree that the entire political system is corrupt. Miller will not be affected by this scandal, it’s business as usual in Washington.

54 Rico October 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

As soon as I pressed enter I thought of this Simpsons episode.
“Sorry, mom, the mob has spoken.”

55 MDUSD Board Watcher October 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I hope someone local covers the MDUSD Board angle of this.

56 anon October 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Don’t believe anything Hannity or Fox says. Sorry.

57 Judge Roy Bean October 13, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The panels are made in India and Mexico. Last I looked into this, the panels came out of India and are air shipped into Oakland.

58 Hank October 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Hey: He (Miller) doesn’t care. He’s got his and his family has gotten theirs (thanks to his connections). Same as the Pelosi’s/Feinsteins and I am sure a herd of others on both sides of the isle. He’ll get re-elected anyway as the sheep who just vote party line will re-elect him regardless.

Time to try an alternate 3rd party — come on go ahead and “waste” that vote, but give it a shot. Who know’s maybe one day we’ll really have some change.

Ron Paul!!!!

59 Voss October 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

@ anon #44,
Stuck on stupid, I see. Please, the petulant children aren’t just protesting against these instances of corporate cronyism. They’ve also got their red fist logos, their Communist/Socialst slogans, they’re crying about foreclosures–even the vast majority that are 100% legal and justified, and demanding everything from free healthcare to total forgiveness of tuition debt.

They whine about corporations, although it’s “corporations” that employ millions upon millions of people and generate the profits that benefit sharholders, pension funds, etc. These idiots complain about corporations “not paying” taxes, which of course is difficult to reconcile with the fact that the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation.

They begrudge the “evil 1%”, and ignorantly and falsely state this 1% doesn’t pay their “fair share” of taxes, when the reality is that 1% pays ~40% of the income taxes. If they are so concerned about people not paying their “fair share” of taxes, they should be protesting against the bottom 50% who pay <5%, and the 50% of households that have a ZERO-TAX liability, many of which get "refundable" tax credits, i.e. "welfare" (note the small 'w').

Finally, solar power may not be a scam in that, yes, electricity can be derived from harnessing the power of the sun. But, when that process cannot be done economically on a macro scale, yet we are bludgeoned about the head, neck, and chest in an attempt to force us to accept it and spend multi-BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on it…then yes, it is a SCAM.

60 anonamom October 13, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Shuley: SFGate reported on it a year ago. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/01/BUTD1GJGAI.DTL

In brief; SunPower created a company, California Valley Solar Ranch a couple of years ago to build a huge solar plant, ran into trouble, got NRG Corp to agree to buy the land and the future power plant for something under $450million, and SunPower negotiated the $1.2billion from Dept of Energy to pay the cost for them to “complete the construction” of the plant. Once the DOE money was guaranteed, NRG finalized the purchase agreement. The plan is that NRG will pay SunPower to “run” the plant.

At about this same time MDUSD contracted with SunPower. Then a couple of months ago, SunPower sold 60% of their company to Total Energy of France.

The questions are: 1) Who actually owes the $1.2 billion dollars to DOE–SunPower or NRG?
2) Who is actually on the hook for MDUSD’s performance guarantee–SunPower or Total?

61 Concordanon October 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Really, Mr. Mayor… Hannity and Michelle Malkin???

I watched the video. George Miller toured a SunPower plant in his district with the energy secretary. So he’s in favor of green energy and companies that bring jobs to his district. Yes, his son is a partner in a lobbying firm that represents SunPower, among other clients. And the scandal is…?????

Perhaps other news outlets aren’t covering this story because there isn’t any story to cover. There isn’t any scandal. Just more nonsense from Fox News.

62 anonk October 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM


Here they go again with their war on women’s health.

The House is voting today on a Republican bill to limit reproductive health care services for women.

Under their legislation, women using their own money to purchase private insurance plans in the new health exchanges set up in the Affordable Care Act would not be able to purchase a full range of coverage for reproductive health care – including coverage of abortions. Their bill would also allow states to more easily attack insurance coverage of essential benefits like contraception.

This is an extreme and destructive effort, and it attacks a problem that does not exist. Federal funds are not used for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or life-threatening situations. But that’s not enough for them. This bill goes beyond federal funds, and takes away the right of women to spend their own money on the health care they choose.

Attacking the rights of women is shameful. But it is also an obsession of Republican leaders in Congress.

Join me on Twitter using #WarOnWomen and #HR358 to let me know your views on this issue.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Congress should be addressing the most pressing need our country faces today — getting Americans back to work — not launching one ideological attack after another to satisfy the radical Tea Party that is holding this Congress and our country hostage.


Congressman George Miller”

63 Anon October 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Got to laugh at the close-mindedness, nay pigheadedness, of the folks who want to ignore anything reported on Fox. I’m about as conservative as you’ll find but I regularly listen to MSNBC and CNN, read Huffpo and other lib sites…I may not agree but I welcome differing viewpoints.

64 The Mamba October 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I keep trying to warn you guys about career politicians. The temptation is too strong.

65 Concordanon October 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Anonamom, you asked who owes the DOE the $1.2 billion, SunPower or NRG. As I understand it, the government did not loan SunPower $1.2 billion. They gave it a loan guarantee for that amount. A loan guarantee makes it easier for SunPower to obtain financing elsewhere. If SunPower were to default on that financing, then the government would be on the hook for the money. It’s as if the the government were acting as a co-signer for a loan.

66 Jim October 13, 2011 at 2:16 PM


Do you really think that a company that created 15-20 jobs for their 1.2 billion dollars is a good return on investment…George Miller aside, that’s $60million per job…really that’s a good thing?…and that’s not a scandal? So whare are the 20 people who made $60 million last year, retired?…I hope you’re not an accountant or an investor it’s people like you that don’t mind that Obama spent more money in 2.5 years than all of past presidents combined…and Is that how you balance your checkbook?

67 anon October 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM

More Senate Corruption? –

“Rep. Darrel Issa Questionable Ethics? – Goldman Sachs Paying For Protection?
Posted on August 19, 2011 by Mark Schumacher

Darrell Issa (Rep. CA) has a questionable past to say the least.

The latest allegations fall right into line with the kinds of games that previously been leveled against him. Americans deserve better, and having a man such as this, in charge of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, only goes to show you how and why America continues to fall into the financial abyss. What are Rep. Darrel Issa’s true interests with Goldman Sachs? Could it be for nothing more than personal enrichment? Why would he try and slow down the implementation of regulations to reform the rules of the derivatives banking con?, that banking scourge that has brought America to her knees.

Has Darrell Issa used his office as a lobbying firm to protect banks such as Goldman Sachs, slowing down the implementation of new derivative regulations that could hurt brokers? Below paints a picture of cute games played a man who has played cute games in the past, and goes to show us how corruption plays an ugly role in American politics. I wouldn’t trust Darrell Issa any further than I could throw him. He is a man worth is excess of $220 million and you can bet, bought his way into office. Make up your own mind, and read the ugly facts below:

“Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators? ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then later went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line.

In July, Issa sent a letter to top government regulators demanding that they back off and provide more justification for new margin requirements for financial firms dealing in derivatives. A standard practice on Capitol Hill is to end a letter to a government agency with contact information for the congressional staffer responsible for working on the issue for the committee. In most cases, the contact staffer is the one who actually writes such letters. With this in mind, it is important to note that the Issa letter ended with contact information for Peter Haller, a staffer hired this year to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee.

Issa’s demand to regulators is exactly what banks have been wishing for. Indeed, Goldman Sachs has spent millions this year trying to slow down the implementation of the new rules. In the letter, Issa explicitly mentions that the new derivative regulations might hurt brokers “such as Goldman Sachs.”

Haller, as he is now known, went by the name Peter Simonyi until three years ago. Simonyi adoptedhis mother’s maiden name Haller in 2008 shortly after leaving Goldman Sachs as a vice president of the bank’s commodity compliance group. In a few short years, Haller went from being in charge of dealing with regulators for Goldman Sachs to working for Congress in a position where he made official demands from regulators overseeing his old firm.

It’s not the first time Haller has worked the revolving door to help out Goldman Sachs. According to a reportby the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, Haller — then known as Peter Simonyi — left the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2005 to work for Goldman Sachs, then quickly began lobbying his colleagues at the SEC on behalf of his new firm. At one point, Haller was requiringto issue a letter to the SEC stating that he did not violate ethics rules and the SEC agreed. A brief timeline of Haller’s work history underscores the ethical issues raised with Issa’s latest letter to bank regulators:

–After completing his law degree in 2000, Haller was employed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an economist, and later with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Office of Enforcement.

– In April of 2005, Haller resigned from the SEC to take a job with Goldman Sachs. Although he was not a registered lobbyist, he soon began lobbying the SEC on compliance issues on behalf of Goldman Sachs.

– In 2006, Haller left Goldman Sachs, according to a Goldman official who spoke to ThinkProgress.

– In 2008, he took a job with the law/lobbying firm Brickfield Burchette Ritts & Stone.

– In January of 2011, Haller was hired to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee. Under the supervision of Haller, Issa sent a letter dated July 22, 2011 to bank regulators (including the heads of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FCA, CFTC, FHFA, and Office of Comptroller) demanding documents to justify new Dodd-Frank mandated rules on margin requirements for banks dealing in the multi-trillion dollar OTC derivatives market, like Goldman Sachs.

When he took over the chairmanship of the Oversight Committee this year, Issa dramatically shiftedthe committee’s focus away from its traditional role of investigating major corporate scandals. Instead, Issa has used the committee to mergethe responsibilities of Congress with the interests of K Street and Issa’s own fortune.

In June of this year, ThinkProgress broke the story about Issa’s own complicated relationship with Goldman Sachs. We revealedthat Issa purchased a large amount of Goldman Sachs high yield bonds at the same time as he used the Oversight Committee to attack an investigation into allegations that Goldman Sachs had systematically defrauded investors leading up to the financial crisis. This conflict of interest, along with our exclusive story about Issa’s earmarks benefitting his own real estate empire, receivedcoverage in a recent piece by the New York Times.

We also brokea story last month revealing other revolving door conflicts within Issa’s staff. Peter Warren, Issa’s new policy director, maintains some type of financial contract with a student loan lobbying group he led last year, and received a bonus from the lobbying group before leaving to work for Issa. Since joining Issa’s staff, Warren and his colleagues have fought to weaken the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency charged with overseeing student loans.

The new revelations about Peter Haller, however, raise even more significant ethical concerns than Peter Warren and other ex-lobbyists working for Issa. Why did Issa hire a high-level Goldman Sachs executive to work on stopping regulations on banks like Goldman Sachs? Haller’s directinvolvement in the July letter brings Issa’s ability to lead the Oversight Committee — charged with conducting investigations on behalf of the public interest — into serious doubt.


We have contacted the House Oversight Committee and Mr. Peter Haller. We are waiting for their response.


An official with Goldman Sachs tells ThinkProgress that Peter’s “legal name”was “Peter Haller” during his time with the investment back. However, an official Goldman Sachs lettersent sent to bank regulators in 2006 shows Peter’s name as “Peter Simonyi.” Additionally, Goldman says that Peter left the bank in 2006. But Peter’s bio on his law firm website indicates that he did not change his legal name until 2008.


Haller tellsTPM that he changed his name after his employment at Goldman Sachs to honor his Translyvanian heritage. In his comment, he did not dispute that he worked on Issa’s letter to bank regulators.


The Project on Government Oversight has identified three more letters from Issa’s office bearing Peter Haller’s name, including one that specifically references Goldman. “If Haller’s name change had not been discovered, would anyone have been able to piece together his history?” POGO asks.


Despite the Issa office’s furious efforts to pushback on our story and obfuscate our key findings, the story remains factually true. See our explanation here”


68 Ian October 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

It was not polite of you to start off a discussion with an insult. But to respond to your patronizing response:
I was being far more general than the specifics you bring about. I should clarify for you.
Solar is economical in the current marketplace which includes the ITC, and in the smaller scale, many other state and municipal incentives. The incentives, domestic and abroad, have cause dramatic price declines in the solar industry. We are now seeing cost of panels in the $1.30/watt price range, and it’s expected to go lower. This price drop in panels is a direct consequence of the incentives, which have been winding down along with the falling prices, just as they were planned to.
I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “coerced use”, so I can’t really reply, you’d have to elaborate. If you mean the way they are doing their economic models, possibly, that’s why I mention let’s see how the upcoming projects work out.
I’m not suggesting that solar is the cheapest source of power out there, never said it was. But there are advantages that solar brings to the table, just as well as disadvantages. I could point out advantages and disadvantages to every type of generation. That’s, again, not my point.
So where are prices for solar? The first round of the PG&E Solar PV program went to bidders at prices below the Market Price Referent. For solar, that’s pretty remarkable.
As far as price manipulation in the electricity market? Depends at what point, which market, you’re talking about.
Won’t argue against the theory too much in the retail market though. I’ve read so many rate schedules from so many different IOU’s, Municipalities, and other service providers in so many states, several countries, well enough to know, they set up rate schedules to be confusing, to be difficult to model, and to convince that there are portions of the rates that go to specific programs or charges or taxes. There’s plenty of room to hide what ever.
As far as the hourly and day ahead markets go, While I’m very familiar with the data (specifically NP15 hourly), I’m not familiar with all the factors that go into the data enough to argue something like that. I’m sure it’s no better or worse than any other commodity market.

69 MikeT October 13, 2011 at 2:47 PM

It really dosen’t make a lot of difference if your on the right, left, middle, or somewhere else, our government has a cancer, and is getting more and more corrupt by the day. Everyone has to pay more attention to what anyone running for office is all about, not if they are repulbican or democrate, but who they are. Hell, both sides suck. The founding fathers were correct, the two party system will destroy this great nation. Our elected officals are more concerned about their party than what is best for the the people and the USA in general.

70 Always Right October 13, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Obviously we have a few closed-minded liberal operatives suffering from “Foxophobia” on this board.

Good on you, Mr. Mayor, for posting this link and calling our elected representative to account for his questionable behavior.

71 Concordanon October 13, 2011 at 3:04 PM


The solar project that received the loan guarantee is expected to create 350 temporary construction jobs to build the solar farm, as well as a small number of permanent jobs to maintain it after it is built. If the project goes well, the government will not have to pay off on the loan guarantees, and SunPower will carry on and create more jobs down the road. In addition, it’s logical to believe that NRG, the energy firm that has agreed to buy the solar farm, assumes it will be good for its bottom line and consequently its employees and shareholders, which should ultimately be good for the economy as a whole. PG&E has already agreed to purchase the energy the plant produces. As you can see, it’s total impact will be more than just the 15-20 jobs that will maintain the plant after its built.

As to your comment on Obama spending more than all past presidents combined, you are restating the false talking point from Sarah Palin and several other Republicans. Palin has been quoted as saying that Obama added more to the national debt than all previous presidents combined. That’s not true. Read the factcheck.org article that debunks it:


72 CJ October 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM

@anon #67: I read that whole thing twice. Should I read it a third time to figure out what it has to do with the subject at hand?

73 Doctor J October 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM

SunPower is owned 60% by a French company. The French economy is on the edge due to the Greece fiasco. Then SunPower gets two loans totaling $2.3 billion, one government loan and one private. Doesn’t sound like their balance sheet is too strong. I don’t think that guarantee or maintenaince agreement are going to be too reliable. Nice research boys. “Ollie, another fine mess you got us into.”

74 Jim October 13, 2011 at 4:04 PM


So 3.4 million per job that’s lots better…in order for 1.6 billion to be effective as a job creator no matter the job it would have to produce 20,000 jobs and that’s assuming they get paid $60K…so when 20000 jobs are created at the plant for $1.2 billion dollars then you can tell me it was a wise investment…and that’s just 20000 jobs off the 1.2 billion initial investment…what about the abount NRG buying Sunpower and their capital infusement?…so that 20,000 jobs is a low estimate…should be more like 30,000 or more, and I didn’t hear of them hiring 30,000 employees and where are they getting their panels?…oh that’s right below the border…again taking jobs out of America…so I don’t care how much PG&E buys or if they hire 1000 employees tomorrow, they still are a losing deal
You need help with math…the numbers do NOT add up

I’m glad you gave me that fact check…I can have better figures…so $3.4 trillion is an OK figure?…you need help with math…to me that’s a lot of money even if it’s not the total sum and still more than any other president…none as ever spent $3.4 trillion in 3 years…Bush and Reagan that they casually mention were both in office 8 years…he has been in office 2.75…and that’s not indisputable

75 funny man October 13, 2011 at 4:18 PM

HA! told you so.
The Gary must be sweating bullets as the target sites of scandal move closer to his emcampment.

76 ConcordBadger October 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Of course, liberal hypocrite

77 CJ October 13, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Still waiting for that referral to a news source that is truly moderate. Facts only, no political bias of any kind. Mad Mom? Claytonista? Concordanon? Anon#56? Anybody?

78 Howard October 13, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Wow, they finally are going to catch George Miller, and his son, with their hands in the cookie jar! George looks good with his nice smile, beautiful suits and haircuts but he is just another career politician living off the families in Contra Costa County who really work for a living. You have been in Congress long enough George. Stay home and live off your retirement we are going to pay you, or better yet get a real job and pay some taxes.
You might want to get a real job for your son too.

79 gman October 13, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Why do the solar panels at ygnacio valley highschool and the ones on the schools in san Ramon valley school district say made in USA on them.

80 I really doubt that October 13, 2011 at 4:53 PM

The Gary is sweating. You have to remember, his ego is beyond comprehension. He is always right and no one can touch him, at least in his mind.

We should just look at the contract evaluation process at MDUSD. That alone should be enough to file charges on those guys. Then we can look at the adherence to the Brown Act.

2 Two year terms for anyone elected to a school district or city council or county supervisor has to be the limit. Any longer and the power corrupts these weak people.

81 The Professor October 13, 2011 at 4:57 PM

I purposely stayed out of this thread for several hours thinking that George might respond. I guess that his minions are either trying desperately to craft a statement that would make Goebbels proud or he will ignore it.

What father does not want the best for his son??? My dad taught me the value of hard work, good luck, and timing. George taught his son the value of graft, nepotism, and political connections. Great job, father George!!!

The only thing the fox naysayers haven’t said is that it was George Bush’s fault (although a few tried to tie in Halliburton, etc.). Let’s stick to the facts, people and understand that Halliburton, Chaney, etc. have nothing to do with this scandal. The scandal is not about a govt. loan to a failing company that makes it’s product in Mexico. The scandal is a sitting Representative (GM) pushing an unvialble product at the expense of his constituents for the benefit of his lobbyist son!

George, your kid made a killing as a lobbyist for this fiasco. You pushed it without disclosure. Your son will surely make a tidy contribution to your future campaigns with this ill-gotten windfall. You will continue to sit smugly behind the true leaders of your failed party while your shady dealings finance your (unfortunately successful campaign) future. Then you will log onto this blog and ask for opinions about Obama’s “job bill:”.

To all of you Fox haters and Obama Brown Shirts, please recognize that this is just the latest Washington scandal that is designed to take OUR money for the enrichment of the political entrenched. It’s not about Rep or Dem. This time it was your asshole who has his hand in the cookie jar.

Repub or Demo, this stinks to high heaven and the media would be going crazy if it was a Tea paritier. Wrong is wrong. And while I have rarely agreed with GM, this time I have to say that you are corrupt!

82 Concordanon October 13, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Jim and Doctor J,

The US government did not loan SunPower $1.2 billion, nor did they give SunPower $1.2 billion. They gave them a loan guarantee. Essentially, that’s like co-signing on the loan they will get from other sources. If they don’t default on the loan, the US government doesn’t pay anything.

As for SunPower being a failing company, that seems to be a gross exageration by FOX news. Read this analysis of FOX’s coverage of the story, which highlights a number of analysts who believe SunPower is a leader in the field and unlikely to default, particularly since the solar farm has already been sold in advance and the energy to be generated from it has already been sold. The article points out that the energy loan guarantee program, passed with bipartisan support in 2005, has guaranteed over $38 billion in loans for over 40 companies. Solydra was the first one to go bad and represented just 1.3% of the portfolio.

The article also points out that, contrary to what was said on FOX, Rep. Miller’s son’s firm does not lobby for SunPower on the federal level. Nor does Miller’s son work on the SunPower account. The firm is retained only to lobby on state-level issues.


83 Bloviate October 13, 2011 at 5:14 PM

If anyone has bothered to Google Gary Eberhart, you would then click on the LinkedIn website and find: He is Vice President – Solar Business Development and Director of Construction, LEED Acredited Professional at DBO Development Company
Senior Project Manager at Eberhart Engineering
So, anybody have any questions for “The Gary” in regards to these multi-million dollar Solar deals going on in the MDUSD???
He states on the LinkedIn site: “My objective is to utilize my knowledge of the functioning of school districts in the State of California along with my knowledge of solar photovoltaic energy production and my comprehensive construction knowledge to provide service to school districts in their effort to reduce general fund expenditures while securing a financially secure future. I have served my own school district as a Member of the Board of Education for 15 years and I am passionate about improving the educational environments of students Statewide. ”

Specialties**Certified LEED AP**
Solar Photovoltaic Design and Project Management**
California Licensed General Contractor**
Construction Management**

Gee, we have no conflicts of interest here, right???!!!!

84 Anon October 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

It would sure be a hoot to see The Gary, Pedersen, and Stevie on the nightly news.

85 Randome Task October 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

As i have and many others have said several times if not all the time …….every person with their hand on our tax money is grabbing all they can how they can right under our noses and dont bore me with the rederic and read this and that legal form letter it is all garbage and by garbage i mean b/s of course …..i challenge you to look just one day into one issue these so called elected officials have their hands on and you will find our tax dollars going into pockets and getting nothing in return they do it every day and right in front of our noses because they know we wont do anything. Sad really that most on here are very knowledgeable and factual and we can’t seem to smack these fools out here slapping us around with our own money and then asking for more…….and if any of you so called elected official scammers are reading this site then look out and bar the door ….i would not buy that next vacation home in the Hamptons or Marthas vinyard too soon ….your gonna be booted and hopefully brought up on charges for all the garbage you have done through the years …..look at the police chief in san fran they hired him to do a certain job then changed the game to suit them and their pockets and he walked it is starting to happen people are not standing for this garbage anymore and the MTC and all its friends are onn the bock as well finally the news said something about it ….little too late if you ask me the media is run by special interest anyways just like everything else ounce people stop being greedy then we can all have a piece and become a great nation again stop being the victim when your bank says well there is nothing they can do remind them that it was us that bailed their dumb arses out and gave their ceo’s big bonuses and huge retirements……sit down for 20 minutes and think about all the things that have been coming up …then think about the stuff we havent heard about and never will …..do the math how many people in this country paying taxes and increased taxes at that and do the math and you will see even if off by a bit that it is staggering how bad they are jacking us around and we dont even have free health care wich can be done right now with the way the taxes are right now ……….in concord even…. how much money over the past 10 years has the city paid for Todos Santos park well what they claim to have paid scheming bastards now is that really a need or just throwing money around…..the spending and pilfering is out of control and even these board members are hacks every one just tries to please the other instead of doing their job and address our concerns for wich we hired them for ….instead of more venues in the Todally over spendtos park how bout some more cops to police the illegals and bums and criminals ….next thing is the city is going to raise taxes for a new shelter under todos santos park to hide us all from the criminals and bums and scum because thats all they know how to do is spend money on garbage instead of just taking out the garbage ……man it just goes on and on ….pure garbage… could talk about it for a week but the cost of such action would cause the city officials to make up a commitee in todos santos park to police our site for speaking the truth about these money grubbing losers who will end up in jail even if we dont have enough police we will have a jail cell for em

86 cheetabob October 13, 2011 at 5:52 PM

MILLER MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

87 CJ October 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

@Concordanon: This is “cut and pasted” from the “about us” section of the website you kindly linked for us.

“Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation — news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda — every day, in real time.

Using the website mediamatters.org as the principal vehicle for disseminating research and information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytic reports documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media. Additionally, Media Matters works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.”

Thanks but no thanks. Whatever credibility you think you have just went straight into the toilet. Still waiting for that referral to any source of information that has ZERO political bias. It would take me about 5 minutes to find a link to a website that would contain information to advance the agenda on either the left OR the right.

88 mortimer October 13, 2011 at 6:23 PM

People read my note……. JOHN FITZGERALD FOR CONGRESS …..vote for this guy in the primaries….Get Miller out…he will not work hard for us….anymore….

89 Lisa Vorderbrueggen October 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

There is no scandal involving the Millers and SunPower. Check out my blog at http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2011/10/13/fox-targets-rep-miller-but-gets-its-facts-wrong/

90 The Stocker October 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM

@ Dr. J,

One tiny little red flag right off the bat should have been SPWR’s debt far exceeding their market cap.

Digging a little further, they could have discovered that Current Enterprise Value = ~$1.4B, while Market Cap = ~$809M. Granted, these are current figures, but I’ll go out on a limb and say they weren’t much different when this deal was made.

I believe the technical term is “not good.”

91 CJ October 13, 2011 at 7:40 PM

@Lisa Vorderbrueggen: Rather than cut and paste again, refer to my comment #87. The source for the information in your article is dedicated to dealing with “conservative misinformation”. What, the left doesn’t lie?

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”

“Those aren’t lewd pictures of me. Someone hacked my twitter account.”

“Marilyn who?”

92 @Lisa V. October 13, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Lisa with all due respect your paper is like the exact opposite of Fox News. I don’t trust information from you anymore than I trust information from Fox. Just because you say it is not true, that means it is not true?

Did you ask George the 4th if he ever met with SunPower? Did you ask him about the payment he received from them?

Of course he will deny it. He will probably deny working with Seeno too, but that does not mean he did not really do it.

93 mortimer October 13, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Hey Lisa Vorderbrueggen….What make’s you such an expert on this topic involving the Miller’s. From reading your column in the cctimes, you aren’t even accurate in the stories you write about. George Miller’s hand has been caught in the cookie jar….I’m sure you will do your best sweeping this under the carpet….maybe you should be investigated too!

94 I just don't trust people who call October 13, 2011 at 8:11 PM

themselves journalists anymore. Journalism used to be a respectable vocation that had self imposed standards (like telling the truth without spinning it to their own agenda) and integrity for the stories reported upon and the words written and/or spoken.

Journalism over the last 30 years has died as a vocation. There are a lot of people who call themselves journalists but there are so very very few who really are journalists. Telling the truth and state facts without twists or spin is now openly acceptable. In other words, anything goes as long as it sells.

There a handful of true journalists left, but they are demonized be the scum that now pretends to be reporters. The TV media is no more than loud actors looking for ratings. The print media is dying. Radio has little of any news and though some local news may be well reported, national and regional news is corrupted by the low grade actors. Any semi literate goof ball with a computer can create a blog. So, for me, with journalism dead, there really only two or three people to trust any longer.

95 Bloviates October 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM

@Lisa Vorderbrueggen: What are you smoking??? Okay, so “Media Matters” says this or that and YOU believe them!!! Oh, so Sunpower isn’t like Solyndra? Really??? Really??? Let’s see, in 2007, their market price was in excess of $100.00 per share. 2011:, approximately $8.00 per share!!! Wake up and smell that coffee lady!!! They’re about to plunder like Solyndra!!! (But the French that own it won’t be affected, they’re use to this considering the “Greece” they’re in) :))))))

96 Doctor J October 13, 2011 at 8:29 PM

@Bloviate #83 Gary’s “linked-in” page went up shortly after he completed one class at Berkeley [I think] on Solar Photovoltaic Design and Project Management which was PAID FOR by MDUSD and after he asked the Supt to pay for it — and approved by Paul Strange — all behind the scenes. One class. Then he got his current position with Seward Construction. I am unware of any school solar projects that Gary has managed. If there are some, he hasn’t been bragging about them. I believe Gary has let his contractor’s license expire.

97 The Stocker October 13, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Since you seem to be so informed on the viability of SunPower, maybe you can explain your confidence when they have such a poor balance sheet, when their debt exceeds market cap by $20M, and overall enterprise value by $6M. Just how did such a company, in what one could arguably call a “flaky” industry (besides Solyndra, see also recent bankruptcies of Evergreen, Spectrawatt, and another darling, Stirling Energy) and on UNdeniably shaky financial footing, secure this fast-tracked loan of $1.2 BILLION? Might be the type of questions a good journalist would ask. But nah, let’s just bash Fox News.

98 Always Right October 13, 2011 at 8:54 PM

@Concordanon – I know you are a die-hard liberal, but most of the time your posts reflect at least some degree of understanding of the issue at hand.

You sure missed the mark in your post # 82 when you tried to trivialize a loan guarantee. You said:

“The US government did not loan SunPower $1.2 billion, nor did they give SunPower $1.2 billion. They gave them a loan guarantee. Essentially, that’s like co-signing on the loan they will get from other sources. If they don’t default on the loan, the US government doesn’t pay anything.”

What are you saying here? That a loan guarantee is not a big deal or a big problem? A US loan guarantee is money in the bank for any borrower, and putting the us taxpayer on the hook is a BIG DEAL. In fact, wouldn’t it have been better for the US Government to actually loan the money and earn interest (at current market rates)?

Guaranteeing a loan is the worst of all worlds. ALL OF THE RISK AND NONE OF THE PROFITS.

I am so glad you are not my accountant or financial advisor. I would be broke in a heartbeat relying on the kind of reasoning you presented in your post.

99 Concord Taxpayer October 13, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Lisa Vorderbrueggen post 89……. You have lost any journalistic credibility you may have had when you cite “Media Matters” in your article without identifying it as a partisan left-wing website funded by the Democrats.

We all now know you are simply a spokesperson for George Miller and the Democratic Party. You should resign or apologize.

The scandal issue here is not that George Miller needs to be lobbied for solar. The scandal is his namesake son is working as a lobbyist period! This stinks to high heaven. Although legal, it is obviously corrupt. Would George Miller IV have landed a job like this without his name and connections? What are you thinking?

100 Make My Day October 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Limited government limits public corruption.

101 CLAYCORD.com October 13, 2011 at 9:26 PM

For the record, I’m a blogger, not a journalist.


102 MDUSD Board Watcher October 13, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Would be interesting to know how much The Gary and Pedersen collaborated with the Millers on this.

Didn’t Gary at one time say he had a direct line into Miller?

103 ConcordAnon October 13, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Now, folks its high time we get rid of Miller and his ilk! Either by vote, impeachment or arrest! Time to get rid of the that scumbag and his connected friends!!

104 Mr. Anon E. Mouse October 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

So is it a scandal or a non-scandal? Not that Miller is an angel. Though it wouldn’t be the first time FauxNews has stretched the non-truth.
You have a far right channel screaming the sky is falling.
On the far left you have a site saying it’s a nice clear day out.

THIS is why I hate politics. Can we just have another civil war and get on with rebuilding the country. I know this terrific document we can base the new government on. It has all but fallen out of favor and few of the people’s representatives that swore allegiance to it remember what it says.


105 Publius October 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Follow the ball my liberal friends, I will connect the dots for you.

Go ahead and discount Fox News if you want. I will keep it brief.

Everyone knows King George the III is a big government, organized labor stooge. His son Prince George the IV has complete access to daddy.Over the past 35 years King George has specialized in spending tax dollars to secure votes. Prince George is the regent of this free ice cream and makes his living doling out the goodies to groups that support his father. Not much of scandal here, just politicians being politicians. Besides Prince George has a family feed. Right?

The scandal is simple-

1. The measure C solar project is restricted to Unions only! A Project Labor Agreement was signed and all trades are to be union. 80% of the construction industry was eliminated from the bidding process and the over all cost went up 15%! $50 million wasted befor the first imported panel was installed. The new Solar Plant and the $1.2 billion secured loan is also exclusively for union workers. Classic George move!

2. Sun Power is a company that cannot exist without government hand outs and therefore is an unstable company. The Solar business model is flawed. In a time when the common man is struggling would anyone risk that amount of money on a flawed business? I don’t know if this is a scandal but it is extremeley stupid.

3. The panels are imported. I know for a fact that Sun Power is waiting for glass. The glass is on a boat from China! Discount Fox News all you want but this is a fact.

George the IV used his access to his father to secure a loan to an unstable company and got paid by that company for his efforts. The unions get a nice pay back, once again at the tax payers expense. Sun Power pays big slaries to the top brass and out sources jobs and buys foreign made goods. On second thought this is not a scandal its just Democrats doing what they do best………….

106 Don Perata October 13, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Miller will just lay low & keep repeating that there’s nothing to it until the whole thing blows over and folks forget the matter. It works too.

107 The (Night) Stocker October 13, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

Re: my post #97, not that anyone really cares, but for the record what I meant was SunPower’s EV exceeds MC by $6M.

Still eagerly awaiting Ms. Vorderbrueggen’s spirited defense of SPWR’s crappy financials.

108 Randome Task October 14, 2011 at 1:32 AM

thank you ….thank you i knew you were out there tear down these garbage spillers and loot grubbin ass kissers drag em down and put em in jail dont care if it is a legal loop hole or not you are in and office to do a job for the people who pay you… not line your pockets with the blood of our tax dollars. take em down the road and out of town it starts with one and dont matter who it is these guys think they are untouchable because they steal our tax money every day and have high friends well those friends will turn on the low lifes as soon as the pieces start to fall just like any other criminal …..good work guys i see it working all ready …..WE THE PEOPLE

109 Anon October 14, 2011 at 7:35 AM

George Miller, was the administrative assistant to the Mayor of San Francisco,an infamous coke-head (the Mayor not Miller) . Millers father passed and George inherited the job. First thing I remember was channel 7 videoing him on vacation in the Bahamas paid for by the taxpayers.

Now we find a son who is a lobbyist.

The question is: Have the Millers ever worked in their lives?

110 Nepostism is Alive & Well October 14, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Frankly, I’m saddened, but not surprised.

@ Professor – “understand that Halliburton, Chaney, etc. have nothing to do with this scandal” – quite true. Yet another example of this type of behavior by a powerful politician

111 Rico October 14, 2011 at 7:58 AM

You counter a FOX news report with a mediamatters analysis? Thats funny.

112 And now to Lisa October 14, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Lisa Vorderbruggen write nice press releases for George Miller

113 Night Stocker October 14, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Dear Lisa,

I know you’re diligently poring through SunPower’s income statement and balance sheets, but let me take this opportunity to apologize for being a source of confusion…let this be a lesson when trying to type on a cell phone. If SPWR’s EV exceeded Market Cap by $6M as I typed, that actually wouldn’t be that bad. Not a good sign, but not horrible, either.

So let me clarify: $800M (MC) + $820M (Debt) – $245M (Cash) = $1.375B (EV).

Rounding it to $1.4B, that means their EV exceeds MC by $600M, that’s $600,000,000…or SIX HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.

Go ask the financial experts at Media Matters if those kind of numbers are good. And maybe ask them how many companies on such footing, and under NORMAL circumstances (i.e. sans political muscle) would EVER secure a loan (or gurantee) of $1.2 Billion.

114 Calculated Move October 14, 2011 at 11:03 AM

@90 – Stocker…When the DOE approved the $1.2 million guarantee, the financial picture of Sunpower declined since its second quarterly financial report 10Q. The company has acquired significantly more leverage beyond obtaining the $1.2 billion debt. Form 8-K filings indicate a new $275 million revolving loan with Credit Aricole Corp., $200 Million in a Letter of Credit facility with Deutsche Bank as of 9/27/11, and renewing $771 Million in lines of credit in August 2011. The company obviously needs debt to fund its working capital, and this is a very bad sign. Further, the CEO/CFO made a press release on 10/3/11 stating that they will “revise 2011 revenue and earnings outlook” where these downward adjustments will be announced on 11/3/11 during Sunpower’s 3rd quarter earnings press release.

115 brianinmtz October 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I am tired of politicians supporting their own interests instead of the voters interests.
Sad thing is the elected officials are out of touch with reality and are more worried about taking care of themselves instead of the people who voted for them
Let’s make change happen!!!

116 @mdsud board watcher October 14, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It’s the unionized teachers at CVHS that have a direct line to George Miller, not Gary Eberhart.

117 @Mr. Anon E. Mouse October 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The fact that other media are not picking up on this story indicates that it’s a Faux News scandal, made up to appeal to their constituency.

The Contra Costa Times never met a local scandal it didn’t try to blow out of proportion to boost readership. If there were even a single grain of truth to it, the paper would be all over this story because they love bashing MDUSD in general and its solar power project in particular. Instead, one of their reporters is posting here saying there’s nothing to it.

118 Night Stocker October 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM

@ Calc Move,

Bad sign. Exactly. This company is burning through cash and piling on the debt. Not all debt is bad, but these guys are circling the drain. This stock is heavily shorted and the CEO already got a nice $11M “bonus” when he dumped his shares right as the partial takeover by the French company was closed. If Vegas put the over/under for their declaring bankruptcy at 24 months, I’d take the under.

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