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Solyndra investor's foundation status called into question

Kaiser's organization's tax deduction scrutinized

Fallout over the collapse of Solyndra, whose bankruptcy may cost taxpayers $535 million in federal loan guarantees, has called into question the tax status of the foundation of a major investor in the solar company.

Named for George B. Kaiser, a wealthy Oklahoma oilman and generous donor to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, the nonprofit George Kaiser Family Foundation describes itself as “a charitable organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty.” This week, iWatch News reported that over the past five years the foundation has averaged more than $194 million in income annually, but it has issued grants equaling only about 1.7 percent of its net assets. Gifts to private foundations yield tax deductions for donors.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, raised questions Tuesday about Kaiser’s involvement.

“With Solyndra, the government didn’t just lose out on its investment through the $535 million loan guarantee,” Grassley said in a statement during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. “It also lost out on the tremendous subsidy it provided the George Kaiser Family Foundation through the charitable contribution deduction.”

The foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Solyndra’s implosion has launched three separate government investigations and raised questions about the government’s rushed handling of the half-billion-dollar loan guarantees.

Reprinted by permission of The Center for Public Integrity.

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1 comment on this story

Oct 21, 2011, 4:22 pm
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Cronyism is the most insidious form of corruption.

Consider also what just happened in a federal court in Texas.  A Dallas business owner was involved in a civil dispute and paid millions of dollars to lawyers, and when he objected to additional fees after settling the case, they had a “friendly” judge seize all of his possessions, without any notice or hearing, and essentially ordered him under “house arrest” as an involuntary servant to the lawyers. The business owner has been under this “servant” order for 10 months and is prohibited from owning any possessions, prohibited from working, etc..

...and some quotes from the judge:

THE COURT: “I’m telling you don’t scr-w with me. You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to scr-w with a federal judge, and if you don’t understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy behind me.”

THE COURT: “You realize that order is an order of the Court. So any failure to comply with that order is contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death”

http://www.lawinjustice.com has an explanation of this case.

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