Tesla CEO Elon Musk Fights Perceptions as Stock Drops | National Legal and Policy Center
Musk is also chairman of SolarCity and CEO of SpaceX, and in the Bloomberg interview he estimated he’s visited Washington about 200 times, visiting dozens of Senators and at least 150 Congressmen. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, SolarCity spent $535,000 in 2009 and 2010 to lobby Congress and the Department of Energy on climate legislation, the Recovery Act, “green workforce training and development,” and provisions in various legislation “relevant to solar development.” SolarCity has sought to extend a program, due to expire at the end of 2012, that delivers to manufacturers an upfront cash grant in lieu of a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (called the Section 1603 grant program). According to DOE reports, SolarCity received more than $66 million from that program.Flashback: Why Did Tesla Pay for Its CEO to Fly His Own Jet to D.C. to Secure a U.S. Loan? - DailyFinance
The company also won a partial guarantee from DOE of a $344 million loan that will place up to 160,000 rooftop solar installations on military housing across the country.
Similarly, Tesla spent $480,000 from 2007 to 2011 to lobby Congress, the White House, EPA and DOE on climate and energy issues, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act, and the Recovery Act. As mentioned earlier, Tesla received a $465 million loan guarantee from DOE’s ATVM program.
Musk is also a generous political donor, mostly to Democrats, although his investments and giving are equally diverse. He gave $290,000 to political candidates and the major parties from 2008 through 2012, which included $66,200 to the Democratic National Committee, $34,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and $63,500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. His presidential candidate was Barack Obama, giving $2,300 for his 2008 campaign and $5,000 for the 2012 cycle. Besides Musk, a former Tesla director, Steve Westly, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of President Obama’s campaigns as a bundler.
In the end, when you review the news about Musk and his enterprise, there’s a lot of quibbling over matters of degrees. Is his political activity just redistributionist corporate cronyism or actual corruption?
These would be stupid questions that almost no one would care about if the government didn’t gamble public money by giving billionaire Musk – who just bought a $17 million mansion in Bel Air – the huge loan.
Elon Musk, the multimillionaire CEO of luxury green-auto startup Tesla, billed the money-losing company $175,000 for several flights aboard his own private jet, including trips to Washington, D.C., to secure the project's nearly half-billion dollar taxpayer loan. Musk charged Tesla for D.C.-bound flights he took aboard his Dassault Falcon 900 -- trips intended to secure the $465 million Department of Energy loan. Details of Musk's private-jet flights were first reported by private-equity industry newsletter peHUB, citing Federal Aviation Administration flight records. Wired.com followed with its own report.
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