Entries in Green Energy (75)
More than a year ago, a company founded by Terry McAuliffe – the Clintons’ former chief fundraiser and now the governor of Virginia – slapped the Franklin Center with an $85 million libel lawsuit.
I wanted you to be among the first to know – yesterday, a federal judge in Mississippi threw out the entire lawsuit.
Our investigation into GreenTech Automotive and into McAuliffe’s role with the company, which he used to launch his candidacy for governor, started when one of our reporters found that, while the company didn’t seem to be producing many cars, it was soliciting investments through a controversial federal program called EB-5. The EB-5 program offers any foreign national who invests $500,000 in a U.S. company a green card. The program has been rife with problems – and appeared to be one of GreenTech’s main funding sources.
The lawsuit filed against us – one of the largest libel suits in American history – was nothing less than an attempt to shut us down for telling the truth. But we decided to fight back, to defend ourselves, and most importantly, to keep digging. Altogether we produced more than 90 stories examining McAuliffe’s connections to GreenTech from every possible angle.
This is all too often how the progressive establishment operates. Rather than engaging their opponents in a battle of ideas, seeking to win on merit, they use the legal system and other bullying tactics to shut their opponents down. This time, however, we were able to to fight back on behalf of all of those whom the system has tried to silence.
We’re sure there will be many more battles like this to come. Even as I write, one of our reporters is fighting Gov. McAuliffe’s office for answers on the immigration crisis – going so far as to camp out on the floor, just outside his office, waiting to confront him and demand the information that taxpaying citizens are clamoring for and deserve. And GreenTech may even appeal the court’s order dismissing its baseless lawsuit. Will you considering supporting us in the hard, ongoing work of investigative journalism?
Thank you so much for your loyal support and readership. Because of you, the cause of free speech won a major victory against the powerful, moneyed progressive establishment. Please know that you have the gratitude of the entire Franklin Center staff.
a Critical Economic Driver for the North Country
BUT Admits While at SAIC He Used Taxpayer Dollars to Build Biomass Plants That He Viewed as "Not Economically Viable"
Havenstein told the Pemi-Baker Valley Republican Committee, “I also, frankly, am not a big fan of subsidizing biomass plants because they too are not economically viable. I built two biomass plants at my last job, one in Connecticut. And if the federal government wasn’t willing to give us $80 million as a subsidy, they weren’t willing to guarantee price breaks on that energy, it would've never been built.”
"The new Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin was supported by both Republicans and Democrats because it is an important part of our electric and heat energy mix, and is providing good-paying jobs at the plant, with hundreds more working in the woods as loggers, foresters and haulers," said North Country State Senator Jeff Woodburn. "It's disturbing to see Walt Havenstein so casually dismiss such an important economic driver for the North Country."
"The latest embarrassing footage of failed CEO Walt Havenstein not only makes it clear he wouldn’t look out for the people and economy of the North Country, but it also raises even more troubling questions about his record of mismanagement and failed leadership at SAIC,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing.
The new Berlin biomass plant is already producing economic benefits for the North Country. A spokesman for the Berlin biomass plant’s owners, Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, predicted, “the company will put about $25 million a year into the forest economy buying 750,000 tons of wood chips,” and a report filed with the state shows that in the first two months of operation, roughly 51% of the purchased wood came from New Hampshire (NHPR, May 23, 2014).
Despite the important role of renewable energy sources like biomass, Havenstein said we shouldn’t have incentives to build such plants because they are “not economically viable." However, that didn’t stop him from using $80 million in taxpayer dollars to build two plants as CEO of SAIC.
"It is extremely troubling that Walt took $80 million in taxpayer dollars for projects he claims weren't economically viable," added New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. "Walt's disastrous tenure at SAIC proves that he can't be trusted to protect taxpayer dollars, and the people of New Hampshire can't afford to let him take our state backwards."
During his disastrous tenure as CEO, Havenstein had a poor record when it came to safeguarding taxpayer dollars. As his failed leadership and mismanagement cost SAIC millions of dollars and thousands of jobs, taxpayers also paid theprice. Not only did Havenstein fail to stop a fraud scandal that overcharged taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, but he’s since tried to duck responsibility and offered no answers for his failed leadership.
Click here for the footage of Havenstein opposing biomass plants.
UNDER HAVENSTEIN, SAIC FACED MULTIMILLION DOLLAR FRAUD SCANDAL IN CITYTIME CONTRACT WITH NEW YORK
“The company also is grappling with its New York City contract to manage an employment timekeeping system called CityTime… the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has alleged that a massive and elaborate scheme to defraud the city’ corrupted the program.” (Washington Post, November 14, 2011)
“NEARLY ALL OF THE $600 MILLION THAT NEW YORK CITY HAS PAID TO THE MAIN CONTRACTOR FOR ITS TROUBLED AUTOMATED PAYROLL PROJECT HAS BEEN TAINTED BY FRAUD”
A New York Times article reporting on the CityTime scandal and charges filed by US Attorneys investigating the matter reported that “Nearly all of the $600 million that New York City has paid to the main contractor for its troubled automated payroll project has been tainted by fraud . . . ‘Today we allege what many have long feared: The CityTime project was corrupted to its core by one of the largest and most brazen frauds ever committed against the City of New York,’ Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for Manhattan, said.” (New York Times, June 20, 2011)
FOLLOWING TROUBLES FOR THE COMPANY, HAVENSTEIN SUDDENLY ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM CEO POSITION AT SAIC, CITES “PERSONAL REASONS”
The Washington Post reported that “Walter P. Havenstein, chief executive at McLean-based contracting giant Science Applications International Corp., will retire next summer, the company announced . . . In the announcement, Havenstein, who has led SAIC for just over two years, said he was leaving for personal reasons. He will depart in June. In recent months, Havenstein has spoken candidly about the budget challenges facing government contractors. In its most recent earnings announcement, SAIC reported roughly 6 percent drops in revenue and profit.” (Washington Post, October 3, 2011)
HAVENSTEIN’S TENURE AS CEO LEAVES SAIC IN DIRE STRAITS
“More than four decades after its founding, the contractor, now public and based in McLean, is struggling, facing two contracting scandals, the departure of its chief executive and declining sales and profit. The company’s plight has led to some soul-searching about whether its problems are linked to a generally tougher budget environment or tied to a change in strategy. In recent years, the company’s units have shifted from pursuing contracts autonomously to teaming up in an effort to bring more capabilities to the table. ‘Where some people would say we may have let go of our small, entrepreneurial nature, I would say what we’ve really done is helped transform ourselves to be able to punch our weight in the marketplace,’ said chief executive Walter P. Havenstein, who plans to step down in June. ‘We’ve got to be able to think as a scaled company, not just in the individual pieces, and I think that’s at the heart of the cultural shift.’ Thus far, that strategy has not yielded the kind of results that SAIC has produced in the past, and analysts and industry observers say the company is at a critical juncture as it readies to select a new leader.” (Washington Post, November 14, 2011)