NRCC launches Solyndra ad against Garamendi

The National Republican Congressional Committee is going after Rep. John Garamendi with a television ad that attacks him for supporting the Obama Administration policies which brought about the loan guarantee to now-bankrupt Fremont solar manufacturer Solyndra.

It’ll be playing for about two weeks on cable channels serving the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District in which Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is seeking re-election next year. The NRCC in recent years has run such ads in the Bay Area only against Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton – the only local member the national GOP has seen as vulnerable.

But the NRCC believes redistricting has left Garamendi much more vulnerable than he used to be. They say that his new district will vote far less partisan Democrat; that when he ran statewide for lieutenant governor in 2006, he lost this area; and that – as I wrote Monday – GOP challenger Kim Doblow Vann raised more money than he did in the third quarter of this year, with more money in the bank as of Sept. 30.

Here’s the script:

OFF SCREEN CHARACTER: “My name is Nancy and I have a problem.”
ANNOUNCER: The Washington politicians need some therapy for their addiction.
OFF SCREEN: “Hi Barack.”
ANNOUNCER: They have an addiction to wasting government money and gambling on risky loans.
The government just lost millions on a bankrupt solar energy company called Solyndra.
President Obama blamed the loss on a gambling philosophy.
OBAMA: “That’s exactly what the loan guarantee program was designed by Congress to do, was to take bets.”
ANNOUNCER: Take bets? With tax dollars?
The Obama administration loaned money to Solyndra even after they’d been warned it was financially unstable.
OBAMA: The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.
ANNOUNCER: John Garamendi supported the Obama policy that loaned Solyndra money.
Garamendi backed Obama’s failed stimulus economic policy.
John Garamendi and President Obama are making our economy worse.
DISCLAIMER: The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

I’ll post comments from Garamendi as soon as I get ‘em; check back for updates.

UPDATE @ 8:18 A.M. WEDNESDAY: Garamendi sent me his response to the ad this morning:

“If we’re going to make it in America, we need to Make It In America. By drastically cutting our nation’s investments in clean energy manufacturing and research, Tea Party Republicans would prefer to destroy jobs in the United States and encourage the outsourcing of American jobs. Imagine where our country would be today if we just gave up after early setbacks in the space program, the Internet, and medical research. The quitters were wrong then; they’re wrong now.

“The Solyndra loan guarantee didn’t pan out, and that is unfortunate. It is even more unfortunate that the Republican Party is using this as an opportunity to malign investments in clean energy manufacturing at a time when we need to come together for the good of our nation to Make It In America again. In California alone, six large solar facilities that received loans from the same Recovery Act program as Solyndra are on track to create 4,000 good construction jobs over the next five years. There are more than 100,000 solar jobs in America, double the number that existed in 2009, largely thanks to government investments. Jobs and American recovery will not come from surrendering entire industries to China.”

UPDATE @ 12:38 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Apparently this was previously scheduled, but now it’ll be another opportunity for Garamendi to hammer his point home – he’s doing a news conference tomorrow with the BlueGreen Alliance at PG&E’s Vaca-Dixon Solar Station near Vacaville, to emphasize the importance of passing legislation to invest in clean energy research and American-made manufacturing.

“The number of jobs in solar energy has doubled to more than 100,000 since 2009, largely thanks to smart public investments in our clean energy future,” he said in a news release today. As with GPS, the Internet, and medical breakthroughs, government can spur innovation that allows new industries to blossom and enables businesses to employ millions of Americans.”

The Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, a two-megawatt solar pilot project completed in June 2010, is part of PG&E’s five-year plan to promote development of up to 500 megawatts of medium-sized solar photovoltaic projects in its service area; the company says this will help meet California’s AB 32 climate-change goals. The solar panels at the facility were assembled in America.

UPDATE @ 3:20 P.M. THURSDAY: The final update (I hope). Garamendi is now raising campaign money off the NRCC ad, with an e-mail alert that went out today. It said, in part:

We knew it would come to this. Washington Republicans are now running outrageous attack ads against me for supporting American-made clean energy investments.

Republicans are using these misleading attack ads to distort the truth about clean energy. If the Tea Party has its way, we will surrender our clean energy future to China and other competitors.

So long as I’m in Congress, I’ll do all I can to stop them. We need to Make It In America if we’re going to make it in America. But, we need urgent Rapid Response funds to fight back and spread the truth about their misleading attacks. We have set a goal to raise $10,000 before Monday for our efforts. Will you help us with an urgent gift today of $25, $50 or more right now?

Contribute $25. $50 or even $100 or more today before Monday’s urgent Rapid Response deadline…

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Rick K.

    “Live Shot Garamendi” deserves to be ousted from Congress by Ms. Vann. He is literally owned by out-of-district labor union bosses and other special interests. He is a member of the “political class” who uses his influence to enrich himself and his blood relatives. Garamendi needs to answer important questions before the next election: (1) What exactly did you do and how much were you paid as the “Washington, D.C. partner” in Democratic megadonor Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. investment firm from 1998 to 2001? Was this your reward your role in the Executive Life scandal when you were California Insurance Commissioner in 1991?
    (Look at http://www.forbes.com/global/1999/1227/0226024a.html)
    (2) What influence did you exert to get your son John Garamendi Jr. that cushy $216,000 per year job for the University of California when he was just 35 or so years old? Do you think it’s fair that U.C. Davis students pay higher tuition to float your son’s huge paychecks and pay for his huge pension package?

    If Ms. Vann runs as a typical tax-pledge signing Republican, she will lose. However, if Ms. Vann runs as a common-sense, independent-minded leader (one who does not kow-tow to Grover Norquist and other special interests), she stands a good chance of defeating “Live Shot Garamendi.”

  • rew

    Garamendi is terrific campaigner, has very high name recognition. Nor-Cal is Democratic bastion, no way he can be ousted from this seat. Republicans are throwing away money, money they are getting – by the way – from the CEO’s that are shipping jobs overseas, corporations that don’t pay income taxes, hedge fund managers,DC lobbyists fat cats and the like. Republicans are anti-labor, anti-middle class and their bags of tricks won’t work in Nor-Cal. Garamendi is pro-labor, pro-working class, and he is fighting to keep American dream alive for everybody.

  • For Liberty

    If he and the others in Congress could only follow the true constitutional principles taught in the following short film:


    #1 & #2: Break away from party politics, “Democrats good, Republicans bad” (or vice versa). Our politicians need to be held to answer on the oath they swore to uphold and defend.

  • Elwood

    @ #2

    Wow, Garamendi is wonderful! I wish he was running for emperor of the universe, I’d sure vote for him!

    Who knew we had Jesus right here among us again, fighting the evil Republican minions of Satan?

  • Rick K.

    @ #2-“Live Shot Garamendi” does have high recognition, but that name is synonymous with blind, doctrinaire following of the standard Democratic/socialist line in most of California (everywhere outside of the immediate S.F. Bay Area and L.A. County). Garamendi performed poorly in his 2012 district when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006. His best county was Yolo where he received under 54% of the vote against Tom McClintock. Garamendi did extremely poorly in most 3rd CD counties. He got under 32% in Colusa, Glenn, Sutter and Yuba counties where more than two-thirds of voters rejected the well-known Garamendi name. Fewer voters will support Garamendi now once they learn about Garamendi, Jr.’s $216,000 a year U.C. job, especially U.C. Davis students who are shelling out higher fees to float Garamendi Jr.’s benefits package. Plus Garamendi Sr. needs to explain his mysterious job as Washington, DC “investment partner” for Democratic megadonor/sugar daddy Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos.