Mitt Romney fails financially right after slinging mud at President Obama for basically doing the same thing.
A Bay State solar panel developer that landed a state loan from Romney when he was Massachusetts governor has gone out of business — just 24 hours after Romney gleefully ripped President Obama’s allegedly failing green-energy investments.
The timing could not be worse if you’re in the Romney camp. Lowell-based Konarka Technologies announced late yesterday that it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will cease operations, lay off its 85 workers and liquidate.
“Konarka has been unable to obtain additional financing, and given its current financial condition, it is unable to continue operations,” CEO Howard Berke said in a statement. “This is a tragedy for Konarka’s shareholders and employees and for the development of alternative energy in the United States.”
Konarka could become a hot topic on the campaign trail because Romney personally doled out a $1.5 million renewable energy subsidy to the Lowell start-up in 2003, shortly after taking office on Beacon Hill.
And on May 31, the GOP candidate was stumping outside the shuttered Solyndra solar-panel factory in California, blasting the Obama administration’s $535 million loan as a symbol of “crony capitalism.”
“If Romney gets a little bit of heat because he participated in some of these policies at a point in time, it’s all fair in the world of politics,” said state Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton. “He’s criticizing on one hand, he’s got to take criticism on the other.”
A Romney spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment. No kidding. They are probably scrambling to come up with an explanation or a way to spin it as to lesson the political damage and embarrassment it has caused.
To make matters worse is the fact that Konarka racked up quite a total on government and private monies. In its 11-year history, Konarka collected a total of $20 million in government research grants, along with $170 million in private capital. The company makes thin, flexible solar panels that its customers build into other products such as deck umbrellas, backpacks and portable chargers.