Posted on | December 15, 2013 | 44 Comments
Bruce Oreck is a lawyer who got rich from his family’s famous vacuum cleaner business. He is an environmentalist who gave about a quarter-million to Democrats in the past two decades and who “bundled” about a half-million in contributions to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Oreck was rewarded with the ambassadorship to Finland:
In 2003, Ambassador and Mrs. Oreck founded the Zero Carbon Initiative which is committed to implementing both experimental and off-the-shelf technologies in the built environment, not just to reduce but to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Why Finland? Does the name “Fisker Karma” ring a bell?
“Green” parties are a major force in Scandinavian politics, and the Fisker Karma — designed in Denmark and built in Finland — was one result of such environmentalist enthusiasms. Unfortunately, the company burned through more than a billion dollars, built fewer than 2,500 cars, losing $35,000 on each one it built, and did so with the help of a huge loan from Obama’s Department of Energy:
In September 2009, Fisker won a $529 million loan from the Energy Department to develop the Karma and build a second model in the United States. The financing came as part of a broader Obama administration effort to shore up employment in the recession-ravaged auto industry and improve the fuel efficiency of the U.S. auto fleet by extending government loans to so-called green-energy initiatives.
A month later, Fisker agreed to buy an idle General Motors factory in Delaware for about $20 million. The government loan approval was a welcome relief for Fisker, which was hurting for cash by late that summer and eager to raise more money from investors, according to an email from [Fisker executive Barney] Koehler.
“We are oversubscribed in this equity round with the Energy Department support — and nowhere without it,” Koehler said in an August 2009 email to Energy Department officials.
The announcement triggered a flood of investor interest in Fisker. The company raised some $600 million before it ever sold a car.
Tundra Tabloids has provided extensive coverage of Bruce Oreck’s ambassadorship to Finland for the past four years, and has suggested that Oreck is exploiting his post to develop business contacts with Finland’s “green technology” sector.
So last Christmas, Oreck — who is, among other things, an amateur bodybuilder — sparked controversy by sending out a Christmas card in which he displayed his muscular left bicep. And this year, Oreck decided to mock his critics by sending a card with a photo of himself posing with four naked men in a Finnish sauna. Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican says this is all over the news in Finland:
Perhaps you disagree. She’s @AlyssaNewcomb on Twitter.