Time for a Change in Sacramento and Washington

Former Antioch City Councilman, Contra Costa County Supervisor and biker Tom Torlakson rode off to a new position in Sacramento.

Now as the state school’s chief, Torlakson is touting his “Schools of the Future” initiative designed to change California laws to encourage more renewable power systems for state schools. (California just lost out on the race for a share of $300 million in Race to the Top funds because of an “incomplete” application.)

Interesting to note that U.S. Congressman George Miller is also touting renewable energy, more specifically a failing California solar company called SunPower. (Miller is now the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee.)

SunPower received a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electric ranch project three weeks AFTER announcing it was building a new manufacturing plant to build the panels for the project in Mexicali, Mexico.

What was Rep. George Miller’s connection to the project? The answer is his SunPower lobbyist son, George Miller IV. Although not a registered lobbyist in Washington, he’s a member of its bar, although not a member of the California bar, home of his lobbying firm, Lang, Hansen, O’Malley and Miller.

SunPower and its officers are defendants in a federal shareholder lawsuit whose plaintiffs include the Austin, Texas Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System and a number of institution investors in an alleged scheme to deceive the investing public by making false statements contrary to nonpublic information known to the insiders.

All this was known at the time it received it’s $1.2 billion loan guarantee from US taxpayers to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico.

Frankly it’s time for a change in Sacramento and Washington D.C. where lobbyists hold sway and members of Congress benefit from insider trading. Let’s start with voting for passage and enforcement of HR 1148, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.

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