A Salinas car manufacturing company that was expected to build environmentally friendly electric cars and create new jobs folded before almost any vehicles could run off the assembly line.
The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company.
All of that money is now gone, according to Green Vehicles President and Co-Founder Mike Ryan.
It's more than a half-mil, actually:
The start-up company set up shop in Salinas in the summer of 2009, after the city gave Ryan a $300,000 community development grant.
When the company still ran into financial trouble last year, the city of Salinas handed Ryan an additional $240,000. Green Vehicles also received $187,000 from the California Energy Commission.
Mike Ryan: A grifter who saw the City Council of Salinas as deep-pocketed marks. And hit the jackpot...
That a total $540K of Salinas taxpayer money pissed away by their dumb-as-dirt leadership, total of $727K. The funny part, of course, is that Salinas threw good money after bad. Does their city council have anyone on it with practical real-world investing experience?
Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the news. City officials were equally irked that Ryan notified them through an email that his company had crashed and burned.
You're "disappointed", Mayor Donohue? I think your constituents may be a bit more than that, seeing how you wasted their hard-earned money on a pig in a poke.
What's incredible is how easily our intellectual superiors get taken in by the green energy equivalents of "Three-Card Monte" dealers:
The start-up company promised city leaders that it would create 70 new jobs and pay $700,000 in taxes a year to Salinas.
Ryan had lofty goals, listing his company's mission as: "To make the best clean commuter vehicles in the world; To manufacture with a radical sense of responsibility; To engage in deep transparency as an inspiration for new ways of doing business."
Or, as Jerry Seinfeld once said, "yadda, yadda, yadda..."
Note to readers: Regarding the debt ceiling negotiations, what is one of the core "investments" that Barack Obama says must be funded by higher tax rates? Why, green energy, of course. As they say on the boardwalk, "what a pigeon!" (Of course, "mark" in this case is equally appropriate.)
Perhaps Obama needs to watch this video of Republican Presidential candidate Thadeus McCotter teaching us "How to Speak Democratic":
"Invest" translates to..."Waste"
Used in a sentence..."Democrats will invest your money".
Translation: "Democrats will waste your money".