Rank and file Democratic congressman’s brother dependent on government grants for company’s success

Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan of Missouri is a rank-and-file Democrat. According to, he has voted with the Democratic Party 99 percent of the time since he assumed office in 2005, and was among those who consistently espoused the merits of the 2009 stimulus package.

He has, in other words, been a good reliable Democrat for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. And it seems the obedience has not gone unnoticed.

Earlier this month, the White House released a report entitled, “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.” Number 18 on the list is Lost Creek Wind Farm in DeKalb County, Missouri, which received a $107 million grant from the Department of Energy. And it just so happens that Lost Creek was founded by Tom Carnahan – Russ’ brother.

But Tom’s history associated with the war against fossil fuels and the world of renewable energy is a short one, beginning in 2005 — the same year his brother entered Congress — when he quit his law practice to start Wind Capital Group LLC to develop wind energy in Missouri. At first, business wasn’t so great, and the Lost Creek project was put on hold. That is, until the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, and along with it, the establishment of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program.

That loan guarantee program, it turns out, has since buttered Tom Carnahan’s bread very nicely.

He even admitted as much in a 2009 interview when he said, “We never really liked to say it out loud…A few months ago, the banks were closed…The stimulus changed everything.”

Ed Martin, a Republican who is challenging Carnahan in November to represent Missouri’s third district, told the The Daily Caller that, “The stimulus has shown to be a payout to special interests and family members; it’s not focused on jobs,” adding that the Carnahans are a prime example.

“Americans know things like solar and wind power is a piece to a comprehensive energy plan, but the idea of spending millions on a wind farm is mind boggling,” said Martin. “It’s the worst of Washington in terms of insiders dealing with each other.”

But if the Carnahans have their way, the stimulus package won’t be the only government bailout Lost Creek will get. Both brothers are on record advocating a first-ever national Renewable Energy Standards (RES) bill that, until Wednesday, was working its way through the Senate.

The bill — introduced by Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas, a Republican, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, a Democrat — mandates that at least 15 percent of electricity generated by utility companies has to come from renewable energy sources by 2021. It is the latest offensive move by those fighting the war against fossil fuels, which suffered a defeat over the summer when it became clear cap and trade legislation was dead in the Senate.

But before Congress went home, there was a rush to pass a standalone RES bill before the midterm elections when, presumably, the Republicans will gain much more influence and put all climate change legislation in the bottom drawer.

As a result, RES is being pushed by all kinds of environmental groups, trade groups, and businesses that make up the RES Alliance for Jobs – a coalition organized specifically to lobby for RES. One of its members is Wind Capital Group – Tom Carnahan’s company that is building Lost Creek.

Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute told TheDC that a national renewable electricity standard has been tried before. And, what’s more, it doesn’t work. Instead of resulting in environmentally-friendly states, he said, electricity standards drive manufacturing out because of increased electricity costs.

NEXT: Myron Ebell explains the impact of a national renewable electricity standard

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  • loudog

    Touched a nerve I see,

    “Energy Department officials described the process as automatic; the Treasury Department is required to issue the payments to those who qualify within 60 days of application.”

    All you have to do is qualify. If that’s true then you have no corruption, just election campaign innuendo.

    • truebearing


      This IS corruption. It is crony capitalism and is ironically exactly what the whining, hypocritical left always bitches about when they attack “the good old boy” capitalists. The entire family is involved in leftist politics, and they got their money because of connections. This is the “good old leftist boy” at work, and everyone knows it.

      Not only is the money trail festooned with raw sewage, but the whole wind farm “solution” to energy has been proven to be an exaggerated, trumped up bunch of lies. It hasn’t worked in Europe, and there are serious problems with its viability here. Unless we can get more consistency from the wind by having enviro-nitwits blather at the windmills nonstop, it seems there isn’t enough steady wind to rely on, and Al Gore requires a LOT of food to keep his bellows pumping.

      BTW, why didn’t they put the wind farm out in front of the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod? Oh, that’s right. Liberal multi-millionaires think their view is more important than clean energy.

      If you think your pathetic attempts to convince us it wasn’t corrupt are working, you are smoking some mighty strong stuff.

      • loudog

        Using the ole “it’s true because I said so” arguement. Very persuasive.

        • truebearing

          As opposed to your typical “I lied, therefore you should believe me” crap?

          Not persuasive at all.

          Why don’t you see if ThinkProgress has any new propaganda to peddle. There might be a Big Mac in it for ya.

      • Anthony Brown Jr.

        Another way to put this disgusting act is that it is an act of mercantilism.

        • loudog

          So, no family member of a politician can produce a wind farm without corruption taking place? Can they work in the oil industry without corruption?

  • des1

    Loudog…“Can’t even make an arguement for corruption? Don’t worry, not everyone is familiar with critical analysis, you’re not alone.”

    No, I said I wasn’t worried about taking your bait since your side of the aisle gave us 9/11 Truthers and screams of “Blood for oi” and claimed we invaded Iraq to enrich Haliburton. For you to suddenly decide that the appearance of corruption is not good enough without iron-clad proof is to say the least, amusing.

    My claim is that no other lawyer in the country could have quit his profession and 5 years later get $107 million from the government to fund his windmill project (that he has absolutely no experience in). Since his brother is a well-connected Congressman who votes with the party 99% of the time, I’m perfectly within my rights to assume that the situation stinks of corruption. You are welcome to prove me wrong or just say that you disagree with my opinion, but if your position is now that we aren’t allowed to say something seems corrupt without proof, be prepared to never say anything about Republicans again (of course we know that being the hypocrite you are, you’re just creating this facetious argument to show your sycophantic love to your chosen party).

  • erick1740

    Another democrat criminal, what a revelation.