Is the king of crony capitalism dethroned? Well, that is a difficult question to answer since it is still a close race between Jeffrey Immelt (G.E. which stands to benefit to the tune of untold billions of dollars from green energy projects as well as medical record digitization) and Eric Schmidt (Google which potentially could out perform G.E.)
But wait just a minute.....here comes Steve Westly, who is not exactly new to the game of crony capitalism. Steven Westly was a major contributor to the Obama campaign and a promoter of “alternative energy,” and following the election, duly received half-billion dollars in federal aid for his venture capital firm as well as an advisory position to the Energy Secretary. More interestingly, he stands to make billions more if you consider the $35 billion that the Department of Energy has in their green energy stash. The story in The Center For Public Integrity site is an interesting read indeed.
I find it amusing that: a) progressives used to point to Halliburton's no bid contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan under GWB Administration as the poster child of cronyism (nevermind the fact that Clinton Administration also had the same practice since Halliburton, which contributes to both political parties per Open Secrets, is one of the few companies diversified and competent enough to get the job done); and b) the dollar amounts involved were nothing compared to what G.E., Google, the Westly Group, et.al. stand to make for steadfastly supporting the President.
More critically, Halliburton, Bechtel, and other big contractors simply do the necessary work and their relationship with the government has no lasting impact on rest of America. On the other hand, the current crop of cronies are benefitting from the President's declared intention to fundamentally change America - in other words being complicit in destruction of the constitutional free market system.
Crony capitalism is wrong no matter who the president is, and the Obama Administration has taken it to an all new level.