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LightSquared CEO Resigns Amid Appearance of Bribery 211

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the punished-with-huge-severance-package dept.
New submitter msauve writes "LightSquared, the company who's request to use make use of spectrum in a way likely to interfere with GPS was recently denied, has suffered another setback. CEO Sanjiv Ahuja has now resigned, only a week after a report detailing political contributions and the personal financial interests of Obama and officials in his administration in SkyTerra, the precursor company to LightSquared. Ahuja's one and only contribution to the Democratic Party occurred on the same day he tried to arrange a meeting with Obama administration officials, apparently as part of LightSquared's desire to fast track FCC approval of a change beneficial to the company."
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LightSquared CEO Resigns Amid Appearance of Bribery

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  • Important to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekoid (135745) <(dadinportland) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @12:32PM (#39198387) Homepage Journal

    He attempt to do what many /.ers say happen all the time, and got busted.

  • Re:Important to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:01PM (#39198817)

    The only thing 'funny' about it is that LightSquared's CEO didn't anything for his 'donation'. No private audience with Obama and no fast-track approval for the company's idiotic plan.

    The Democratic Party took the donation and treated it as a donation while the administration killed the company, which is exactly what should have happened. For once, the system worked as intended.

  • Re:Important to note (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Straif (172656) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:42PM (#39199397) Homepage

    F&F is 100% Obama's; it began in 2009.

    "Wide Receiver" was a Bush program that failed but unlike F&F, WR was at least set up to track the weapons they allowed to be sold to the cartels. The 450 guns the ATF allowed to be sold under WR were tagged with RFID chips and tracked through aerial surveillance. Of course the ATF did a awful job tagging them and used RFID with short battery lives and also damaged most of them when installing them, reducing their effectiveness. There were also refueling issues with the surveillance they opened huge windows in the smuggling window.

    F&F, on the other hand, allowed over 1600 weapons to be sold to suspected traffickers without even the smallest attempt to track them. It was essentially a "let's just see what happens" type of deal.

    Solyndra and Beacon Power were the loan recipients that outright failed but here are several other green energy companies that received loans under the DOE program that are hemorrhaging money. The independent auditor put the current risk at about $2.7 billion loss on loans totaling about $24 billion but even on the companies that will be making payments it's expected the terms will be renegotiated since they are having some difficulty. Solyndra and Beacon were excluded because they had already failed at the time of the review.

    In general, the government should not be in the game of picking winners and losers in the market. It's fine to give some assistance to emerging markets (I'd prefer limited tax write offs as opposed to outright loans or loan guarantees) but when the Feds pick company A over company B that is artificially affecting the market and it is no longer free.

  • Re:Important to note (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Feyshtey (1523799) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:48PM (#39199497)
    Here's a list of 5 green energy companies that recieved gauranteed loans through the DOE, and have since filed for bankruptcy :
    Solyndra
    Beacon Power
    SpectraWatt
    Evergreen Solar
    AES - Eastern Energy

    Here are more that got loans are having notable difficulties:
    A123
    Fisker Automotive
    Nevada Geothermal
    Sun Power
    First Solar


    These alone are putting the taxpayers on the hook for $6billion. It's not that there was a company that failed. It's that there is a laundry list of companys that have and continue to fail. They were given financial ratings as low as CCC+, which would prevent me from getting a used car loan, and yet the Obama administration "encouraged" the DOE to fast track loans. Any one of these loans were bad investments by anyone's defintion, but we dont have 1 or 2. We have a list, and the predictions from economists and business analysts suggest that the list will continue to grow. And THEN if you cross-reference these failed or struggling companies with the list of Obama and Democratic party contributions it's enough to make your blood start to boil. http://www.popmodal.com/video/11918/Obama-does-it-again-11-green-energy-failures-costing-Billions-of-your-money [popmodal.com]
  • Re:Important to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:34PM (#39200155)

    I don't buy the "Bribery" angle that's just more anti-obama birther nonsense.

    It's true that the Democratic party received about $20k from Falcone in 2010. But the Republican Party received nearly $50k in 2008.

    If you go through his political contributions he tended to shotgun across party lines. And none of the money in 08 was for Obama. It was almost exclusively for Senatorial candidates and Giuliani and Chris Dodd.
    http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/philip-falcone.asp?cycle=08 [campaignmoney.com]

    And yes I do imagine there was some Lightsquared/Obama white house conversations--One of Obama's campaign promises was broadband for all. Lightsquared promised to deliver on that promise for the president. I'm unaware of another company which Lightsquared favoritism would have pushed out of business. By the very nature of their technology it seemed that there *can't* be a competitor since they themselves don't work. ;)

  • Re:Important to note (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Straif (172656) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:07PM (#39200593) Homepage

    F&F did not involve legal gun sales that just happened to end up being misused, it involved illegal gun sales to suspected traffickers. Gun store owners were directly instructed to illegally sell guns and were told that the ATF would be tracking them. The owners were actually very wary about making the sales but were instructed to keep selling by the ATF agents in charge.

    So people are crying foul because A) the ATF had to instruct shop owners to disregard local, state and federal laws to sell the guns in question, B) there was no real program in place to track the illegally sold guns which led to terrible consequences and C) people in Washington are already using F&F as an excuse to talk about toughening gun laws even though the laws in place to prevent just such sales had to be expressly ignored to allow the program to take place.

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