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Video of 'hooker' joke gives peek into green-energy aid handouts

  • March 21, 2012: Solar panels are pictured in the Nevada Desert at the Copper Mountain Solar Project in Boulder City, Nevada. (Reuters)

  • FILE: Feb. 10, 2011: Solar panel array, Little Rock, Ark.AP

A California venture capitalist whose affiliated companies have received more than $100 million in tax credits from the government has given a rare glimpse into how Washington distributed money to green energy firms.

In a video recently posted to YouTube from 2009, investor Paul Holland described -- in an off-color anecdote -- the reaction when a Department of Energy official attended a meeting with other investors to announce he was dispersing billions in federal funds. In doing so, he pulled back the curtain ever so slightly on the first steps the Obama administration took to distribute the money.

Holland said: "He came in to do his talk and opened his talk with, 'I'm Matt Rogers I'm the special assistant to the Secretary of Energy and I have $134 billion I have to disperse between now and the end of December.'

"So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard."

Rogers prefaced the remark by saying it's a "little bit off color." The crowd laughed anyway.

But the Republican National Committee, which posted the video to YouTube, didn't think it was so funny.

"As we learn more about the Obama administration's penchant for rewarding campaign donors with millions in taxpayer dollars meant to stimulate the economy and create jobs, it's clear Obama doesn't value our tax dollars," RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told FoxNews.com.

Holland is a general partner at the firm Foundation Capital and a big political contributor. He donated the maximum $2,300 to Obama's campaign during the 2008 primary, as well as another $2,300 to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign.

The companies in which Foundation Capital invested do not appear to have benefited from the Department of Energy program that Rogers was touting in the meeting Holland described.

Rather, one Foundation Capital-backed solar company and its affiliates benefited from more than $100 million in what amount to advance tax credits from a separate Treasury Department program, according to records.  

Holland did not return requests for comment from FoxNews.com. The Department of Energy also did not comment on the video.

The quote helps bolster the revived GOP message that the Obama administration engaged in "crony capitalism" by distributing stimulus dollars to well-connected businessmen. A recent Mitt Romney ad asks: "Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?" It then answers: "Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups."

Democrats contend that Romney and Republicans are trying to change the subject amid persistent questions about the former Massachusetts governor's tax returns and record at private equity firm Bain Capital.

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