TPM is all over the saga unfolding in Colorado of senate candidate Bob Schaffer's dirty fuel connections. The nuts and bolts of it basically go like this. A Denver businessman named Bill Orr lobbies Congress and gets a $3.6 million earmark to help develop some new kind of non-polluting fuel. And he sets up the National Alternative Fuels Foundation to get your tax dollars for the earmark. The only problem was that "science" Orr used to get the EPA to fork over $2 million of the $3.6 million of earmarked money was apparently bogus. And as will happen in such cases, it's gotten him indicted by the Feds for multiple counts of defrauding the government. Now, Schaffer was still in the House when Orr got his prized earmark. And then not long after he gave up his House seat, he signed on as a "director" at Orr's highly-credible-sounding National Alternative Fuels Foundation. In other words, Schaffer was a board member of Orr's outfit/racket during at least part of the time Orr was allegedly bilking the government out of its money. Somewhere, likely on a mountain in the Rockies, Mark Udall is smiling.
Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.