Phoenix New Times: ‘No Handouts’ Jim Lamon Accepted $3B in Government Aid and Squandered It, Laying off American workers

For Immediate Release
Monday, July 11, 2022
Contact: Hannah Goss,

Phoenix New Times: ‘No Handouts’ Jim Lamon Accepted $3B in Government Aid and Squandered It, Laying off American workers 
PHOENIX — On Friday, a new report from the Phoenix New Times revealed that GOP Senate primary candidate Jim Lamon’s company took $3 billion in government aid and then squandered it, costing American workers their jobs.
On the campaign trail, Lamon relentlessly boasts about his record as a businessman, insisting that government should “get the hell out of the way” of American businesses.
But, according to the Phoenix New Times’ report, Lamon himself “took a leading role” in utilizing government aid, spearheading failed ventures that ultimately led the company to lay off “nearly one-third of its workforce.”
See below for key excerpts or check out the full story here:

  • Despite billions of dollars in federal help throughout his career in the solar energy sector, U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Lamon insists government should “get the hell out of the way” of American businesses.
  • But in December 2020, Lamon accepted $2,660,600 in federal relief from the Paycheck Protection Program…However, in October 2021, Lamon said DEPCOM “[did] not want to be on subsidies…” “As an industry, we need to stand on our own two feet,” he said.
  • But Lamon, who is the former senior vice president of engineering, procurement, and construction at Tempe-based First Solar, Inc., knows a thing or two about financial help, too.
  • In 2011, First Solar received more than $3 billion in loan guarantees from the Obama administration to build the Agua Caliente, Antelope Valley, and Desert Sunlight solar farms in Arizona and California. First Solar later announced it was cutting American jobs.
  • Lamon took a leading role in the three projects that were funded by the $3 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees in 2012.
  • Lamon’s team built the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch in Los Angeles County in 2012, and he was involved in controversial settlement talks that resulted in furloughed American workers. The solar panel connectors Lamon planned to install were not certified by the common U.S. standard for use with such a large system, which caused a halt in construction and furloughs of 230 construction workers.
  • The furloughs were “a severe blow” to a town in metro Los Angeles suffering from a high rate of unemployment, where “recent studies found as many as one in three homeowners behind and/or underwater with their mortgages,” Greentech Media reported at the time.
  • After telling Congress the company was “financially strong,” First Solar laid off 2,000 employees, nearly one-third of its workforce, in 2012.
  • On the 2012 presidential campaign trail, Republican nominee Mitt Romney spotlighted the controversy in a campaign ad, noting that First Solar accepted billions from the federal government and then laid-off workers.
  • At both First Solar and DEPCOM, Lamon benefited from government programs to help his companies…Still, in April, Lamon preached that “Washington has no clue what it’s like to make a payroll. They’ve got to get the hell out of the way of the American worker and American business and allow them to produce the jobs that we can.”


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