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Wealthy eBay co-founder Steve Westly, who campaigned for the Democratic Party's nomination to run against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the last gubernatorial election, has kept busy by investing in startups like Akeena Solar, and he's not just helping with venture capital. He's also using his campaign's email database to promote the company to San Franciscans, urging them to participate in Mayor Gavin Newsom's solar power rebate program — by buying products from Akeena Solar:

Anita and I just installed solar panels on our home, and we couldn’t be happier. We used a firm called Akeena Solar which has been in business for several years and has offices around the state. If you’ve ever thought of putting solar on your home—there has never been a better time.

Shilling for your own company without disclosure is certainly one way to pass the baton to presumptive Governator challenger Gavin Newsom, who will undoubtedly point to this program to give wealthy San Francisco property owners taxpayer money for a handful of solar panels as an example of his stellar environmental record. Mixing business and politics and implementing costly new tax incentive programs while slashing the budget for social services? God bless America. (Photos by AP/Branimir Kvartuc and AP/Eric Risberg)