From the leftist Washington Post.
A major donor to President Barack Obama discussed with White House officials a solar energy company that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and later went bankrupt, newly released emails show.
The emails released by a House committee appear to contradict repeated assurances by the Obama administration that the donor, George Kaiser, never talked about Solyndra Inc. with the White House.
Solyndra’s name came up at a White House meeting with Kaiser last year at a time when the California company was seeking a second federal loan, after it had already received a $528 million loan in 2009, the emails show.
The second loan was not approved. Instead, an investment venture controlled by Kaiser made a private loan that resulted in the firm and other investors moving ahead of taxpayers in line for repayment in case of a default by Solyndra.
Solyndra, the first renewable energy company to receive a federal loan under the 2009 stimulus law, declared bankruptcy in September and laid off its 1,100 workers, leaving taxpayers on the hook for more than a half-billion dollars.
The company’s implosion and revelations that administration officials rushed to complete the loan in time for a September 2009 groundbreaking have become an embarrassment for Obama and a rallying cry for GOP critics of his green energy program.
Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire, was a “bundler” for Obama’s 2008 campaign, raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president, records show. He also was a frequent White House visitor in 2009 and 2010. White House officials for months have denied that Kaiser talked about Solyndra during those visits. One the nation’s richest men, Kaiser owns an oil company and other energy interests and is chief donor to the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which invests in early childhood education and community health.
In one email released Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Kaiser said that when he and a foundation official visited the White House last year, officials showed “thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one their prime poster children” for renewable energy.
In another email, a Kaiser associate appears confident that Energy Secretary Steven Chu would approve a second loan for Solyndra.
“It appears things are headed in the right direction and Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra’s application and continues to talk up the company as a success story,” Steve Mitchell, managing director of Kaiser’s venture-capital firm, Argonaut Private Equity, wrote in a March 5, 2010, e-mail. Mitchell also served on Solyndra’s board of directors.
It’s very important for voters to understand what the Obama administration means when it talks about “jobs bills”, “shovel-ready projects”, “infrastructure development” and “economic stimulus”. What they mean by those words is giving taxpayer money to their campaign fundraisers. And that’s why the unemployment rate has been over 9% for the last three years, and we are running 1.3 trillion dollar deficits.
Do you know what Republicans would do if they were in office? They would let you keep more of the money you earn, and to hell with corruption. That’s what a tax cut is – more money for you, and less money for politicians. Think about it. The smaller the government, the less opportunity there is for this sort of greed and corruption.
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- This one graph should end the debate on wind and solar energy
- Obama to conduct campaign fundraiser with wind power stimulus recipient
- How well did Obama’s green jobs spending work out for taxpayers?
- Obama administration knew $535 million Solyndra loan was too risky
- Obama administration reworked Solyndra loan to favor private donors
- Solyndra CEO and CFO will refuse to answer questions in Congressional hearing
- Marsha Blackburn beats up Al Gore on cap and trade corruption