Figures. Another Top Obama Bundler Was Pushing Solyndra Deal While His Wife Represented the Solar Firm
On May 26, 2011, the White House posted this video praising Solyndra as a Recovery Act success story. In August, Barack Obama’s gleaming example of green technology – Solyndra – filed for bankruptcy. The solar panel manufacturer squandered $535 million of stimulus money in a little over a year.
Top Obama bundler George Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. And top Solyndra officials also made numerous visits — 20 — to the White House, according to logs and reporting by The Daily Caller. Solyndra officials in the logs included chairman and founder Christian Gronet and board members Thomas Baruch and David Prend. The company secured the $535 million loan despite the fact that it was widely known Solyndra was in deep economic trouble and had negative cash flows since its inception.
Kaiser said he did not use political influence or talk to administration officials about a massive government loan to Solyndra. However, the Solyndra investor made multiple visits to the White House in the week before the Department of Energy approved a $535 billion guaranteed loan to Solyndra on March 20, 2009
But, Barack Obama had no regrets.
In fact, Barack Obama was so impressed with the failed solar company that the administration wanted to give it another $469 million on top of the $535 million to make it an even billion dollars in taxpayer cash.
Now we find out that another one of Barack Obama’s top donors was involved in pushing the deal.
One of Barack Obama’s top bundlers pushed the administration to approve the Solyndra deal as his wife’s law firm represented the the solar company.
An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the administration’s energy loan program pushed and prodded career Department of Energy officials to move faster in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra, even as his wife’s law firm was representing the California solar company, according to internal emails made public late Friday.
“How hard is this? What is he waiting for?” wrote Steven J. Spinner, a high-tech consultant and energy investor who raised at least $500,000 for the candidate before being appointed to a key job helping oversee the energy loan guarantee program. “I have OVP [the Office of the Vice President] and WH [the White House] breathing down my neck on this.”
Many of the emails were written just days after Spinner accepted a three-page ethics agreement in which he pledged he would “not participate in any discussion regarding any application involving [his wife’s law firm] Wilson [Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati].”
The $535 million loan to Solyndra was ultimately approved in 2009 and for months was touted by President Obama as a model of his efforts to create new jobs in the emerging field of clean energy. But in late August, the company abruptly shut its doors and days later declared it was filing for bankruptcy.