Last Updated:October 25 @ 08:07 am

Rich Obama donor pushed White House for Solyndra loan

By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON (AP) - Newly released emails show that, contrary to White House claims, a major donor to President Barack Obama pushed for a loan to a solar energy company that later went bankrupt. The donor, George Kaiser, pushed White House and Energy Department officials for a second loan for Solyndra Inc. last year, after the California company 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 and major Obama donor, 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.

The emails and other released Wednesday were obtained through a request to major investors for Solyndra-related documents, said Sean Bonyun, a spokesman for the Energy Committee.

The emails were released as the White House faces a Thursday deadline to respond to a committee subpoena for White House documents related to Solyndra.

White House officials accused the GOP-led committee of misleading the public by making it appear that Kaiser pushed for the original 2009 loan rather than the emergency loan last year, which was never approved.

"Even the documents cherry-picked by House Republicans today affirm what we have said all along: This loan was a decision made on the merits at the Department of Energy," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in an email Wednesday. "Nothing in the 85,000 pages of documents produced thus far by the administration or in these four (emails) indicate any favoritism to political supporters. We wish that House Republicans were as zealous about creating jobs as they were about this oversight investigation."

Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who heads a subcommittee that is investigating the Solyndra loan, said the emails contradict White House claims that Kaiser did not actively lobby White House officials on Solyndra.

"It is clear from these documents that Kaiser and his employees enjoyed ready access to the West Wing of the White House and exercised influence throughout the loan process," Stearns said.

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12 Comments

  1. mcrankComment by mcrank
    November 10, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    Absolutely typical of this administration—even when they get caught red-handed—they STILL deny wrongdoing and STILL point their fingers at whoever caught them trying to make it look as though they were set up.

    A total bunch of liars and arrogant con artists.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (16 votes cast)
    • downdraftComment by downdraft
      November 10, 2011 @ 10:11 am

      “A total bunch of liars and arrogant con artists.”

      “…con artists”? No…we out here were not conned…but they are liars, they are thieves, and OBAMA is being told just what to do…

      ABSOLUTELY NO ONE COPULD BE THIS STUPID…(not even BIDEN)…but these people are THIEVES…OBAMA, BIDEN, and of greatest concern is that they simply have to be PUPPETS, …of someone…

      And we MUST follow the money and see where it lands…

      WE MUST DEMAND A THOROUGH (not fake) INVESTIGATION…

      IMPEACH…for crying out loud, just what does it take?…I sometimes think the GOP is also involved with this…anyone hear the candidates grab hold of this?

      Seems to me its as juicy as it gets and a candidate can really make points if they grabbed hold and twisted OBAMA…

      No? …wishful thinking 

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)
  2. brucefeherComment by Bruce Feher
    November 10, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Say it isn’t so; malfeasance in Washington DC?

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    Rating: 4.0/5 (5 votes cast)
  3. downdraftComment by downdraft
    November 10, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I often wonder why the American voters constantly trust politicians to make sound business and money decisions, especially of such magnitude as our taxes furnish…

    In addiditon to that, we tax payers pay tremendous salaries to so-called “Czars” who allegedly are financial experts…in loans of this magnitude the recipient of such a loan has to jump through hoops, show ther color of their underwear, warts, complete P&L, marketing forecasts, explanation in detail of previous losses…and just how they would use the funds loaned…

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Solyndra was in deep manure and way over their head, and had simply thrown money (our money) at the problems.

    If a technology is worth its salt, and has produced results consistantly, then private lenders would stumble and fall over each other to invest…the fact that a private loan was rejected was in itself a red flag, and the OBIMBO White House, the Oval Office, OBIMBO himself chose to ignore these danger signs…why?

    Because they know only one thing about money and that is SPEND…

    And they ignored these signs because the “technology” was “exciting”…but flawed..

    And they wanted to be seen as  scientifically sound and ahead of the curve…yeah, beyond their wildest dreams..

    Had any other private company mismanaged as Solyndra has, it would be pounced upon by the lenders and stock holders…

    And the fact they sought a loan(s) from us Voters was in itself a sign of a “last ditch stand”…

    If I were investigating the fiasco here, I would want to know just how much “investigating” the Oval Office did, and WHY the loan was approved (i.e., on what basis, on what information found that said it was a good investment).

    WE ARE BEING TAKEN…VOTERS…BY TRAINED THIEVES…

    OBAMA IS WRITTEN ALL OVER THIS…its a form of MONEY LAUNDERING…this laundered money will find its way to OBAMA…

    TRUST ME! (GEEZ, we are stupid)

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (12 votes cast)
  4. onewildmanComment by onewildman
    November 10, 2011 @ 11:14 am

     What did you expect from this administration? Lying is a daily exercise with these Bozos (forgive me Bozo). It wasn’t just Kaiser who was backing this group. I would like to know if the California Democratic Party also pushed this at the White House. They were also invested in Solyndra. I bet they get their money back before the government.
     to the point, the hypocrite in the White House is the same one who complained about Cheney with back room deals. It seams to me Obama makes Cheney look like a choir boy. Whatever ever Cheney did it didn’t do the damage that Obama has done to the US and all of it’s citizens.
     
    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! !

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (9 votes cast)
  5. IronbearComment by Ironbear
    November 10, 2011 @ 11:35 am

     More instances of Crime, Inc and the Liar-in-Thief! I wonder if Solyndra was nothing more than an elaborate money laundering scheme funneling kickbacks to the Obama machine.

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (8 votes cast)
    • FLChristyBComment by FLChristyB
      November 10, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

      Where do you think Odumbo is getting his millions in campaign donations? Payback for funneling taxpayer ‘stimulus’ funds to his supporters! The only things that $800 billion stimulated were wealthy donors and the unions, who will pay him back by supporting his campaign, and cheating in every way imaginable to see him continue to pollute our White House for 4 more years…

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (6 votes cast)
  6. JDZComment by JDZ
    November 10, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    This administration is more corrupt then even the Nixon or Clinton administration but they continue to deny any wrongdoing and just keep behaving badly. This behavior is the epidemy of the arrogant Chicago style politics exhibited to the public at the national level.

    Our government should never…NEVER…be gambling with taxpayer money, which is what is going on with high risk investments like Solyndra and these solar energy companies. Obama thinks he is in the venture capital business which has a track record of about one out of ten successes with most investors losing their money. I would like to know how the $535 Million was handled through the investment process and how the investors will recover any portion of their investment through the bankruptcy process. If the US government investment was put at the bottom of the recovery priority after being the largest and most recent investor, then it was a disaster in the making from the get go for the American taxpayers, and a gift from Obama to his friends who were earlier investors. Basically, what Obama may have done is helped reduce the losses of his friends at taxpayer expense.

    There appears to be a cover-up of some sort by the administration which tells me that something stinks
    relative to how this deal was structured from the get go.

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
    • downdraftComment by downdraft
      November 10, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

      Cover up? Yep…

      But at every angle you look at this you see shades of Watergate and Nixon….but Nixon was a piker compared to these BOZOs (yep BOZOs one wildman)…

      CHeck it out..the DOJ, the Attorney General, the FBI, the MilitaryChgiefs, the Media, the Senate, absolutely everyone we voters look to to protect us from CHicago Crooks, belongs to the crooks…everyone…

      And each has his or her handout…bleeding America and LAUGHING, and LAUGHTING, and LAUGHING at all of us as they count their part of the “take”…

      So…what do we do? Our GOP are whimps, and are scared to death of whomever is pulling Obama’s strings…everyone has a peice of the action, except you and me folks…we just pay the bills…

      Hitler RAPED GERMANY…anyone here notice when a rape is taking place?

      Of course we do…I truly believe this nation will EXPLODE in ANGER…just what he wants, just what he has bee ordered to make happen…

      …but soon it will be too much too late!

      What we have here amongst us is a belief that our “safeguards” our GOP, our Supreme Courts, our FBI, our Homeland Security, our DOJ, our Attorney General….all our safeguards…will take care of all this…

      Nope…they are part of the problem…if anything, WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY THING STANDING IN THEIR WAY…to completely breaking this nation to its knees…

      Doesn’t it seem strange to you that none of the candidates seem to be taking notice, seem to be alarmed?

      So whats happening, and when?

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  7. jer68Comment by jer68
    November 10, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    We, the peole of USA, need to call, email, and fax to our spineless Congress to impeach Obama on lies and a traitor.  There are more on the left want Obama to drop out Presidental race and let someone who can beat Right.  Biden will not run because he will go down with Obama.  IF Obama goes down and go to jail with Biden sharing the same handcuffs.  When Obama is out then most his followers will going to jail and be cell mates with Obama.   I am so mad at Obama, this is first President I wanted to throw in jail and lose the key for all the damage he has done in past 3 years.  I been voting since 60.  Nixon and Carter were dumb crooks but they did not need any jail time.

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  8. EllenComment by Ellen
    November 10, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    Save our country.  Get rid of Obama and his czars.  Chjicago has moved to Washington and the American people are being lied to every time Obama and his cronies open their mouths.

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    Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)
  9. wolfComment by wolf
    November 11, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    THe White House says Republicans should focus their energy on jobs like they are on this investigation.

    Hmmm…I would certainly hope we could elect officials that can chew gum and walk at the same time.  While Republicans have focused on the Gun Runner fiasco and Solyndra…they have ALSO sent 22 bi-partisan jobs bills to the Senate, where Democrat Dirty Harry Reid will not even bring them up for discussion.

    Let’s start telling the truth, White House.  And if they’d stop all the law-breaking and constitution subversion…we wouldn’t HAVE to be focused on those things.  Geeez….what a novel idea.   

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    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

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