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WH Worried Solyndra Might Hurt Re-Election

From the party loyalists at the Associated Press:

White House worried about Solyndra default

White House worried about Solyndra default’s effects on Obama re-election campaign

Matthew Daly, Associated Press
September 15, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials discussed the political ramifications of a possible default by a troubled solar energy company that received more than $500 million in federal loans, newly released emails show.

Emails released Thursday night show that Obama administration privately worried about the effect of a default by Solyndra Inc. on the president’s re-election campaign.

"The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad," an official from the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a Jan. 31 email to a senior OMB official. "The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up."

The email, released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of its investigation into the Solyndra loan, showed that Obama administration officials were concerned about Solyndra’s financial health even as they publicly declared the solar panel maker in good shape

It’s almost as if you can’t trust anything this administration says.

The Silicon Valley company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under the 2009 stimulus law, and the Obama administration frequently touted Solyndra as a model for its clean energy program. President Barack Obama visited the company’s Fremont, Calif., headquarters last year.

And Solyndra’s officials and investors returned the favor by visiting the White House at least 20 times over the last three years.  Also, according to ABC News reports, the loan to Solyndra was ‘fast tracked’ within six days of Obama moving into the White House.

It is clear that Solyndra was a top priority for the Obama administration from day one.

Even as Obama praised the company’s plans to hire more than 1,000 workers, warning signs were being sent from within the government and from outside analysts who questioned Solyndra’s viability as a "going concern."

At least three reports by federal watchdogs over the past two years warned that the Energy Department had not fully developed the controls needed to manage the multibillion-dollar loan program that provided more the loan to Solyndra Inc., a now-bankrupt solar panel manufacturer.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that a White House official dismissed reports about Solyndra’s gloomy future. An email from Greg Nelson, a White House official who had been involved in the planning of Obama’s May 2010 trip to Solyndra’s headquarters, to a Solyndra executive downplayed a July 2010 news story in a trade publication that criticized the company’s financial health.

"Seems B.S.," Nelson wrote.

A 2009 report by the Energy Department’s inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks.

In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees.


The report did not publicly identify the companies that were not properly vetted, but congressional investigators say one of them was Solyndra. The company was the first to receive a loan guarantee after the program was expanded under the 2009 stimulus law.

In March, DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman again faulted the loan program for poor record keeping. A report by Friedman said the program "could not always readily demonstrate, through systematically organized records … how it resolved or mitigated relevant risks prior to granting loan guarantees." According to the report, the department kept limited or no electronic data on 15 of 18 loan guarantees examined

A report last year by auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers said Solyndra had suffered recurring losses from operations and negative cash flows, raising "substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern."

But last May, a Solyndra email informed the White House that "things are going well" at the company and that it had "good market momentum, the factory is ramping up and our plan puts at cash positive later this year. Hopefully, we’ll have a great story to tell toward the end of the year."

Nelson, the White House official, replied: "Fantastic to hear that business is doing well — keep up the good work! We’re cheering for you." …

Rah rah!

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “WH Worried Solyndra Might Hurt Re-Election”

  1. BigOil says:

    A perfect case study for centralized planning. Solyndra should be written up and added to the communist manifesto as an addendum.

    What truly boggles the mind is – despite this fiasco – Barry the Great is parading around the country demanding another half trillion dollars to further Solindrize our economy. I guess we will find out soon enough who is more clueless – Barry or the majority of the country.

  2. Petronius says:

    They probably shouldn’t worry too much about the bad optics of Solyndra.

    So long as the public eye is fixed on Solyndra, their attention will be diverted away from other scandals, such as Operation Fast and Furious, the Boeing case, nonenforcement of immigration laws, wasteful stimulus spending, the public debt, the Iraq 3,000, the ongoing push for subprime mortgages, tampering with Gen. Shelton’s testimony, etc.

    With any luck, the voters may become so absorbed in Solyndra they will even forget about the economy and unemployment.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Seems they like to do everything “fast and furious” so as to maintain the old bromide, “It’s easier to apologize than it is to get permission”. But they never do either anyway, so, what exactly is the point? Perhaps it’s the new bormide, “We’re gonna do what we want and to hell with you.”

  4. untrainable says:

    No matter how much evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered (and I’m confident that there are boatloads of evidence proving wrongdoing) this scandal will amount to nothing. As long as Eric “The Holdup” Holder is running the justice department, the regime has it’s friends running interference. Evidence will disappear. Witnesses will be threatened. And I’m quite sure that if you keep your eyes on the people involved in this disgusting sham, you’ll see them either getting more money for different reasons, or getting cushy government jobs with no duties but a high taxpayer funded salaries. The pattern is already established. Look at fast & furious. The men who should be in prison for that deal have all been promoted.

    The Obama administration is the most shining example of corruption and criminal behavior in the history of America. Decades from now they will still be trying to straighten out the mess they’ve made in the last 3 years.

  5. Right of the People says:

    “And Solyndra’s officials and investors returned the favor by visiting the White House at least 20 times over the last three years.”

    I wonder how much of the 1/2 a billion ended up in the O’ster’s campaign warchest? 20 visits with probably at least one briefcase full of purloined cash per visit with at least 2 mill in each briefcase, that’s a paltry 40 million or enough for a couple of months of ads slandering his opponent. Of course there may have been more than one person toting the briefcase(s).

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