My reflection of both the Republican and DemocraticNational Conventions, from Tampa to Charlotte, with even the fact-checkers having to be fact checked, has been focused on green: renewable energy and taxpayer money.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan "slammed President Barack Obama over Solyndra during his acceptance speech." Not surprising considering the ads coming from the Romney camp, hammering away at the Obama administration's failed energy policies along with the crony capitalism charges leveled, a compelling case which the mainstream media is hell bent on either ignoring or shielding the president from.
Ryan declared, “It cost $831 billion –– the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government,” referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was sold to the American people, guaranteed by the Obama administration; as a means to stimulate a dying economy and create jobs. “It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst,” Ryan reinforced.
Conversely, President Obama made a series of energy claims, including renewable, during his acceptance speech, framing his energy policies as a success, and doubling down on his commitment to invest in clean energy.
Additionally, Obama denounced corporate welfare for oil companies at a convention that according to The Center for Public Integrity, was funded by “deep-pocketed corporate donors,” and one year to the day after Solyndra declared bankruptcy.
Steve Spinner: Obama Bundler and Former DOE Loan Programs Advisor
More amusing perhaps is the fact that the DNC rolled out the red carpet for the president's buddy, Steve Spinner, Obama bundler and former top advisor at the Department of Energy (DOE). Spinner, well known for his involvement and influence (ongoing investigation and internal emails prove) to the ill-fated, politically connected Solyndra, was spotted on the DNC stage, yet bolted for the exit as ABC news made several attempts to interview him.
Over the past two years, it has become perfectly clear that the Solyndra saga, once the poster child for the president's clean energy initiative, has morphed into the template for Obama's green corruption scandal: political payback. Yet, as most concluded a while ago, Solyndra is only the tip of the iceberg.
While this saga warrants an entire chapter, Spinner's part has been widely reported, including the fact that his wife's law firm was representing the California solar company, In October 2011, ABC News reported, "Allison Spinner's law firm, Wilson Sonsini, received $2.4 million in federal funds for legal fees related to the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra."
Further, it is generally known that George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire and another Obama bundler, was a 35 percent owner of Solyndra. In 2009 (at a Rotary Club event), Kaiser admitted he, "...was trying to get as much of Obama's giant stimulus payout as possible." It turns out that Mr. Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted that huge September 2009 DOE loan. Also, top Solyndra officials made their fair share of visits to the White House (20 visits between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011), as reported by The Daily Caller in August 2011.
An insulting aspect came when we found out that then-CEO Chris Gronet bragged, “The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” –– reports The Heritage Foundation this year. However, Solyndra executives didn't have much to say two years later, as they invoked their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions asked by the House Energy Committee.
What most don't know is that Fitch rated the Solyndra loan non-investment grade back in 2009, as revealed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012. Even so, Solyndra was not the only excessively risky loan doled out by the DOE. Through the DOE’s 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, over $16 billion of taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects; of which 23 were junk rated.
In a twist of fate, the DOE’s junk bond portfolio is where you’ll discover that 90 percent of these firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors) to President Obama (at least 16) and other high-ranking Democrats; or both, with four to Senator Harry Reid alone.
But the Solyndra saga continues...
As Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pushes for more Solyndra emails, the high-powered list of players caught up in this drama, from inside the DOE all the way to the White House, is already long and the details are so convoluted that I can only anticipate a reality show to air soon.
What started as an unworthy investment, snagged a 2010 White House endorsement, only to become a PR nightmare that included a loan restructuring (an apparent violation of the law) and even a plot to hide their troubles from the 2010 midterm glare. Solyndra became a cautionary tale of sorts: a failed Obama green investment, one of the first to go kaput, unethical executive bonuses included, leaving in its wake FBI raids, and a trail of resignations and damning emails, all evidence that Obama's "clean" energy is dirty.
Solyndra was a client of Goldman Sachs, and is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser,” Bloomberg notes. Goldman Sachs, as I discovered long ago, has their DNA all over this green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Goldman Sachs was the number two top Obama Donor that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign. Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 finance committee and two were bundlers for his 2008 campaign.
In addition to Spinner, Kaiser, Solyndra executives, and Goldman Sachs, we can add David Mann, a lobbyist and Obama Super Pac donor, who lobbied for Solyndra, to this saga. Recently The Washington Free Beacon (a great source for this scandal) uncovered that Mann was granted significant access to the White House, “He met with White House officials four times in under two years between 2010 and 2012.” The Beacon goes on, “Solyndra is the most prominent of Mann’s failed clients, but it is far from the only one.”
Moreover, GOP substantiated research informs us that, "every Obama Chief Of Staff, staffers across numerous agencies, government watchdogs, even Solyndra investors knew that the risks were too high for taxpayers."
Solyndra, which came from humble junk beginnings, now has its place in history: an art exhibit at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, at the price tag of half a billion taxpayer dollars.
Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group: Obama Bundler Serving on Energy Secretary Chu's Advisory Board
Now, it's unclear why former Vice President Al Gore's presence was missed at the DNC (climate change drama possibly), especially since he was a strong Obama supporter in 2008. Also, Gore's firm, Kleiner Perkins, along with his friend and partner, billionaire John Doerr, considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor" by New York Magazine, who in February 2011 hosted a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president, raked in billions of stimulus money for their clean-energy investments. The conflict runs deeper, as Doerr sits on the president's job council, and early on ultimately shaped what went into the energy section of the 2009 Obama stimulus package.
Kleiner Perkins is a firm that I began to unravel in 2010, stressing that over fifty percent of their Greentech Portfolio secured all kinds of loans, grants, and special tax breaks; yet it’s a firm to eventually revisit, because since 2010, they have tripled their green investments and there is much more to expose.