In 2009, in the week before the 535 million loan guarantee was approved, billionaire George B. Kaiser, who personally donated $53,500 to Obama’s election campaign (and indirectly through Solyndra and his "investment vehicles" a lot more), visited the White House four times, according to visitor logs. In sum, he was responsible for 16 out of 20 visits to the White House by Solyndra officials. One Department of Energy staffer even wrote just days before the loan was officially announced: “[Solyndra] seems to agree that the model runs out of cash in Sept. 2011.” - A prediction which turned out to be accurate. |
Two of Solyndra's largest investors are Argonaut Ventures I, L.L.C. and the GKFF Investment Company, LLC. Both firms are "investment vehicles" of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Interesting (and very unusual) is that Argonaut Ventures was given the first priority of creditors to be repaid in the case of bankruptcy. (All other private investors of course are far behind in the list and will therefore lose all their money.) According to US law 10 C.F.R. §609.10, the U.S. government should become the highest priority creditor, but of course the Obama administration would have to execute this law. During the time the company had operating losses, the Kaiser foundations could offset them with earnings to gain tax benefits. Meanwhile Energy Department officials pressed Solyndra to hold off on a layoff announcement until after the 2010 midterm elections.
In September 2011, Solyndra finally went bankrupt and a Congressional investigation of the matter was started. Initially, the investigation was greeted by Solyndra executives who invoked their right to remain silent and a White House unwilling to cooperate. After the investigators secured a subpoena, the White House at first only released a part of the documents and a speaker made the statement that to release the rest would be a "significant intrusion on executive branch interests," a statement revealing the moral degeneration and complete lack of understanding of "checks and balances" by the Obama administration. After a public outcry, Obama changed his mind and promised to fullfill the subpoena, however the White House still missed the deadline for doing so.
Finally, in November, Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy, in a bold move took responsibility while at the same time refused to take any blame. He said that at the time he thought that giving half a billion dollars to an unproven upstart company was "in the best interest of the taxpayer" and of course he didn't know that his own staff predicted the bankruptcy. Chu also denies that political considerations had any influence in his decision and the fact that the primary owner of Solyndra was an Obama fundraiser was just an accident. However even Steve Mitchell, the managing director of Argonaut Ventures, wrote in an email in 2010: “The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically.”
The bigger picture Solyndra is not an isolated case, in fact many Obama fundraisers have received government loans, some of them much more than Solyndra:
These facts should immediately make clear why billionaires usually embrace higher taxes and fund socialists or even communists. After all, they usually get their billions from the taxpayer.
- Brighsource Energy received $1.6 billion. The "senior advisor" is Robert Kennedy Jr., an early Obama backer.
- Solar reserve received $737 million. The main investor is Micheal Froman who raised $500,000 for Obama.
- Abound Solar received $400 million. A key investor is billionaire heiress Pat Stryker, who financed Obama's inaugural party with $87,000 and the Democratic Party with hundreds of thousands more.
- Granite Reliable Wind Generation received $169 million. The majority owner is a firm which was run by Nancy Ann DeParle, who is now White House deputy chief of staff.