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11/30/2011      share:derubg
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USA: Short Summary of Solyndra scandal

In 2009, the Obama administration invested half a billion dollars in an unproven upstart energy company which was largely owned by Oklahoma's wealthiest man and Obama fundraiser George B. Kaiser via two investment vehicles. The company went bankrupt in September 2011, just as predicted two years earlier.

_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:

  • 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.

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.
Energy Secretary Chu takes responsibility for loan to failed solar panel maker SolyndraWashington Post11/17/2011
E-mails: Solyndra urged to delay layoff statementCarol D. Leonnig,Joe StephensSan Francisco Chronicle11/16/2011
Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama adminC.J. CiaramellaThe Daily Caller09/01/2011
George Kaiser, GKFF, and SolyndraMichael BatesBatesLine09/16/2011
On Solyndra, Chu Pleads IncompetenceNational Review11/18/2011
Solyndra Case Reveals Gateway Between Administration Loans, Obama AlliesFoxNews11/16/2011
Obama refuses to fullfill subpoena 11/09/2011
White House Indicates It Will Comply With Solyndra SubpoenaJim SnyderBloomberg Businessweek11/14/2011
White House Misses Deadline for Solyndra SubpoenaFoxNews11/10/2011
Solyndra officials made numerous trips to the White House, logs showAmanda CareyThe Daily Caller09/08/2011
Solyndra Execs Stonewall CongressMatthew Mosk, Brian Rossabc NEWS09/23/2011
USA: Michelle Obama's expensive vacations cause embarassment 10/09/2011
USA: Obama prefers basketball over ethics 10/06/2011
These follow-up articles used this article as a reference:
Paid By The Taxpayer05/09/2012
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