Solyndra should be a giant red flag for all voters in the upcoming presidential election. If you truly believe that President Obama had no idea that the half a billion dollar loans were a waste of taxpayer dollars, then you must believe he is a lousy manager with no line of communication to his staff, because It seems as if every top adviser, every senior White House staffer knew it was a horrible use of tax payer dollars.
Just look at the list of people who knew all about Solyndra:
- Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual: After Rahm Pressured The OMB To
Speed Up The Approval Of Solyndra’sLoan, “In one e-mail, an assistant
to Rahm Emanuel, then White House chief of staff, wrote on Aug. 31,
2009, to OMB about the upcoming Biden announcement on Solyndra and asked
whether ‘there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.’ An OMB
staff member responded: ‘I would prefer that this announcement be
postponed. . . . This is the first loan guarantee and we should have
full review with all hands on deck to make sure we get it right.’” (Joe
Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, “White House Pressed On $500 Million Loan To Solar Company Now Under Investigation,” The Washington Post, 9/13/11)
- Chief of Staff Bill Daily: According To Kelly Colyar Of The OMB, Then-White House Chief Of Staff Bill Daley Had Been Briefed About OMB’s “Reservations About The Prospects Of The Company And DOE’s Proposal” To Restructure The Solyndra Loan. “You may recall that DOE announced in March that they had restructured the Solyndra loan. Prior to this restructuring, OMB staff expressed reservations about the prospects of the company and DOE’s proposal. The issue was discussed with the NEC and the Chief of Staff.” (Kelly T. Colyar, E-mail To Richard A. Mertens Et. Al, f. 732, 8/11/11)
- OMB Director Jacob Lew:Director Jack Lew let the refinancing move forward without intervening, even though some OMB analystsmthought a refinancing plan that favored private investors might violate the law. Lew is now White Housemchief of staff.” (Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, “White House Analyst Warned Saving Solyndra Could Cost More Than Letting It Fail,” The Washington Post, 8/1/12)
- Presidential Counselor Pete Rouse: A former Obama campaign adviser wrote to presidential counselor Pete Rouse in February suggesting that Chu be replaced immediately with a manager whomcould better direct Energy Department funds. Rouse circulated it among other senior officials, asking for feedback.” The memo warned of GOP attacks “that are surely coming over Solyndra and other Energy Department deals that have gone to Obama donors and have underperformed.” (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, Solyndra: Energy Department Failed To Sound Alarm As Solar Company Sank, The Washington Post, 11/11/11)
- Valerie Jarrett: Steve Westly, a California venture capitalist who raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign, exchanged emails with Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisers (she stopped the Bin Laden action three times), to warn her about political fallout that could ensue if the president visited the factory beingnbuilt by Solyndra.” (Matthew Mosk And Ronnie Greene, “Obama on Solyndra: ‘Hindsight Is Always 20/20,’” ABC News, 10/3/11)
- Turbo-Tax Tim Geithner and Director of National Economic Council Larry Summer: At a White House meeting in late October, Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, and Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, expressed concerns that the selection process for federal loan guarantees wasn’t rigorous enough and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong companies, including ones that didn’t need the help.” (Tom Hamburger, Kim Geiger and Matea Gold, “Obama Advisors Raised Warning Flags Before Solyndra Bankruptcy,” Los Angeles Times, 9/26/11)
- Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to the SCHMOTUS, Joe Biden: and a proponent of the loan to Solyndra told Valerie Jarrett, the President’s Bin Laden adviser in a May 24, 2010, e-mail, ‘they are burning capital, perhaps a bit fast, and are dependent on a break or two to be viable outside of the 18-24 month window.’” (Matthew L. Wald, “More Solyndra E-mails, And Warnings,” The New York Times’ “The Caucus,” 10/4/11)
- Heather Zichal Obama Green Energy Adviser: When Solyndra hit the fan in August, White House energy adviser Heather Zichal may have summed it up best. ‘*#~@ show,’ Zichal wrote in an email Aug. 25.’” (Dan Berman, “White House Adviser On Solyndra: ‘*#~@ Show, Politico, 10/7/11)
- DOE Loan Program Chief Jonathan Silver Silver forwarded around an 11-page DOE slide show on Solyndra, including an explanation of how the company’s ‘financial condition has deteriorated because of intense competition from Chinese solar manufacturers, limited historical investment in marketing and sales infrastructure and a ‘relatively higher cost structure compared to peers, a large allocation of cash resources to R&D, and lack of new equity to fund operations during ramp-up period.’ The slide show concludes with a plan in two weeks to ‘complete due diligence activity with the objective of developing a response to the Solyndra Inc. debt restructuring request.’” (Darren Samuelsohn, “Solyndra Warned WH In Oct ’10,” Politico, 11/3/11)
There are many more top Obama staffers who knew Solyndra was going to be a disaster, but this should suffice for now.
The question becomes, if all of these top staffers knew the administration was wasting a half of a billion dollars did the president know? And if he didn’t know, why not? If he did know why didn’t he do something about it, he could have at least stopped the energy department from acting against the law by making this loan subservient to all other claims on Solyndra’s assets.
The bottom line is this shows the president to be an awful manager if he didn’t know, or shirker of his fiduciary responsibility in using taxpayer dollars if he did.
UPDATE: According to a report by Carol Felsenthal Chicago Magazine, former WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was the driving force behind the Solyndra waste:
A report released Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee charges that “the Solyndra … event [at which President Obama appeared in person on May 26, 2010, to tout the company as the future of green energy] was the idea of… Rahm Emanuel,” then the White House chief of staff. The report also depicts Rahm as a key player in the effort to get Obama to the new Solyndra factory in Fremont, California, which was made possible by the loan.
The report notes, according to Felsenthal:
- From a White House staffer to an Obama scheduler: “Ron [Klain, VP Joe Biden’s former chief of staff] said this morning that the POTUS definitely wants to do this (or Rahm definitely wants the POTUS to do this?).”
- From the Director for Special Projects in the office of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “POTUS involvement was Rahm’s idea.”
- From Ron Klain: “Rahm was super hot for this” because “[j]obs and high tech and Recovery Act is a winning combination.”
- From Heather Zichal, a top deputy to White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Director Carol Browner (Zichal reportedly had concerns about the Solyndra event): “‘folks in the financing community’ had also raised concerns about the Solyndra loan guarantee, ‘[but] if Rahm wants it, we’ll make it happen.’