Solyndra Scandal Deepens, Hands Issue to Republicans

by on December 1st, 2014
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COMMENTARY | The Washington Post is reporting that emails indicate the Obama White House pressured the Office of Management and Budget to quickly approve the government-guaranteed loan to Solyndra in time for Vice President Biden to announce the loan at an event in September 2009.

The White House had previously claimed it had not tried to influence the evaluation of Solyndra for a government loan, costing $535 million. The same emails indicate concern among OMB officials that they were being rushed to approve the loan before they could adequately assess the company’s suitability for it.

Solyndra, a solar cell company touted by Obama as an example of a green jobs company, recently collapsed, closing its doors and laying off most of its workers. The cost of the loan will now be borne by the taxpayers. The FBI is currently investigating the matter on the behalf of the Department of Energy.

The Solyndra affair, which some are now calling “Solargate,” is shaping up to be the first major scandal of the Obama administration. The activities of White House officials, shoveling money to a company owned in part by Obama political allies such as Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, would tend to play into the theme of “crony capitalism” now being touted by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and others.

The unfolding scandal, which involves the use of government money to benefit Obama campaign contributors in the guise of a “green jobs” initiative, could not have come at a worse time for the president. The 2012 election cycle is just beginning as the details of the scandal are coming to light.

“Solargate” has handed a campaign issue to any Republican who would care to run against Obama, but it is an especially good fit for Palin, who has been developing the theme of crony capitalism in her recent speeches and Facebook page posts. Palin has come up against this sort of thing before when she tangled with oil companies and their political allies in Alaska.

Should she decide to run, the Solyndra affair would seem to be tailor-made to order for someone who would propose to go to Washington and break up the unholy alliance between government and connected crony capitalists. It is an issue that would appeal to conservatives and liberals alike.

Sources: White House pressed on $500 million loan to solar company now under investigation, Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post, Sept, 13, 2011

Obama, Solyndra and the Perils of Crony Capitalism, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, Sept. 4, 2011

Will FBI Uncover Crony Capitalism in Solyndra Raid? Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, Sept, 8, 2011

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