E-mails made public by the House of Representatives appear to show a major donor to President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and investor in Solyndra discussed federal loans to the solar company with officials, despite White House assertions to the contrary.
The donor, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, was linked to Solyndra's biggest investor, a fund connected with his family foundation. Kaiser's associates called the failed solar company a prime poster child for renewable energy in exchanges with Obama Administration officials, and sought White House assistance in selling its solar panels to the government, according to various reports.
White House Spokesman Eric Schultz said the e-mails were selectively released by House Republicans to portray an executive branch open to political lobbying.
Cherry-Picked E-mails or Smoking Gun?
Even the documents cherry-picked by House Republicans today affirm what we have said all along: this loan was a decision made on the merits at the Department of Energy, he said. Nothing in the 85,000 pages of documents produced thus far by the Administration or in these four indicate any favoritism to political supporters. We wish that House Republicans were as zealous about creating jobs as they were about this oversight investigation.
The failed California solar maker went bust in August, after receiving a $535 million federal loan. Kaiser's representatives told The Washington Post he did not personally lobby the White House for federal funding. Yet the e-mails show Kaiser's involvement in discussion about a looming meeting with the White House.
An e-mail sent by Kaiser dated March 5, 2010, said Solyndra came up during talks with White House officials in charge of the stimulus and was one of their prime poster children.
Another e-mail sent Feb. 27, 2010, Kaiser tells an associate to get us a Department of Energy loan.
The associate responded with, They about had an orgasm in Biden's office when we mention Solyndra.