My reflection of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, from Tampa to Charlotte, with even the fact-checkers having to be fact checked, has been focused on green: renewable energy and taxpayer money.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan “slammed President Barack Obama over Solyndra during his acceptance speech.” Not surprising considering the ads coming from the Romney camp, hammering away at the Obama administration’s failed energy policies along with the crony capitalism charges leveled, a compelling case which the mainstream media is hell bent on either ignoring or shielding the president from.
Ryan declared, “It cost $831 billion –– the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government,” referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was sold to the American people, guaranteed by the Obama administration; as a means to stimulate a dying economy and create jobs. “It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst,” Ryan reinforced.
Conversely, President Obama made a series of energy claims, including renewable, during his acceptance speech, framing his energy policies as a success, and doubling down on his commitment to invest in clean energy.
Additionally, Obama denounced corporate welfare for oil companies at a convention that according to The Center for Public Integrity, was funded by “deep-pocketed corporate donors,” and one year to the day after Solyndra declared bankruptcy.
Steve Spinner: Obama Bundler and Former DOE Loan Programs Advisor
More amusing perhaps is the fact that the DNC rolled out the red carpet for the president’s buddy, Steve Spinner, Obama bundler and former top advisor at the Department of Energy (DOE). Spinner, well known for his involvement and influence (ongoing investigation and internal emails prove) to the ill-fated, politically connected Solyndra, was spotted on the DNC stage, yet bolted for the exit as ABC news made several attempts to interview him.
Over the past two years, it has become perfectly clear that the Solyndra saga, once the poster child for the president’s clean energy initiative, has morphed into the template for Obama’s green corruption scandal: political payback. Yet, as most concluded a while ago, Solyndra is only the tip of the iceberg.
While this saga warrants an entire chapter, Spinner’s part has been widely reported, including the fact that his wife’s law firm was representing the California solar company, In October 2011, ABC News reported, “Allison Spinner’s law firm, Wilson Sonsini, received $2.4 million in federal funds for legal fees related to the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra,”
Further, it is generally known that George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire and another Obama bundler, was a 35 percent owner of Solyndra. In 2009 (at a Rotary Club event), Kaiser admitted he, “…was trying to get as much of Obama’s giant stimulus payout as possible.” It turns out that Mr. Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted that huge September 2009 DOE loan. Also, top Solyndra officials made their fair share of visits to the White House (20 visits between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011), as reported by The Daily Caller in August 2011.
An insulting aspect came when we found out that then-CEO Chris Gronet bragged, “The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” –– reports The Heritage Foundation this year. However, Solyndra executives didn’t have much to say two years later, as they invoked their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions asked by the House Energy Committee.
What most don’t know is that Fitch rated the Solyndra loan non-investment grade back in 2009, as revealed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012. Even so, Solyndra was not the only excessively risky loan doled out by the DOE. Through the DOE’s 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, over $16 billion of taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects; of which 23 were junk rated.
In a twist of fate, the DOE’s junk bond portfolio is where you’ll discover that 90 percent of these firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors) to President Obama (at least 16) and other high-ranking Democrats; or both, with four to Senator Harry Reid alone.