Obama's $535 Million Sweetheart Deal Goes Sour

White House tries to sell Stimulus Two amid developing scandal of Stimulus One’s “first corporate beneficiary” 

Scandals of Stimulus One come home to roost:

  • Officials from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as ‘observers’ at Solyndra, getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money. Word of the Energy Department's unusual arrangement came as federal agents on Thursday converged on the California headquarters of the failed solar company, focusing fresh attention on the first corporate beneficiary of President Obama's stimulus program to create new clean energy jobs.” (Ronnie Greene & Matthew Mosk, “Obama Officials Sat In On Solyndra Meetings,” ABC News, 09/09/11)
  • The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show … Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.” (Joe Stephens & Carol D. Leonnig, “Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar company now under investigation,” Washington Post, 09/13/11)
  • The California-based company received a $535 million stimulus loan guarantee from the Energy Department in 2009 to help finance the construction of a new plant to manufacture solar panels.” (Andrew Restuccia, “After Solyndra bankruptcy, White House defends clean energy investments,” The Hill, 09/14/11)
  • “Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department's deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation. The company's solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president's green energy plan …” (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross, & Ronnie Greene, “Emails: Obama White House Monitored Huge Loan To 'Connected' Firm,” ABC News, 09/13/11)
  • The e-mail exchanges could intensify questions about whether the administration was playing favorites and made costly errors while choosing the first recipient of a loan guarantee under its stimulus program. Solyndra’s biggest investors were funds operated on behalf of the family foundation of Tulsa billionaire and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser.” (Joe Stephens & Carol D. Leonnig, “Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar company now under investigation,” Washington Post, 09/13/11)

As White House is busy selling Stimulus Two:

  • President Barack Obama is pitching his jobs plan in North Carolina, visiting a business that the White House says would benefit from the proposals he's been pressing Congress to pass right away.” (Darlene Superville, “Obama to take jobs sales pitch to North Carolina,” Boston Globe, 09/14/11)
  • “… President Barack Obama pitched his newly unveiled jobs plan with campaign-style fervor Friday … It was the first of many expected efforts by the president to rally public support for his program.” (Julie Pace, “Obama promotes jobs plan on GOP turf,” Houston Chronicle, 09/10/11)