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Solyndra’s West Wing Connections

Solyndra’s West Wing Connections

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A Look At Who Knew What And When, & Who Met Who
Inside The West Wing
A Look At Who Knew What And When, & Who Met Who
Inside The West Wing

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Published by: Republican National Committee on Oct 10, 2011
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October 3, 2011

Solyndra’s West Wing Connections
A Look At Who Knew What And When, & Who Met Who Inside The West Wing
______________________________________________________________________

PRESIDENT OBAMA
Received Thousands Of Dollars In Campaign Donations From Those Connected With Solyndra
“Some Of The Biggest Investors In Solyndra, Which Makes Easy-To-Install Solar Panels, Were Venture Capital Funds Associated With Tulsa Billionaire George Kaiser, A Key Obama Fundraiser.”
(Carol D. Leoning, Joe Stephens, and Alice Crites, “Obama’s Focus On Visiting Clean-Tech Compaines Raises Questions,” The Washington Post, 6/25/11)

George Kaiser Bundled Between $50,000 And $100,000 For Obama’s 2008 Campaign. (Center For
Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 9/9/11)

Ben Bierman, Executive Vice President At Solyndra Has Given $2,300 To Obama, And Has Given $2,150 To Democrat Party Committees And Democrat Aligned Committees. (Matthew Mosk And Ronnie Greene, “Did
Obama Administration Cut Corners For a Green Energy Company?,” ABC News And IWatch News, 5/24/11; Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/31/11)

Including $500 To Priorities USA Action, A Super PAC Supporting President Obama. (Center For
Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/31/11; Michael O’Brien, “Obama Alumni Launch New Outside Group To Boost Reelection,” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 4/29/11)

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Karen Alter, Solyndra’s Senior VP Marketing, Donated $2,300 To Obama In 2008, And Has Donated $11,000 To The DNC. (Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/31/11; Solyndra, Bloomberg Government, Accessed 8/31/11) Since 1998, James F. Gibbons, A Member Of Solyndra’s Board Of Directors, Has Contributed $13,500 To Democrat Campaigns And Affiliates. (Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/31/11; Solyndra, Bloomberg
Government, Accessed 8/31/11)

Since 2008, Winston Fu, A Member Of Solyndra’s Board Of Directors, Has Contributed $4,550 To Democrat Campaigns And Affiliates, Including $3,050 To Obama. (Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org,
Accessed 8/31/11; Solyndra, Bloomberg Government, Accessed 8/31/11)

Steven R. Mitchell, A Member Of Solyndra’s Board Of Directors, Donated $2,300 To Obama In 2007.
(Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/31/11; Solyndra, Bloomberg Government, Accessed 8/31/11)

Obama Applauded Solyndra’s CEO At A White House Event In March 2009
Serious Materials Board Member Paul Holland: “And renewable energy companies like Sunron and Solyndra which, as many of you know, just received one the first disbursements associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, thanks to President Obama, our friend Steven Chu, and Matt Rogers over at the Department of Energy. And I know the CEO of Solyndra is here today, so it’s great to see you guys.” (Paul Holland, Remarks at the White House, 3/23/09)

Click To Watch Obama Applaud Solyndra CEO

Obama Initially Planned To Announce The Loan
Obama Planned On Announcing Solyndra Loan Guarantee In March, Two Months Before The DOE Intended To Commit To A Loan. “A March 6, 2009 email among staffers at the White House OMB, read, ‘DOE staff just told me there's a 99 percent certainty that President Obama, on March 19 in California for other reasons, will announce that DOE is offering a loan guarantee to Solyndra. As far as I can tell the obligation won't be entered into until May, but once the President endorses it, I doubt seriously that the Secretary will withdraw for any reason.’” (Phillip Klein, “OMB Had Warned Solyndra ‘NOT Ready for Prime Time,’” The Washington Examiner,
9/14/11)

Obama Visited The Solyndra Factory In 2010
“Obama Visited Solyndra’s Factory In May 2010, Only Weeks After It Became Public That Independent Auditors Had Questioned Whether It Could Remain A ‘Going Concern.’” (Carol D. Leoning, Joe
Stephens, and Alice Crites, “Obama’s Focus On Visiting Clean-Tech Compaines Raises Questions,” The Washington Post, 6/25/11)

Obama: “The True Engine Of Economic Growth Will Always Be Companies Like Solyndra …”
(President Obama, Remarks By The President On The Economy, Freemont, California, 5/26/10)

A Few Months Later, Obama Was Warned About The Department Of Energy’s Loan Program
Obama Was Personally Warned About The Financial And Political Risks Of The Department Of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program That Aided Solyndra. “Long before the politically connected California solar firm Solyndra went bankrupt, President Obama was warned by his top economic advisors about the financial and political risks of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that boosted the company's rapid ascent.” (Tom Hamburger, Kim Geiger and Matea Gold, “Obama Advisors Raised Warning Flags Before Solyndra Bankruptcy,” Los
Angeles Times, 9/26/11)

2 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN
Announced The Solyndra Loan Via Satellite In 2009
Biden On Solyndra Loan Guarantee: This Is “Exactly What The Recovery Act Is All About.” “‘This announcement today is part of the unprecedented investment this Administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the Recovery Act is all about,’ said Vice President Biden.” (Office of the Vice President, “Vice
President Biden Announces Finalized $535 Million Loan Guarantee for Solyndra,” Press Release, 9/4/09)

Solyndra Was Supposed To Create 3,000 Construction Jobs And 1,000 Permanent Jobs Once The Factory Opened. “Solyndra estimates the new plant will initially create 3,000 construction jobs, and lead to as many as 1,000 jobs once the facility opens. Hundreds more will install Solyndra’s solar panels on rooftops around the country.” (Office of the Vice President, “Vice President Biden Announces Finalized $535 Million Loan Guarantee for Solyndra,” Press Release,
9/4/09)

Biden: “It’s Important Because These Jobs Are Going To Be Permanent Jobs. These Are The Jobs Of The Future. These Are The Green Jobs, These Are The Jobs That Won’t Be Exported.”
(Vice President Biden, VP Biden and Sec. Chu Announce Major Recovery Act Announcement, 9/4/09)

RAHM EMANUEL
George Kaiser Met With Rahm Emanuel On June 25th 2010. (Visitor Access Records, Accessed 9/15/11) Rahm’s Assistant Pressured OMB To Speed Along The Review Of The Solyndra Loan. “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
3 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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)

Former Obama Chief Of Staff Rahm Emanuel On Solyndra: “I Don’t Actually Remember That Or Know About It.” (C.J. Ciaramella, “Rahm Emanuel On Solyndra: ‘I Don’t Remember’,” The Daily Caller, 9/18/11)

Deputy Chief Of Staff
May 7, 2009: George Kaiser Met With Sarah Fenn, Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff. (Visitor
Access Records, Whitehouse.gov, Accessed 9/14/11)

BIDEN’S CHIEF OF STAFF RON KLAIN
March 7, 2009: As Obama Administration Races Full Steam Ahead On Solyndra, Biden Chief Of Staff Warns If “A Bad Idea” He Needs “To Unwind The WW Quickly.” “‘If you guys think this is a bad idea, I need to unwind the W[est] W[ing] quickly,’ wrote Ronald A. Klain, who was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, in another email sent March 7, 2009.” (Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross And Ronnie Greene, “Emails: Obama White House Monitored
Huge Loan to 'Connected' Firm,” ABC News & iWatch News, 9/13/11)

Klain Was Warned That Solyndra Was “Not Ready For Prime Time.” “One e-mail, uncovered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and reported by ABC News, is from a White House budget analyst warning then-Vice President Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, that the 2009 Department of Energy loan was ‘not ready for prime time.’”(Alexander Mooney, “White House Beats Back Claim It Pressured Loan To Now-Bankrupt Company.” CNN, 9/14/11)

PETE ROUSE
George Kaiser Met With Pete Rouse And Other White House’s Advisors The Same Month The Energy Department Gave Solyndra The Loan Guarantee. “His first recorded visit to the White House was March 12, 2009, when he met separately with Austan Goolsbee, a senior economic adviser to Obama, Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to the president, and Heather Higginbottom, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. The next day he met with Jason Furman, a member of Obama’s National Economic Council. That month, the Energy Department awarded Solyndra the $535 million loan guarantee to commercialize its cylindrical solar panels.” (Jim Snyder, “FBI Raids Bankrupt Solyndra as Lawmakers Question Panel Maker’s Finances,” Bloomberg, 9/9/11) George Kaiser Later Met With Pete Rouse On June 25, 2010, And Again On April 11, 2011. (Visitor Access
Records, Accessed 9/15/11)

VALERIE JARRETT
Valerie Jarrett Met With George Kaiser On June 25, 2009. (Visitor Access Records, Accessed 9/15/11)

LARRY SUMMERS
NEC Director Larry Summers Told Obama The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program Wasn’t Rigorous Enough In Its Selection Process. “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)

Summers Thought The Government Would Wind Up Funding Flops. “Not everyone in the administration agreed. Summers doubted that the government could do this kind of lending well,
4 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

according to industry and administration officials. He believed the government would end up funding projects that would have been built anyway or funding projects that flopped. He resisted efforts to move money fast.” (Steven Mufson And Carol D. Leonning, “Some Clean-Energy Firms Found US Loan-Guarantee Program A Bad Bet,” The
Washington Post, 9/26/11)

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE
George Kaiser Met With Austan Goolsbee And Other White House’s Advisors The Same Month The Energy Department Gave Solyndra The Loan Guarantee. “His first recorded visit to the White House was March 12, 2009, when he met separately with Austan Goolsbee, a senior economic adviser to Obama, Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to the president, and Heather Higginbottom, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. The next day he met with Jason Furman, a member of Obama’s National Economic Council. That month, the Energy Department awarded Solyndra the $535 million loan guarantee to commercialize its cylindrical solar panels.” (Jim Snyder, “FBI Raids Bankrupt Solyndra as Lawmakers Question Panel Maker’s Finances,” Bloomberg, 9/9/11)

DEPUTY DIRECTORS OF OBAMA’S NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL
March 13, 2009: Kaiser Met With Jason Furman, Then-Deputy Director Of Obama’s National Economic Council. (Visitor Access Records, Whitehouse.gov, Accessed 9/14/11; “Jason Furman,” The Washington Post’s Whorunsgov.com, Accessed
9/14/11)

George Kaiser Met With Diana Farrell, Former Deputy Director of the National Economic Council On December 15, 2009. (“Diana Farrell,” The Washington Post’s “Who Runs Gov,” Accessed 9/15/11; Visitor Access Records, Accessed 9/15/11)

ENERGY CZAR CAROL BROWNER
Energy Czar Carol Browner Wanted Obama To Use The Treasury Department Rather Than The Energy Department For The Loan Guarantees. “The Oct. 25, 2010, memo from Summers, energy czar Carol Browner and Ron Klain, then Vice President Biden’s chief of staff, urged the president to move the loan guarantee money into a Treasury program that gives projects cash in lieu of tax credits. The Treasury grants would move money faster and not put the administration in the position of choosing technologies.” (Steven
Mufson And Carol D. Leonning, “Some Clean-Energy Firms Found US Loan-Guarantee Program A Bad Bet,” The Washington Post, 9/26/11)

Lobbyist Chris Fish Attempted, Unsuccessfully, To Get Solyndra Execs A Meeting With Carol Browner To Talk About Putting Solar Panels On Government Buildings. “Solyndra LLC, the failed company that House Republicans said may have benefited from White House political connections, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with environment chief Carol Browner to argue for the use of solar panels on government buildings, e-mails show. Chris Fish, a lobbyist with McAllister & Quinn LLC in Washington, wrote the White House Energy and Climate Change office on July 12, 2010, to request a meeting between Solyndra executives and Browner, who was director of the office, according to e-mails the White House turned over to House investigators for the Energy and Commerce Committee.” (Jim Snyder, “Solyndra Lobbied White House For Solar Panels On US
Buildings,” Bloomberg, 9/16/11) 

The White House Tried To Schedule A Meeting With Solyndra Execs And Browner’s Deputies. “While White House officials initially suggested a meeting with Browner’s deputies, climate-office official Stephen Moilanen wrote back on July 20, rejecting the request” (Jim Snyder, “Solyndra Lobbied White House
For Solar Panels On US Buildings,” Bloomberg, 9/16/11)

GREG NELSON
“Christian Gronet, The Chairman Of Solyndra, Met With Greg Nelson, From The White House Office Of Public Engagement On Sept. 22, 2009.” (Jim Snyder, “FBI Raids Bankrupt Solyndra as Lawmakers Question Panel Maker’s Finances,”
Bloomberg, 9/9/11)

5 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

In 2009, Nelson Was The Associate Director For Energy, Environment, and Technology, White House Office Of Public Engagement. (Personal Profile, LinkedIn.com, Accessed 9/14/11)

May 2011: Greg Nelson Said The White House Was “Cheering” For Solyndra. “Another Solyndra e-mail, from this past May, informed the White House that ‘things are going well’ at the company and that it had ‘good market momentum, the factory is ramping up and our plan puts at cash positive later this year. Hopefully, we’ll have a great story to tell toward the end of the year.’ A White House official, Greg Nelson, replied: ‘Fantastic to hear that business is doing well — keep up the good work! We’re cheering for you.’”
(Matthew L. Wald And Charlie Savage, “Furor Over Loans To Failed Solar Firm,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

This Spring, Solyndra Was In Touch With The White House While Showing “Clear Signs” Of Impending Collapse. “Miller also was back in touch with the White House this spring at the same time the company was showing clear signs it would buckle.” (Darren Samuelsohn, “W.H. Emails Reveal Media-Fixated Solyndra,” Politico,
9/15/11)

Solyndra Emailed Nelson To Warn The White House That A Washington Post Reporter “Has Been Poking” Around. “In May 2011, he notified Nelson that Washington Post reporter Joe Stephens ‘has been poking at us for several months regarding the DOE investigation and various other issues.’” (Darren Samuelsohn,
“W.H. Emails Reveal Media-Fixated Solyndra,” Politico, 9/15/11)

The Washington Post Reporter Was Asking About George Kaiser. “‘He seems to be focused on whether one of our investors used influence to get us the presidential visit and beyond that influenced the DOE in any way,’ Miller wrote. ‘This is not true and we have repeatedly told him that is not the case.’ One of Solyndra's primary investors is George Kaiser, a bundler who raised $50,000 for Obama’s campaign in 2008. Kaiser visited the White House at least 16 times, but he has told reporters that he didn't lobby the administration on Solyndra.” (Darren Samuelsohn, “W.H. Emails Reveal Media-Fixated
Solyndra,” Politico, 9/15/11)

HEATHER ZICHAL
September 29, 2009, Andy Davis, An Employee Of Solyndra’s Lobbying Firm McBee Strategic Consulting, Met With Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant To The President For Energy And Climate Change. (Change.gov, “President-Elect Barack Obama Announces Key Members Of Energy And Environment Team,” Press Release, 12/15/08)

6 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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