New Ebola czar was eyebrow-deep in Solyndra debacle – and its political spin

New Ebola czar was eyebrow-deep in Solyndra debacle – and its political spin

[Ed. – McCarthy has chapter and verse on this: Klain had the full picture on Solyndra’s fraudulent basis and personally shepherded it along at taxpayer expense anyway.]

Company officers and investors reportedly visited the White House no fewer than 20 times while the loan guarantee was being considered and, later, revised. In short order, Obama made Solyndra the very first recipient of a public loan guarantee when the Energy Act program was beefed up with “stimulus” spending. The loans and credits eventually amounted to a staggering $535 million.

At the time, Ron Klain was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden. Hot to become the face of Obama-administration green initiatives, Biden planned to announce the Solyndra loan during a much-publicized September 2009 energy speech. Officials at DOE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had major qualms…

[J]ust two days before Obama’s speech, his eminence grise, Valerie Jarrett, was warned by California businessman Steve Westly that visiting the company might “haunt [the president] in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall and files for bankruptcy, etc.” Alarmed, Ms. Jarrett reached out to Mr. Klain, admonishing that “we clearly need to make sure that they are stable and solid.”

Klain, in turn, consulted with DOE before downplaying Solyndra’s problems in reporting back to Jarrett:

Sounds like there are some risk factors here — but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.

Jarrett said she would rely on Klain’s assessment…  As Klain elaborated in a follow-up e-mail to Jarrett:

The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few would be belly-up by election day 2012 — but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries.


[W]ith collapse looming, the company still decided that autumn [of 2010] to lay off nearly 20 percent of its work force. On October 25, 2010, just a week before the midterms, Solyndra CEO Brian Harris alerted the Obama DOE that in three days, the company would shut down its original factory and begin shedding employees and contractors.

The day before that scheduled October 28 announcement, panicked White House energy adviser Heather Zichal e-mailed the redoubtable Ron Klain — as well as Valerie Jarrett and Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer — explaining: “Here’s the deal: Solyndra is going to announce they are laying off 200 of their 1,200 workers. No es bueno.”

Republicans on a House committee investigating Solyndra subsequently learned that DOE pressured the company to delay the announcement. It was finally made on November 3 . . . the day after the midterm elections.

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