Solyndra Emails Claim Biden Team 'About Had an Orgasm' About Energy Loans to Firm
By Chad Pergram
Published November 09, 2011
A series of emails provided to the House Energy and Commerce Committee from individuals tied to Solyndra offer striking characterizations about running strategy with the White House to secure assistance for the now-bankrupt solar energy firm.
Emails among George Kaiser, head of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; Ken Levit, the executive director of the Foundation; and Steve Mitchell, who manages Argonaut Private Equity and was a member of Solyndra's board; show that Vice President Joe Biden's office were very gung-ho.
"They about had an orgasm in Biden's office when we mentioned Solyndra," reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell. A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responds with: "That's awesome! Get us a (Department of Energy) loan."
According to exchanges obtained by Fox News, in an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that "it appears things are headed in the right direction and (Energy Secretary Steven) Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra's application and continues to talk up the company as a success story."
In a Feb. 27, 2010, message from Levit to a party whose name has been redacted, Levit writes that there was a meeting with a group of people in "Biden's office -- they seemed to love our Brady Project -- also all big fans of Solyndra."
In an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that "it appears things are headed in the right direction and Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra's application and continues to talk up the company as a success story."
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the document dump from the House Energy and Commerce Committee offers only "cherry-picked" emails.
"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. 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," he said.
Solyndra received a half billion dollars in loans from the Department of Energy even as questions were raised over whether the California-based firm would stay afloat. The company filed for bankruptcy in September just weeks after the administration weighed a bailout.
One email from Kaiser to Mitchell and Levit on Oct. 6, 2010, reads: "We can possibly reinforce the effort so long as it is in the form of 'I thought you should know, in case it comes up' rather than 'can you help with this.'"
In another communique dated Oct. 6, 2010, Kaiser tells Mitchell and Levit that he is "concerned that DOE/Chu would resent the intervention and your problem could get more difficult. I would see an appeal as only as last resort an, even then, questionable. We need to discuss."
In an email between Mitchell and Kaiser, Mitchell notes that the White House has "started a policy discussion as to whether a company should be able to get a second loan."
House Republicans received the emails after subpoenaing the White House last week. Lawmakers say they want to know how much influence the White House put on the Energy Department to approve the loans. The administration denies anyone tried to influence the decision.
Writing to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler regarding the panel's recent subpoenas, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., suggested seeming inconsistencies in White House responses.
"The White House has repeatedly stated that no political influence was brought to bear with regard to Solyndra, and that Mr. George Kaiser, a Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser, never discussed Solyndra during any of his 17 visits to the White House. Documents recently obtained by the committee directly contradict those statements," they wrote.
A well-placed source told Fox News that Kaiser was interviewed by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. GKFF spokeswoman Renzi Stone on Wednesday told Fox News that Kaiser never was directly involved in the deal.
"To reaffirm our previous public statements, George Kaiser had no discussions with the government regarding the loan to Solyndra," she said in a statement.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/09/solyndra-emails-claim-bidens-staff-about-had-orgasm-about-energy-loans-to-firm/#ixzz1dFJm3BDW