Solyndra-linked campaign bundler still a big boon to Obama’s campaign

posted at 12:45 pm on October 24, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The president is so convinced that outrage about the government’s $535-million loan to failed solar company Solyndra is just “partisan politics” that he assumes it will hurt him not a bit if he continues to allow folks with Solyndra ties to significantly contribute to his campaign.

Steven Spinner is the former Energy Department official who pushed for a prompt decision on the loan to Solyndra at the same time that his wife’s law firm represented the company. He’s also a major Obama fundraiser. In 2008, he raised at least half a million dollars for Obama’s campaign — and he’s at it again this cycle. The latest quarterly fundraising report from the Obama campaign showed Spinner remains a bundler at the $500,000-plus level. He also helped to plan a fundraising event the president plans to attend tomorrow in San Francisco. Spinner was on at least one conference call to brainstorm ideas for the $5,000-a-person luncheon.

But, again, Obama’s just not concerned with the optics of this:

Obama has defended the loan guarantee as having been made “on the merits.” Energy Department officials said Spinner was specifically recused from “engaging in any discussions on decisions affecting specific loan applications” because his wife’s law firm represented Solyndra. [E-mails show otherwise.]

One Democratic fundraiser said the White House wasn’t apt to worry about Spinner’s fundraising role, citing conversations with Obama advisors who regard Solyndra as a made-up controversy that Republicans are trying to exploit. With Obama facing a tough reelection fight, Spinner is among the campaign’s proven producers.

“It’s a tough fundraising climate, and they regard the Solyndra issue as just partisan politics,” said the fundraiser, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

Honestly, I’m not sure which bothers me more: The original transparently obvious pay-to-play scheme of fast-tracking an inadvisable loan to bad-bet Solyndra or the president’s continued dismissal of concern about it. Either he really thinks it’s OK to engage in crony capitalism of this sort or he really, really, really thought it was a good bet to invest in the unproven company. If the former, the episode is exactly what Republicans say it was (i.e. the furthest thing from “partisan politics” possible). If the latter, then add it to the Obama Administration Incompetence files.

Lastly, let Spinner’s contributions to the campaign stand as further evidence of something we already know: Obama cares first and foremost about his reelection. He knows it will take money to win. Sadly, with that as his goal, he’s probably right to retain Spinner. The money the guy is so successful at extracting is probably of more value to BHO than the good opinion of the few folks who’ve been following the Solyndra scandal closely. That would change, however, if more voters knew the Solyndra story, along with the stories of the administration’s other scandalous miscalculations. Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.


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New Dem slogan:

“Tyranny is Job #1″

BobMbx on October 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

That would change, however, if more voters knew the Solyndra story, along with the stories of the administration’s other scandalous miscalculations. Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.

1. The majority of voters aren’t terribly bright and don’t care.

2. The LSM knows (1) is true and they will do anything and everything they must to protect The Won.

3. Not holding my breath for sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.

GrannyDee on October 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

The president is so convinced that outrage about the government’s $535-million loan to failed solar company Solyndra is just “partisan politics” that he assumes it will hurt him not a bit if he continues to allow folks with Solyndra ties to significantly contribute to his campaign.

Tina Korbe

I don’t think it will, either.

But I won’t mind being wrong about it, if it proves otherwise.

listens2glenn on October 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Just another person in the back seat of Thelma and Louise’s car… heading for the cliff…

Khun Joe on October 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Let’s be real. AlGore could get bags of cash from Buddhist monks, and it didn’t hurt Clinton/Gore or Gore2000. Hillary and Bill could play kissy-face with Norman Hsu, and it didn’t hurt either Bill or Hillary. And remember Charlie Trie, Ng Lapseng, the list goes on and on.

Or in Obama’s own case, he could hang around the Ayerses, Rev’s Wright and Pfleger, etc., and no-one but the most conspiracy minded of us raving right-wingers would care.

Democrats genuinely believe they are immune from scandal involving any associations they may hold or have held. And they pretty much are right.

Republicans, on the other hand, better not even appear at the same conference as someone who once voiced concern over replacing the South Carolina flag, or someone who once hunted somewhere where a rock may once have had a bad word that may or may not have been painted over.

notropis on October 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I wonder if Steven Spinner realizes that while he is enjoying his current celebrity and access to the current President of the United States…

… he will forever be linked to Barak Hussein Obowma.

That stink you just cannot wash off…

Seven Percent Solution on October 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Has anyone asked Joe “The Dumber” Biden how many rapes have occurred because his boss p1$$ed away all that money on Solyndra instead of using it to pay cops?

The Monster on October 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Always priority No. 1: Reelection.

Once everyone grasps that, they will understand every liberal in politics. For the liberal politicians, that is the only thing that matters.

jeffn21 on October 24, 2011 at 1:33 PM

One Democratic fundraiser said the White House wasn’t apt to worry about Spinner’s fundraising role, citing conversations with Obama advisors who regard Solyndra as a made-up controversy that Republicans are trying to exploit.

Half a billion taxpayer $ to company that goes bankrupt within 2 years, and its investors get paid before the taxpayers, and somehow Republicans made this up? Then another $737 million to make solar panels in Mexico? And another half billion to make electric cars in Finland?

Exit poll question for the voters:

The Obama DOE is:
A) Corrupt
B) Stupid
C) Both

No other answers allowed.

Steve Z on October 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Crony Socialism at it’s finest.

Chip on October 24, 2011 at 1:35 PM

New Dem slogan:

“Tyranny is Job #1″

BobMbx on October 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Freedom is never lost all at once

Edmund Burke

Every day they make a little more Progress towards their ultimate goal: National Communism.

Chip on October 24, 2011 at 1:39 PM

That would change, however, if more voters knew the Solyndra story, along with the stories of the administration’s other scandalous miscalculations. Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.

You mean like this:

Crony Capitalism on Steroids from GE to Solyndra (UPDATED)
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150295067853435

“Now as the truth comes out, we discover that the White House was heavily involved in the Department of Energy’s rushed decision to give the Stimulus funds to Solyndra, and they tried to move the money through so quickly they seem to have ignored concerns that the company was not viable. Why would they do this? Perhaps it’s because a large investor in the company (about 35%) is Obama campaign bundler George Kaiser. And with the way the deal is structured, Kaiser will get his debts paid before we the taxpayers see any relief.”

American Crony Capitalism Brings Jobs to Finland
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150340167778435

“While they’re at it, the geniuses in the White House could also explain the $1.2 billion they gave to SunPower, a company that makes Solyndra look like a blue chip stock.”

ChuckTX on October 24, 2011 at 2:21 PM

GrannyDee on October 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Allow me to add…

#4 Democrats have a knee-jerk belief that Republicans evil and are much, much, worse.

Lily on October 24, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Obama has defended the loan guarantee as having been made “on the merits.” Energy Department officials said Spinner was specifically recused from “engaging in any discussions on decisions affecting specific loan applications” because his wife’s law firm represented Solyndra. [E-mails show otherwise.]

Just a reminder of what “merit-based selection criteria” means to Obama
On March 20, 2009, however, the president did issue directives on the expenditure of ARRA funds that focus on transparency and limiting the influence of registered lobbyists.

The president does call for “merit-based selection criteria” meant to assure that ARRA funding
(1) achieves programmatic results, Solyndra fail
(2) provides economic stimulus, and Solyndra fail
(3) achieves long-term public benefits. Solyndra Fail
But those criteria are to be applied by department and agency heads who remain free to define programs and operate independently.

http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/5366

DSchoen on October 24, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Barry just wants the money. Everything else is irrelevant.

GarandFan on October 24, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Either he really thinks it’s OK to engage in crony capitalism of this sort or he really, really, really thought it was a good bet to invest in the unproven company. If the former, the episode is exactly what Republicans say it was (i.e. the furthest thing from “partisan politics” possible). If the latter, then add it to the Obama Administration Incompetence files.

Option one of course. What are we going to do? Impeach him? For what? Being black? He hasn’t done anything that Clinton didn’t do. Now maybe if the money had gone to Haliburton we’d have something, but as it is…

Browncoatone on October 24, 2011 at 5:21 PM