New e-mails reveal: White House did meet with top donor on Solyndra

posted at 4:50 pm on November 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

Remember back in September when White House visitor logs came out showing more than a dozen visits from George Kaiser, a.k.a. billionaire George Kaiser a.k.a. top Obama donor George Kaiser a.k.a. major Solyndra investor George Kaiser? The press corps grilled Carney about it at the time, and after a little checking he came back and reassured them that those meetings had been about … charity. A few weeks later, another White House official familiar with meetings between Kaiser and top advisors said Solyndra never came up during their chats as far as he could tell.

Fast-forward to today. New from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, via Fox News:

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.”

But wait — that only confirms that Kaiser’s top guys met with the White House about Solyndra, not that he did himself. If you want to parse the White House’s earlier denials very finely, you could argue that they still might technically be telling the truth. They never denied talking to Kaiser’s right-hand men about the company, just the boss. Why anyone would care about that distinction in the context of influence peddling is beyond me, but there’s your wiggle room if you want it.

On second thought, maybe there’s … not so much wiggle room after all:

In a letter to the White House, House Energy and Commerce committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich, and oversight panel chair Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., disclosed the emails including one from March 5, 2010 between Kaiser and Steve Mitchell, Kaiser’s venture capital firm Argonaut.

“BTW, a couple of weeks ago, when Ken and I were visiting with a group of Administration folks in DC who are in charge of the stimulus process (White House, not DOE) and Solyndra came up, every one of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children.”

That e-mail was written by Kaiser himself, so there’s the proof of direct conversations between him and Team Hopenchange about the company. In fairness, if you skip to page 4 of the embedded document below, you’ll see that Kaiser was cool to the idea of further involving the White House in Solyndra’s loan in October of that same year — although he never quite ruled it out, treating it as an option of “last resort” if the Energy Department was uncooperative. I’d be curious to know if he concluded later, as Solyndra circled the drain, that the moment of “last resort” had been reached and it was time to phone The One. His e-mail on October 8 is cryptic too; he seems to be saying that it’s okay to nudge the White House for help so long as it’s not in the form of a direct appeal, but it’s hard to tell for sure without the full context. (Mitchell’s e-mail on October 6 is more exculpatory, suggesting that there’s no “unnatural’ relationship with the White House that could force the DOE’s hand, but even that’s qualified by the fact that (a) Solyndra seemed to be hoping that there was an “unnatural” relationship and (b) Mitchell says vaguely that the White House had “offered to help” in the past.) And remember, there’s already evidence that the White House did apply pressure to executive agencies to blaze a path for Solyndra: More than one OMB analyst complained that they felt rushed to sign off on the company before their due diligence on the DOE loan was done.

According to Fox, investigators for the House committee interviewed Kaiser yesterday. Stay tuned. Exit question: Did Carney really tell a lie back in September? Solyndra was a charity, more or less.
110911 Upton Stearns Ltr to WH Ruemmler Re Nov 4 Ltr

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I’m shocked!!!!

cthulhu on November 9, 2011 at 4:53 PM

yawn, let’s talk about cain and those mean ol’gop
-lsm

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Who cares?

Herman Cain might possibly have said something about a sausage pizza to a woman of dubious character and credibility 14 years ago.

That’s where the threat to the Republic lies.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Isn’t this like business harassment? They promise a job for a few favors…

SouthernGent on November 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

The criminal drumbeat continues.

Bishop on November 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

drip

MNHawk on November 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

“They about had an…”

Visual: Do Not Want!!!

:-P

Mary in LA on November 9, 2011 at 4:59 PM

This is a big effing deal.

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra

they were showing their “Oh Faces”

oh oh Oh OHHHh.

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Let’s just be charitable and say that the timely loan was MORE THAN COINCIDENCE.

GarandFan on November 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Vice President Joe Biden’s office were very gung-ho.

“They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office

Reading those two sentences together about made me vomit.

MississippiMom on November 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Didn’t I read somewhere that the WH is refusing to honor House subpoenas for documents? Not trying to imply a coverup or anything, of course,….

a capella on November 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

There have already been questions if Kaiser is using his tax exempt status to skirt the law

Despite its name, the $4 billion George Kaiser Family Foundation, or GKFF, is not a private foundation under tax law. Instead, it was established as a “supporting organization” for another nonprofit group, the Tulsa Community Foundation.

Public foundations must pay out at least 5 percent of their endowment each year, or face penalties. Supporting organizations have no such requirement, and critics claim they serve mainly to allow wealthy families to warehouse wealth while earning lucrative tax breaks.

William Amos on November 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

The first candidate to mention this and/or F & F in the debate tonight wins. (The first candidate to mention the accusations against Cain loses)

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Why anyone would care about that distinction in the context of influence peddling is beyond me, but there’s your wiggle room if you want it.

There’s no need for wiggle room when you just lie.
/Eric Holder Policy Position #1

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

I would love to believe this will go somewhere, but I just can’t see it. I’ve been disappointed before. Meanwhile Obama is soon off to another “trip” out of the Country. How convenient…

sandee on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

There were a few wise ones here who claimed it would be Solyndra that would take Obama down, perhaps they were correct.

Odie1941 on November 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

The first candidate to mention this and/or F & F in the debate tonight wins. (The first candidate to mention the accusations against Cain loses)

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Winner.

Odie1941 on November 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Who cares?

Herman Cain might possibly have said something about a sausage pizza to a woman of dubious character and credibility 14 years ago.

That’s where the threat to the Republic lies.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

And still there are those who still like to perpetuate the myth that there’s a sliver of daylight between the Media and the National Socialist Left.

Chip on November 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

The first candidate to mention this and/or F & F in the debate tonight wins. (The first candidate to mention the accusations against Cain loses)

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Don’t forget LightSquared.

And is there any doubt that there will be more? Much, Much more.

Chip on November 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

something tells me it won’t be brought up…the candidates won’t go there for some reason…

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM

you know the moderators won’t touch this…msdnc hasn’t mentioned one word of this (via newsbusters)

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:07 PM

something tells me it won’t be brought up…the candidates won’t go there for some reason…

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Reminds me of the very end of “The Undefeated” when Breitbart was saying “I see eunuchs”.

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:08 PM

“They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra,” reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell.

Move over, Chris Matthews!!! Joe BiteMe releases his chakra on cylindrical solar panels for $535 million.

By comparison, Ashley Dupree’s Client 9 (Eliot Spitzer) got off cheap…

Steve Z on November 9, 2011 at 5:09 PM

It’ll be the Ray Lewis defense: I didn’t see nothin

Everyone knows by now that the administration doesn’t read e-mails, memos, briefings and they don’t listen to or see anyone do nothin’.

forest on November 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Oh Allah you should have used the pic of red meat, especially with that sub-headline.

Brat on November 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:08 PM

indeed

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Let’s all just forget about the $700+ Million…

I’m sure some non-credible skank is ready to say something with zero evidence about Herman Cain.

tetriskid on November 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Despite its name, the $4 billion George Kaiser Family Foundation, or GKFF, is not a private foundation under tax law. Instead, it was established as a “supporting organization” for another nonprofit group, the Tulsa Community Foundation.

Public foundations must pay out at least 5 percent of their endowment each year, or face penalties. Supporting organizations have no such requirement, and critics claim they serve mainly to allow wealthy families to warehouse wealth while earning lucrative tax breaks.

Known fact.

tetriskid on November 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM

So? There are women smearing Cain….

look! over there!

bridgetown on November 9, 2011 at 5:16 PM

This is too much for me to grasp the fine nuance. When you lawyers get to talking my brain freezes.

Is there a crime here, or just corrupt politics?

Skandia Recluse on November 9, 2011 at 5:16 PM

ot: tingles is upset that cain would accuse the accusers…nevermind the hit jobs the lsm did to bubba’s accusers years ago…

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Is there a crime here, or just corrupt politics?

Skandia Recluse on November 9, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Corrupt politics. But it undermines Obama’s OWS cred. Hard to argue that he is for the little people when he is giving millions to a billionare.

William Amos on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

and he focuses on block’s screw up instead, natch

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Nothing, no matter how outrageous, will ever rise the faintest hint of curiosity in the media if it it has any chance of hurting the won.

neuquenguy on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

By the way, how many polls about solyndra and Obama have we seen ?

neuquenguy on November 9, 2011 at 5:20 PM

every one of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story,

Wonder if the White House’s “thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story” included the fact that its business model sucked, its executives were incompetent, the market demand for its product had dramatically declined, and the Chinese were selling a product that did the same thing at a much lower cost? Or were those just some of the tiny details of “the Solyndra story” that the lobbyists forgot to mention over the $400 dollar bottles of wine at the fancy D.C. restaurants when they were hitting up the Obama administration for hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-guaranteed loans?

AZCoyote on November 9, 2011 at 5:20 PM

neuquenguy on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

this

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Corrupt politics. But it undermines Obama’s OWS cred. Hard to argue that he is for the little people when he is giving millions to a billionare.

William Amos on November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Okay, thanks. That I can understand.

Skandia Recluse on November 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Have you seen the photo Drudge is running with this story?

Ha ha ha hahahaha ha ha!

MayBee on November 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

they were showing their “Oh Faces”

oh oh Oh OHHHh.

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

..great minds. was gonna post this but — per usual — you were fustst with th’ mostest.

What an image, though! Some things cannot be un-seen!

The War Planner on November 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

How does this help Zekel Huntsman…? – g2825m

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I could make more jobs with $500 million.

IlikedAUH2O on November 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

gonna have to miss the debate, y’all need to give me a synopsis later tonight :)

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

what would you expect from the socialist pinnochio-in-chief?

ConservativePartyNow on November 9, 2011 at 5:45 PM

gonna have to miss the debate, y’all need to give me a synopsis later tonight :)

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

“..Mr Cain, did you sexually harass any of these women..?”

“..No. Move on. Next Question.”

“..Mr Cain, did you sexually harass any other women in addition to these women?”

“..No. I said let’s move on!”

“..Time’s up. Not for Governor Jedidiah Huntsman. Mr Huntsman, do you believe Mr Cain sexually harassed those women?”

“..[mumble mumble]..”

“Continuing on. Ms Bachmann, did Herman Cain sexually harass you?”

“..No! But that’s why I am fighting for the Tea Party principles.”

“Thank you, Ms. Bachman. By the way, are you wearing split-crotch panties and were you wearing them when Mr Cain sexually harassed you?”

..rinse. Repeat.

The War Planner on November 9, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Have you seen the photo Drudge is running with this story?

Ha ha ha hahahaha ha ha!

MayBee on November 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

You mean this one?

Gee, thanks, Drudge. I could have lived many long, happy years without seeing ol’ Joe’s O face. Pass the eye bleach!

Mary in LA on November 9, 2011 at 5:50 PM

“BTW, a couple of weeks ago, when Ken and I were visiting with a group of Administration folks in DC who are in charge of the stimulus process (White House, not DOE) and Solyndra came up, every one of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children.”

Possibly more wiggle room: Did this conversation take place in the White House? Or maybe somewhere else? The excerpt doesn’t specify.

Socratease on November 9, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I’ll bet anyone $1000 that there were numerous emails sent by White House staff from private Blackberries in the coffeeshop across the street from the White House to Kaiser and his minions.

rockmom on November 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

—they seemed to love our Brady Project — also all big fans of Solyndra.

Does anyone know what the Brady project is?

F&F perhaps?

F15Mech on November 9, 2011 at 6:04 PM

The first candidate to mention this and/or F & F in the debate tonight wins. (The first candidate to mention the accusations against Cain loses)

Kataklysmic on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

First? How about any candidate who mentions Solyndra, F&F, or LightSquared.

conservative pilgrim on November 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

But Herman Cain is a monster!!

PattyJ on November 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

glad to read this…….it keeps Barry Hussein’s streak alive for NOT TELLING THE TRUTH ONCE IN THE WHOLE TIME HE HAS BEEN PRESIDENT!

SDarchitect on November 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

But Herman Cain is a monster!!

PattyJ on November 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

He’ll be the first registrant in the new federal “Evil Height Indicator” registry. This way, citizens will know if a height indicator lives in their neighborhood.

“Mr. Paterno, what exactly were you told about the locker room incident?”

“The janitor told me he saw Coach Sandusky ‘raise his hand, like he was showing how tall something was…’

BobMbx on November 9, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Perhaps, if they led the story with “orgasmic” then it would get some play.. Now Cain can’t touch this issue or he will be accused of being insensitive.

kringeesmom on November 9, 2011 at 6:33 PM

They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra,” reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell.

Move over, Chris Matthews!!! Joe BiteMe releases his chakra on cylindrical solar panels for $535 million.
By comparison, Ashley Dupree’s Client 9 (Eliot Spitzer) got off cheap…
Steve Z on November 9, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Darn it Steve, that image is gonna linger.

listens2glenn on November 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Does Geo. Kaiser really send e-mails in Comic Sans?

Tzetzes on November 9, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Page #5-6 – “…so not definitive that we get the loan guaranty but broadly (including Goldman, MS and others close to the DOE process) seen as a very positive sign as it is the same diligence that the DOE conducted on the front end of the fab (same engineering teams and the environmental – which was the single largest item last time – is already done on the entire sight). So 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.”

What do Goldman Sachs (Goldman), Morgan Stanley (MS) and others have in their email and other files with reference to Solyndra and the loan guarantees?

Why was “environmental the “single largest item” of “diligence” for this loan guarantee. Where did the financials come on the list of due diligence items and why was that not first in importance?

Why is DOE Secretary Chu acting as a cheerleader for this company? Isn’t Secretary Chu working for the taxpayers? His job is to be diligent and tough on those working for him and on the applicant, not acting as an advocate for the company. Something is wrong here and I think it comes from the top. I’m not talking about Mr. Chu. I’m talking about the very top.

stefano1 on November 9, 2011 at 9:43 PM

In fairness

Commence equivocating, equivocate at will.

Knott Buyinit on November 10, 2011 at 12:37 AM

The hell of it is that the “LightSquared” fiasco, with all its implications makes Solyndra look like a day at the beach.

Where, O where are the bloodthirsty reporters looking for the Big One?

Holy #%^&!

hillbillyjim on November 10, 2011 at 5:22 AM

Don’t bend over in the shower, Barry.

Western_Civ on November 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM