WaPo: Hey, there were a lot of politics going on green-tech boondoggles

posted at 12:00 pm on December 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Color me shocked, shocked at this revelation from yesterday’s Washington Post.  Politically-connected investors influencing government subsidies?  Inconceivable!

Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.

I’m not picking on the Washington Post, which has actually done a decent job of reporting on Solyndra and other green-tech boondoggle flops — better than most, but not as well as their polling partner ABC, especially on Solyndra.  The article focuses most of its attention on George Kaiser, whose foundation was a major investor in Solyndra, and whose later investment got protected by the Obama administration — at the expense of taxpayers.  While Kaiser didn’t have an official role at the foundation, the Post’s reporting shows that Kaiser didn’t mind leveraging his access to the West Wing — and urged others in the foundation to do the same in order to protect Solyndra:

With the 2010 midterm elections just days away, Kaiser flew to Las Vegas to help the party cause. He was a guest at a private fundraising dinner for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), but the real attraction at the event was its headliner — Obama. Realizing he might have an opportunity to talk with the president, Kaiser’s staff prepped him with talking points about Solyndra.

Kaiser did not have to angle for Obama’s attention. Organizers seated him next to the world’s most powerful man — for two hours. …

Kaiser did not squander his time. While he avoided the use of the word “Solyndra,” according to the account he later gave to colleagues, he complained to the president about Chinese manufacturers dumping cheap solar panels on the U.S. market and pressed Obama’s deputy chief of staff about the need for a Buy American Act for federal agencies. The company was intent on making the federal government a major customer — part of what a Solyndra investment adviser called the “Uncle Sam” strategy — and the new act would give Solyndra an advantage. …

Nonetheless, records show that Kaiser, a frequent visitor to the White House, was in contact with officials at Solyndra and its biggest investors, and advised them on leveraging the power of the West Wing.

“Why don’t you pursue your contacts with the WH?” Kaiser advised a Solyndra board member in October 2010.

This is the bottom line from the Post’s reporting:

“What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?’ ”

Well, why not?  It’s pretty clear that this administration never had taxpayers in mind with Porkulus in the first place.  The result of the subsidies was to pay off important constituents and constituencies, whether that was George Kaiser in the green-tech stimulus, Philip Falcone in the broadband push, or Big Labor in the decision to interfere with the bankruptcy process of GM and Chrysler.  Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.


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D’ya think?

Nice to see the Post is right on top of things.

JimboHoffa on December 26, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Crony Socialism at it’s best.

Chip on December 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Dog bites man. …Man this bites.

Sherrytex on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Stop!!! Who cares about Obama!!??? We need to stop Ron Paul!!?? Are you with me, Ed? Liberty must be quenched! All decisions much be centralized. We need a new world order run by Jesuit bankers. LOL. HotAir is so lame.

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Man this Bites, indeed

Drunk Report on December 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I wonder what clued the WaPo in?

All the ‘take the money and run’ bankruptcies that are tied to Obama donors, maybe? Too bad no one over there ever bothered to do their job and find out how those loans got made in the first place… now it is clean-up in aisle Green for the WaPo, to get the mess out of the way of Obama’s re-election campaign.

ajacksonian on December 26, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.

Which is why they are all shrieking about optics.

The economy and jobs are still in the tank. It’s going to take an enormous optical illusion to make people forget this (or Romney being found with two dead hookers and a pound of smack in his trunk).

CorporatePiggy on December 26, 2011 at 12:09 PM

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

And what is your view on the joooooooooooooooooooooooos?

CorporatePiggy on December 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Politically-connected investors influencing government subsidies? Inconceivable!

you have to thay that with a lithp….

/Princess Bride

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM

It’s all about money, power, and control.

Peppa Pig on December 26, 2011 at 12:13 PM

HotAir is so lame.

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Yet here you are.

pain train on December 26, 2011 at 12:13 PM

They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically

Taxpayers aren’t cared for or their concerns taken into account. We are a nebulous entity of nobodies upon whom the government is to foist policy upon. We are merely to eat our gruel (ie, pay our taxes) and like it. The tax donations are merely the wings upon which our intellectual betters peddle their influence.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Stop!!! Who cares about Obama!!??? We need to stop Ron Paul!!?? Are you with me, Ed? Liberty must be quenched! All decisions much be centralized. We need a new world order run by Jesuit bankers. LOL. HotAir is so lame.

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Sounds like someone infused a tad too much rum in that fruitcake this season!

pilamaye on December 26, 2011 at 12:17 PM

This Just in:

Water is Wet and the Sky is Blue.

Read about it in the WaPo today!!

Tim_CA on December 26, 2011 at 12:17 PM

And what is your view on the joooooooooooooooooooooooos?

CorporatePiggy on December 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Don’t waste your time. It’s a jackass.

VegasRick on December 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Yet here you are.

pain train on December 26, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Almost like he has an agenda or something.

a capella on December 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM

WaPo: Always the last to know.

Finbar on December 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM

You’d think that after abuses of tax dollars by both Republican and Democrat Presidents/Congresses we’d realize that the only real solution is in not allowing those dollars go to Washington D.C. in the first place. If we keep thinking that the next administration or the next congress will do it better/smarter/transparent-er, then we deserve to have our money stolen by these D.C. thugs. Decentralize now!

Weight of Glory on December 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Stop!!! Who cares about Obama!!??? We need to stop Ron Paul!!?? Are you with me, Ed? Liberty must be quenched! All decisions much be centralized. We need a new world order run by Jesuit bankers. LOL. HotAir is so lame.

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Paulistinians are so Lame!

jaydee_007 on December 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Gosh, corruption so blatant even the WaPo noticed.

Marxism is for dummies on December 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM

The result of the subsidies was to pay off important constituents and constituencies, whether that was George Kaiser in the green-tech stimulus, Philip Falcone in the broadband push, or Big Labor in the decision to interfere with the bankruptcy process of GM and Chrysler. Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.

Nice work, Ed. I agree because the evidence supports your statement.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Paulistinians are so Lame!

jaydee_007 on December 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I still prefer thinking of them as PauleyNuts.

pilamaye on December 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Like I asked in the headlines, is this a token article or will the media start really reporting on The Won and his administration?

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Inconceivable!

I don’t think it means what you think it means.

BigGator5 on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.

you probably could’ve tossed Fast & Furious in there as a means to subvert the 2nd Amendment to further improve their political position. Although not an economic imperative, the case has been made that Holder et al were really gunning for that in the first place. No pun intended.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

As noted when this story was in Headlines, there are plenty of O’bama Fluffers in the WaPo comments section desperately calling this a “Fake Scandal”, and whining that what BushCheneyHalliburton did was so much worse.

However, they seem to forget that Democrat Presidents, starting with LBJ and continuing with Bill Clinton, did the exact same thing.

As did O’bama. From May 2010:

KBR Inc. [aka Halliburton] was selected for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011 for military support services in Iraq, the Army said.The Army announced its decision yesterday only hours after the Justice Department said it will pursue a lawsuit accusing the Houston-based company of taking kickbacks from two subcontractors on Iraq-related work. The Army also awarded the work to KBR over objections from members of Congress, who have pushed the Pentagon to seek bids for further logistics contracts.

BTW, this story was reported by Bloomberg Business News. But not surprisingly, the Leftists who run Google have completely scrubbed their story from every search result.

Wonder why?

Del Dolemonte on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

good point Del.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Hmmmm… a random act of journalism from WaPo. They had better tone that down or Mile Wide Inch Deep and Moochelle will stop inviting the WaPo editorial staff to the WH parties.

HatfieldMcCoy on December 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.

Money line right there Ed

spot on

cmsinaz on December 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM

heh

cmsinaz on December 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Paulistinians are so Lame!

jaydee_007 on December 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Heh.

Tim_CA on December 26, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

token article found on page A17 of the wapo…

crickets chirping from the talking heads for sure

cmsinaz on December 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I was startled, in a good way, to see that WaPo covered this. Granted, on a weekend that it may not be noticed; but it is a start. I went to their site, it was the second most viewed story of the day, so far. The comments after the story were quite interesting to read….usually they are quite supportive of BO, not this time. I will be curious to see if the alphabet networks have the courage to stand against the “persuasion of power” and report this and the Corzine political funding issues tonight on the news. Maybe the cracks in the rose colored glasses are beginning.

herm2416 on December 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Lightsquared, with the WH attempt at suborning perjury and blatant disregard for the national security considerations, is 100 times worse than Solyndra and bordering on treason.

Solyndra itself, were it occurring under the previous administration, would be enough to make heads explode from NY to San Francisco, and the demands for impeachment would be deafening.

hillbillyjim on December 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.

Not only are these people political sluts…they knowingly carry and inject us, with communicable diseases!

KOOLAID2 on December 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Captain Renault Award.

jnelchef on December 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Wow, the wapo committed a random act of journalism? Color me shocked.

Sudden and relentless reform is needed.

Crony capitalism by the permanent political class.

They must be defeated.

karenhasfreedom on December 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

good point Del.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

LBJ climbed into bed with KBR in 1936 and never left. That’s 5 years before Dick Cheney was even born.

Candidate Barack Obama, November 10, 2007: “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

BTW a correction to my original post-Google didn’t scrub the Bloomberg Business story from their search results, Bloomberg removed the story themselves. Curious that they were the one and only “news outlet” to report it in the first place!

Del Dolemonte on December 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Bi-annual hit piece by the WaPo, whether they wanted to or not…all in the interest of the whole, fair, balanced, non-biased journalist thingy…beginning of the year subscription renewal period..

hillsoftx on December 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Cindy, I think the party WaPo needs to commit a few random acts of journalism to enhance their credibility when they lie for The Won in the run up to November 2012.

WhatNot on December 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Romney rox!!!!

shawk on December 26, 2011 at 1:04 PM

the $500 million Solyndra’s CEO received as a kickback for 0bama campaign donations is more than 35 states received for shovel ready infrastructure construction projects.

0bama said that this was the new green economy and he was right. Pay to play with the PC industries.

jukin3 on December 26, 2011 at 1:06 PM

And Congress will do nothing, as usual, because they’re about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs as well.

scalleywag on December 26, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Everything they have done in their domestic agenda has been about improving their position politically rather than actually growing the economy and creating jobs.

ted c on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM

And everything they have done in their foreign policy has been about keeping foreign affairs from distracting from its domestic agenda.

petefrt on December 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM

The conservative blogs documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration.

Akzed on December 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

If all the politicians were not on the take, someone would actually do something about this stuff.

esnap on December 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

cmsinaz on December 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Is that really where it was placed?

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I was startled, in a good way, to see that WaPo covered this. Granted, on a weekend that it may not be noticed; but it is a start. I went to their site, it was the second most viewed story of the day,

Not only buried on a weekend, but on Christmas Day-probably the most ignored day for attention to news stories of the year.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM

How come WaPo is bringing this out? Are they trying to be fair & balanced?

vpaddy123 on December 26, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Like I asked in the headlines, is this a token article or will the media start really reporting on The Won and his administration?

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Cindy, I think the party WaPo needs to commit a few random acts of journalism to enhance their credibility when they lie for The Won in the run up to November 2012.

WhatNot on December 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

More of a butt covering article that can be pointed to later when they’re accused of being in the tank.

We’re starting to see about one or two a month – and they’re relatively benign when compared to WaPo’s coverage of Repub corruption.

Same sh!t different day.

Tim_CA on December 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

The best scam ever devised to steal tax dollars.The greenies love these efforts and are too stupid to see it.

docflash on December 26, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 1:36 PM

i was being facetious…this kind of news rarely gets front page above the fold from lib newspapers, always tucked quietly in the back somewhere…

cmsinaz on December 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Not only buried on a weekend, but on Christmas Day-probably the most ignored day for attention to news stories of the year.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM

And while the entire administration is thousands of miles away for another ten days. Don’t want to make any enemies…

PatMac on December 26, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Hey WaPo! “Welcome to the party, pal!”

Mitoch55 on December 26, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Like I asked in the headlines, is this a token article or will the media start really reporting on The Won and his administration?

Cindy Munford on December 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Hey WaPo! “Welcome to the party, pal!”

Mitoch55 on December 26, 2011 at 2:35 PM

You people are hilarious. WaPo has extensively covered this story and today it’s the headline story on WashingtonPost.com.

Is that token coverage?

bayam on December 26, 2011 at 3:17 PM

More of a butt covering article that can be pointed to later when they’re accused of being in the tank.

We’re starting to see about one or two a month – and they’re relatively benign when compared to WaPo’s coverage of Repub corruption.

Same sh!t different day.

Tim_CA on December 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM

You people are hilarious. WaPo has extensively covered this story and today it’s the headline story on WashingtonPost.com.

Is that token coverage?

bayam on December 26, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Hence my point.

Tim_CA on December 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Let me be the first to say I’m concerned about the obama legacy.20 years from today will it be all about the crookedness and incompetence?

Tom McDonald on December 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM

jug ears has spoken.

we are not worthy.

now all we need to that creature that is married to him to tell us to eat more tofu, grass and leaves while she stuffs her pie hole with crustaceans, filet and truffles.

acyl72 on December 26, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Tom McDonald on December 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM

No, because the historians will decide what is important. Who remembers the victims of Mao or The Flowers of War?

And on the objectivity of the MSM, just wait for the fog of election season!

IlikedAUH2O on December 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Sounds like someone infused a tad too much rum in that fruitcake this season!

Fruitcake is Benedictine, not Jesuit

PKO Strany on December 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM