It now appears that the Energy Department was something of a haven for Obama fundraisers who wanted to affect policy after the election.
ABC News is reporting that several Obama fundraisers found themselves helping out around the place. Some of them had ties to green energy projects that DOE ended up supporting.
Well known already is DOE’s precipitous and calamitous decision to fund Solyndra, which was backed by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser.
Also known is that another Obama fundraiser, Stephen Spinner, was involved in advising on the Energy Department’s loan program. His wife’s law firm represented Solyndra, but the firm claims she had recused herself from work with the company.
DOE is trying to minimize Stephen Spinner’s role, while Spinner tried to maximize it, ABC reports.
Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, described Spinner as someone who had “no role” in evaluating loan applications or selecting recipients.
Spinner described his job differently. He wrote in an online bio for the Center for American Progress, the left-leaning think tank he joined after leaving the administration, that he “helped oversee the more than $100 billion of loan guarantee and direct lending authority” for the department’s green-energy loan program.
Meanwhile, yet another Obama fundraiser has popped into the mix, according to ABC.
California venture capitalist Steve Westly, who raised more than $500,000 for Obama, had Secretary Chu’s ear on green energy issues as a member of a high-level volunteer advisory panel. Mackey Dykes, who was a finance manager for the Obama campaign, was hired to be the liaison between the Energy Department and White House. Each declined interview requests.
Westly has held stakes in at least five companies that have won DOE support.
Fundraisers are often awarded by presidents with ambassadorships and ceremonial titles. But President Obama, who talked much about eliminating money from politics and halting the “revolving door” between the private and the public sector, and so forth, appears to have placed money people in positions in the government where they had a chance to . . . make more money.
Notice that Westly was the liaison between Energy and the White House. And it’s clear someone at the White House pressured OMB to reluctantly sign off on the Solyndra loan guarantee, which will cost taxpayers more than $500 million in the wake of Solyndra’s failure.
There is much more to come. More names will surface.
Who in the White House pressured OMB? What were this person’s ties to the Obama fundraisers?
If this were Dick Cheney energy policy, the Democrats would surely be screaming for a special prosecutor.
H/T to Doug Ross @ Journal, where I first learned of the ABC story. He has a good summary of the Energygate players.