Saturday, January 14, 2012

Obama DOE urged Solyndra to postpone layoff announcement until after Nov 2010 election

Wizbang blog
January 14, 2012



My colleague TWB just linked to a CBS News story that exposed a dozen risky loans made by the Department of Energy to ‘green energy’ companies.  Five of those companies including Solyndra, have now filed for bankruptcy protection.
This week’s Friday White House document dump also yielded more interesting information about the crony relationship between Solyndra, the Department of Energy, and the Obama White House.  Although the documents make no specific accusations, anyone who is willing to ‘question the timing’ of the events surrounding the Nov. 3, 2010 announcement of layoffs by Solyndra will discoveran interesting chain of events:
Solyndra’s chief executive warned the Energy Department on Oct. 25, 2010, that he intended to announce worker layoffs Oct. 28. He said he was spurred by numerous calls from reporters and potential investors about rumors the firm was in financial trouble and was planning to lay off workers and close one of its two plants.
But in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”
Americans For Prosperity has capitalized on these developments in a new TV ad that will be heavily marketed in swing states:
Allahpundit notes that AFP has stretched a few details to fit their narrative (but hey it’s a political ad, right?) much the same way the Obama campaign has stretched the details about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital:
… [No], they didn’t necessarily “know” that Solyndra’s workers would all end up being laid off. They simply didn’t think much about it at all because they were too keen on impressing the left with their astounding generosity towards green companies, especially green companies whose big investors included top Obama bundlers. Much better, no? The pushback here from the White House, I take it, will be that not every investment succeeds and that they shouldn’t be judged solely by the turkeys on their balance sheet. To which Mitt Romney, alleged cold-hearted layoff specialist, replies: Exactly.
Heh.  And it will be fascinating to see what turns up in White House document dumps in the near future.