Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Democrats say Solyndra scandal touches Republicans, too

This is starting to sound like a a bunch of third graders caught stealing a half-billion dollars.
From the Los Angeles Times' Money & Co. blog:
The collapse of solar equipment maker and stimulus loan recipient Solyndra is now officially a political hot potato, tossed first into Democratic hands and today batted by the Democrats over to the Republican side....

Democrats have found enough information in public records of the Energy Department’s loan approval process and from media reports to try to widen the Solyndra scandal to Republicans.
Although Solyndra’s biggest private investor was a venture capital fund affiliated with Kaiser, its second largest investor was a fund linked to the Walton family, of Wal-Mart renown, a major donor to Republicans. Kaiser has denied he ever spoke to the Obama administration about the Solyndra loan.

The chief executive of Solyndra, Brian Harrison, is a registered Republican, according to the San Jose Mercury News.  

The Democrats’ main defense against accusations of administration cronyism is that Solyndra applied for the Energy Department loan as part of a program created by the Bush administration. Memos prepared by the Republican and Democratic staffs of the House Energy and Commerce committee said Solyndra first applied for an Energy Department loan in 2006. Its plan to build a factory to manufacture a new kind of solar technology was one of 16 projects chosen from about 140.  

In January 2009, shortly before President Obama took office, Energy officials reviewed the application. They said that “the project appears to have merit” but did not approve the loan, requesting additional information, including an independent market analysis of the company’s long-term prospects, according to the Republican staff memo.