Obama’s DOE pressured Solyndra to delay layoffs until after election

November 15, 2011 18:02

Emails show that the energy department used loan funding as a threat to Solyndra to delay a planned layoff announcement until after the 2010 elections.

An Oversight and Reform Committee memorandum details the exchange [emphasis added]:

On October 25, 2010, Solyndra Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Harrison emailed DOE and stated that ?Solyndra has received some press inquiries about rumors of problems (one of them with quite accurate information) and we have received in bound calls from potential investors. Both of these data points indicate the story is starting to leak outside Solyndra.? 39 Harrison went on to state that he would ?like to go forward with the internal communication [to employees regarding layoffs] on Thursday, October 28.
Harrison‘s email was forwarded to Jonathan Silver, the Executive Director of the DOE Loan Programs Office, and to Secretary Chu‘s Chief of Staff. Silver, in turn, forwarded the email to Carol Browner, Ron Klain, and another White House staff member in Browner‘s office. Browner responded, ?[w]hat‘s the announcement? to which the Secretary‘s Chief of Staff responded, ?Left you a VM on your cell. On October 30, 2010, advisors for Argonaut Private Equity, Solyndra‘s largest investor, discussed the status of talks with DOE about the restructuring of the Solyndra guarantee, and noted that ?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. 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. The 2010 federal elections were on November 2; the following day, Solyndra announced that it was shutting down its Fab 1 facility and laying off workers. Several emails produced by Argonaut to the Committee reference the fact that the layoff announcement was postponed because of the November 2 elections.

The memorandum was prepared for the upcoming hearing with Steven Chu Obama’s energy secretary. Chu is famous for having said ““Somehow we have to figure out a way to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

The memorandum gives a timeline for the cash for campaign funds disguised as a “green jobs” investment in which taxpayers were soaked for half a billion dollars. This is much worse than congressional insider stock trading. Obama, Chu and anyone else who pushed this deal should go to jail.

To read the memo click here : Oversight and Reform Committee Memo

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