A high profile, politically well-connected California solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment line. The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings, and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest levels of the Obama Administration.
While the White House and Congressional Democrats feign surprise at the collapse of what was described as "the most hyped startup in the crowded Solar Energy field," it appears Obama Administration representatives were either easily duped or willingly blind to the facts. ABC News reports that Department of Energy officials have been regularly attending Solyndra board meetings for months as the company "careened towards bankruptcy" after blowing through the more than half a billion taxpayer dollars.
Early press reports following Solyndra's bankruptcy announcement disclosed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were contributed by shareholders and executives of Solyndra to the Obama 2008 campaign. One of the company's largest investors, George B. Kaiser of Tulsa, reportedly contributed $53,500 personally and bundled large amounts more for Obama in 2008. Kaiser is a billionaire with banking and oil and gas interests that rank him among the wealthiest people in the world. Kaiser also visited the White House 16 times between 2009 and 2011. The White House public records indicate that three of Kaiser's visits were on March 12, 2009 and one the following day in which he met with "a Senior Advisor, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council." The $535 million loan was officially approved one week later.