Former DOE Adviser Linked to Solyndra Continues to Rake in Cash for Obama

by Andrew Stiles

Steve Spinner, the former Energy Department official who played a questionable role in the Solyndra loan scandal, may have left his post at the Center for American Progress, but he is still an active fundraiser for the Obama campaign. The Los Angeles Times reports:

A former Energy Department official linked to the failed Solyndra solar enterprise deal continues to raise campaign money for President Obama and helped plan a fundraising luncheon that the president will attend in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Steven Spinner, who remains in the top tier of Obama fundraisers, took part in a conference call in recent weeks devoted to planning the event at the W Hotel. He also has joined other Obama fundraising calls, according to a person familiar with Spinner’s participation who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.

An Obama campaign official said Sunday that Spinner did not raise funds for the San Francisco event but is an “active fundraiser for the campaign.”

Indeed, the Obama campaign lists Spinner as a one of its top fundraisers. He raised more than $500,000 in the third quarter of this year, jumping up a notch from the previous quarter, in which he raised between $250,000 and $500,000.

Spinner, who raised money for Obama in 2008 as well, was an adviser for the Department of Energy loans program responsible for the Solyndra fiasco. As it turns out, he was also married to a partner at the law firm that represented Solyndra during its loan application.

However, despite signing an ethics agreement in which he pledged not to involve himself in any negotiations regarding the Solyndra loan, a series of e-mails reveal that Spinner was rather intimately involved in the negotiations and was advocating on behalf of the company.

“Any word from OMB?” Spinner wrote to a DOE staffer in reference to the Solyndra loan, which was awaiting approval from the Office of Management and Budget. “I have the OVP [Office of the Vice President] and WH [White House] breathing down my neck on this.”

Spinner was one of several department officials pushing to get a final decision on Solyndra in August 2009, ahead of a scheduled press event at which Vice President Joe Biden praised the company as “exactly what the Recovery Act [stimulus package] is all about.”

“How f***ing hard is this?” he wrote to another department official on Aug. 28, 2009. “What is he waiting for? Will we have it by the end of the day?”

Surely the folks at Occupy Wall Street must be outraged.

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