Mitt Romney’s Republican allies delivered a message to President Barack Obama on Tuesday: Two can play the transparency game.
The Republican National Committee is demanding that the White House turn over internal communications between Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Steve Westly, a prominent California venture capitalist and bundler for the Obama campaign.
Republicans have long alleged that Westly’s campaign fundraising prowess garnered him preferential treatment in the form of federal money for companies backed by his firm, the Westly Group, and direct access to top White House officials. But the White House and the Obama campaign have strongly denied the allegations, dismissing them as a political stunt.
Westly’s name also came up in the Solyndra investigation: Emails showed he had warned White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010 about Obama’s upcoming visit to the California solar company, a year before it filed for bankruptcy.
“Will the White House release all communications between Steven Chu and Steve Westly between inauguration day and the distribution of stimulus funds to Westly-backed companies?” the RNC asked in a memo to White House press secretary Jay Carney and Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “Will they release a transcript of advisory board meetings with Chu and Westly?”
The RNC also released an ad on Tuesday on what it called Westly’s “Obama Connection.”