David Prend is an Obama adviser, who pushed hard for the $500 million federal loan guarantee, even though Rockport Capital, Mr. Prend’s company, stood to greatly benefit from the loan because Rockport Capital was an investor and partial owner of Solyndra.
These “Green Jobs Scandals” go all the way to the top of the Obama administration, and they are currently doing their best to mitigate the damages by covering up their roles in the scandals. We will probably never see the evidence showing how up the ladder high these scandals go, but we all know it stops on Obama’s doorstep.
“I thought the White House might want to take advantage of this event to highlight a highly successful public/private partnership.”
— Obama adviser David Prend in an email to a White House aide encouraging the president to publicly embrace Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer that Prend’s investment firm partly owned.
The latest figure to emerge in Soylndra green-jobs scandal is David Prend, a co-founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Rockport Capital, who used his role as a green energy adviser to the Obama administration to push for a half-billion-dollar subsidized loan for Solyndra even though his company was a major investor in the solar-panel manufacturer.
Emails obtained by congressional investigators show that Prend was perhaps the first to push for Solyndra inside the administration, touting the company in a February 2009 meeting with Carol Browner, President Obama’s former global warming and energy czar. At the time, Prend’s firm held a 7.5 percent stake in Solyndra.
Prend also pushed for Solyndra to be included in a Navy contract as part of the administration’s plan to switch the military to green energy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Navy effort came in the spring of this year, long after it was clear that the company was kaput. The Navy seemed to be on the cusp of including Solyndra in the $1 million pilot project, but had to drop the well-connected firm as bankruptcy approached in September.
The Navy deal came after Rockport and other investors agreed to a $75 million rescue loan package to keep Solyndra afloat after the firm’s initial violation of the federal loan agreement at the end of last year.
The other inside man on the Solyndra loan was Steve Spinner, a former NBC executive who became a green energy guru who helped steer energy and environmental policy for the administration starting in the 2008 transition team. Spinner pushed for Solyndra to get the loan even though his wife was the lawyer for the now defunct solar firm.
But the best friend Solyndra had was George Kaiser, whose family foundation was the largest investor in the firm. Kaiser made 16 trips to the White House between March 2009 and April 2011 to consult with officials. Kaiser, a billionaire devoted to liberal causes who donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 campaign and raised may times more, has said that he didn’t lobby for the government loan. But the frequent presence of such an important patron who was visibly attached to Solyndra would have been an encouragement of its own.
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