I wrote here about the potential scandal involving President Obama, the green energy company Solyndra, and Solyndra's biggest investor, George Kaiser. Notwithstanding the FBI's apparently extensive interest in the company and its principals, I said I didn't know whether a crime had been committed. I still don't, and the President and his aides are entitled to the presumption of innocence at this stage.
The presumption of innocence does not mean, however, that this matter cannot be viewed through the lens of common sense and experience. Thus I found this AP story somewhat disquieting. Its title is, Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor. It begins:
The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors -- including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama -- moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show....[T]he implosion of the company and revelations that the administration hurried Office of Management and Budget officials to finish their review of the loan in time for the September 2009 groundbreaking has become an embarrassment for Obama...
Embarrassment is one thing, but this in particular is what caught my eye:
Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors -- Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP -- stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.
Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House. Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign, federal election records show. Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president's aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs.