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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Solyndra agreed to postpone bad news until after midterm elections

Senior White House officials were warned that solar-panel-maker Solyndra planned to announce layoffs just before the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

The White House also got advance notice that the company had agreed to postpone delivering the politically damaging news, according to the e-mails provided Friday by a government source. Energy Department officials persuaded the company to delay the announcement until after Election Day.

The newly released e-mails show the White House fretting about the bad news that was coming and discussing how to handle media questions about a company the Obama administration had made a showcase of in its effort to use taxpayer funds to create clean-energy jobs.

An Energy Department spokesman said Friday that the department has asked the inspector general to review the delayed announcement. The newly released documents contain no evidence that White House officials directed anyone to request the delay in publicizing that 200 Solyndra workers would lose their jobs.
 
“Not a good start for the first closed loan guarantee,” one White House climate official wrote of Solyndra on Oct. 29, 2010.  (Continues here)

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