"Obama warned not to visit Solyndra"

Apparently Obama contributors warned Obama that Solyndra was a particularly bad investment. What Obama doesn't seem to understand is that if these were good investments, he wouldn't need to give them loans.

“A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” California investor and Obama fundraiser Steve Westly wrote to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010. “Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term. . . . I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press.”

The warning, which did not convince the White House to drop the Obama factory visit, was detailed in e-mails released Monday by the Democratic minority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The panel is investigating a $535 million government-backed loan to the now-shuttered company.

Democrats said the e-mails demonstrate that there was no political favoritism for Solyndra or for the Obama fundraiser whose family foundation held an interest in the company. But the internal messages revealed for the first time the high level of White House interest in the startup and its faltering finances after the Energy Department backed it with $535 million in loans.

On Monday, Obama made his first public comments about Solyndra’s collapse, saying that he does not regret supporting or visiting the company as part of his administration’s backing of clean-energy companies.

“Now there are going to be some failures,” he said in an ABC News/Yahoo online television interview. “Hindsight is always 20/20. It went through the normal review process and people thought this was a good bet.” . . .

Larry Summers apparently pushed for this loan even though he believed that government wasn't a good venture capitalist.

As early as December 2009, only months after the government had finalized the loan guarantee, a partner with private equity firm Redpoint Ventures warned Summers about the investment.

Brad Jones, a founding partner of Redpoint, said the government's spending on clean energy was "haphazard," citing Solyndra as an example. Redpoint was an investor in Solyndra.

"While that (loan) is good for us, I can't imagine it's a good way for the government to use taxpayer money," Jones told Summers in an email released by the House Committee.

Summers agreed that the government is a "crappy VC" (venture capitalist). "If (you) were closer to it, you'd feel more strongly," Summers told Jones. . . .

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