Solyndra Finally Produces a Mouse!

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On the cosmic scale of political malfeasance, this still doesn’t exactly peg the meter or anything, but it looks like the Solyndra affair finally has its first whiff of genuine scandal. From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

….On Oct. 25, 2010, Solyndra chief executive officer Brian Harrison e-mailed the energy department’s loan staff to explain that Solyndra “has received some press inquiries about rumors of problems”….Harrison’s e-mail was forwarded to program director, Jonathan Silver, who then alerted White House climate change czar Carol Browner and Vice President Biden’s point person on stimulus, Ron Klain.

October 25 was a week before the November midterms. After the White House folks were notified, apparently word was sent back that a delay of a few days would be appreciated:

In an Oct. 30, 2010 e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3….“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd — oddly they didn‘t give a reason for that date.”

How odd! I’m sure there’s an explanation for this. I just doubt that it’s going to be a very good one.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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