Steven J. Spinner, a former Department of Energy official at the center of the Solyndra scandal that cost taxpayers $535 million, ran for the exits when he saw ABC News cameras at the Democratic National Convention.
Emails surfaced last October that, while in the DOE, Spinner had pushed for the Obama administration to give the failed solar company Solyndra government-backed loan guarantees.
ABC News attempted to interview Spinner, but was blocked from doing so by a DNC employee as Spinner broke into a run for the exit.
“You can’t follow people,” the employee told ABC News, as he prevented the camera crew from filming Spinner. Neither the Obama campaign nor the White House responded to ABC’s requests for comment about Spinner.
After his appointment to the DOE, Spinner signed a waiver saying he would not be involved in Solyndra receiving a loan guarantee due to the fact his wife’s law firm represented the company.
However, internal White House emails showed that he was heavily involved in efforts to promote the loan politically, even pushing for a “big event” with “golden shovels, bulldozers, hardhats, etc.,” when the loan was set to be announced.
According to ABC News, Spinner has been attending events organized for Obama’s top campaign donors, members of the National Finance Committee. Spinner also may be a top donor to the convention’s host committee, which accepts up to $100,000 from individuals. He was also wearing a “Finance Guest” badge.
Spinner has been a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign in the past, raking in more than $500,000 for Obama in 2008. He was subsequently given a high-ranking position within the Department of Energy.
Solyndra received a $535 million government-backed loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2011, leaving taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars and 1,100 workers unemployed.
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