Republicans Running Out Of Gas On Solyndra
This fight is petering out.
And one of the main GOP investigators, Rep. Cliff Stearns, is mired in his own political mess after questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and over allegations he tried to bribe another Florida Republican to get out of their August primary race.
More than a year into a probe that’s extended to the Energy Department loan guarantee portfolio, Republican investigators even acknowledge they’ve fallen short of substantiating their allegations that the administration helped political allies like Tulsa oilman George Kaiser secure hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies through a loan guarantee to Solyndra.
“Is there a criminal activity? Perhaps not,” Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told POLITICO after last Tuesday’s showdown with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Is there a political influence and connections? Perhaps not. Did they bend the rules for an agenda, an agenda not covered within the statute? Absolutely.”
In some respects, Republicans have accomplished their mission. Even if no one goes to jail, they’ve turned Solyndra into a four-letter word, vilified the Nobel laureate Chu and left a popular DOE program in shambles. They also make no bones about how they’ve turned Solyndra into a campaign issue.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll win the campaign.