Research Report: The Lobbying Activity of Solyndra Inc.

Note: This Research Report previously appeared here.  The research report was updated on May 29, 2012 to reflect all of Solyndra’s lobbying activity.

Some insiders allege Solyndra, Inc. got special treatment from the Obama administration in the form of unusually low interest rates on loans.  On September 8th, the FBI and the Energy Department’s inspector general raided Solyndra’s headquarters.  And a report out today claims Department of Energy officials sat in on meetings with Solyndra.

As the investigation into Solyndra continues, the First Street Research Group takes a detailed look at Solyndra’s lobbying activities since 2008.  In the 3rd quarter of 2011 Solyndra terminated all of their lobbying contracts.

Highlights:

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  • Spent $1.42 million on lobbying activities, including paying 6 different firms $877,500 to lobby on its behalf.
  • Hired 21 lobbyists and relied heavily on The Revolving Door:
    • 18 lobbyists previously worked for the government
    • These lobbyists worked for over 35 different offices or Members of Congress
    • 7 lobbyists have worked for a Republican and 11 lobbyists have worked for a Democrat
  • Gary J. Andres the Current Republican Staff Director for the Committee on Energy and Commerce which investigate the  Solyndra loan program was the Vice Chair of Public Policy and Research at Dutko while the firm was lobbying on Solyndra’s behalf.
  • Lobbied on 18 bills, ranging from the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 to the Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008.
  • Lobbied on issues focused on Budget/Appropriations, Defense, Energy/Nuclear, Taxation/Internal Revenue Code, and in particular:

“Issues related to Department of Energy loan program.”
“Lobbied on obtaining language expressing interest in how DoD funds were being spent on solar PV related to country of origin of solar cells and modules.”

First Street Coalition Builder Snapshot of Solyndra’s activity in 2011:


Solyndra’s Total Lobbying Activity

 Lobbying Activity Total In-House Outside Firm
2011 $550,000 $377,500.00 $172,500.00
2010 $550,000 $165,000.00 $385,000.00
2009 $160,000 $160,000.00
2008 $160,000 $160,000.00
Total
$1,420,000 $532,500.00 $877,500.00

Lobbying Firms Hired by Solyndra

Name Filing Quarter Amount
The Glover Park Group 2011 3Q $  20,000
McAllister & Quinn LLC 2011 2Q $  37,500
The Washington Tax Group LLC 2011 2Q $  20,000
McAllister & Quinn LLC 2011 1Q $  45,000
The Washington Tax Group LLC 2011 1Q $  30,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2011 1Q $  20,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2010 4Q $  50,000
McAllister & Quinn LLC 2010 4Q $  45,000
The Washington Tax Group LLC 2010 4Q $  30,000
McAllister & Quinn LLC 2010 3Q $  45,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2010 3Q $  50,000
The Washington Tax Group LLC 2010 3Q $  30,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2010 2Q $  50,000
The Washington Tax Group LLC 2010 2Q $  20,000
McAllister & Quinn LLC 2010 2Q $  15,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2010 1Q $  50,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2009 4Q $  50,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2009 3Q $  50,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2009 2Q $  40,000
McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC. 2009 1Q $  20,000
Holland & Knight LLP 2008 4Q $  50,000
Holland & Knight LLP 2008 3Q $  50,000
Dutko Worldwide, LLC 2008 2Q $  20,000
Holland & Knight LLP 2008 2Q $  10,000
Dutko Worldwide, LLC 2008 1Q $  30,000

Solyndra’s In-House Lobbyists
Victoria Sanville
Most Recently: Registered Lobbyist – Solyndra, Inc.
Formerly:

  • Deputy Chief of Staff; Legis. Director – Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)
  • Deputy Chief of Staff – Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
  • Legislative Director – Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
  • Legislative Director – Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
  • Legislative Assistant – Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
  • Scheduler – Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
  • Staff Assistant – Rep. George W. Gekas (R-PA)


Joseph Pasetti

Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Sharp Electronics Corporation
Formerly:

  • Registered Lobbyist – Solyndra, Inc.
  • Registered Lobbyist – Applied Materials, Inc
  • Registered Lobbyist – Information Technology Industry Council
  • Professional Staff Member – Joint Economic Committee
  • Staff Assistant – Joint Economic Committee
  • Staff Assistant – Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato (R-NY)

Lobbyists Representing Solyndra

Chris Fish (McAllister & Quinn LLC)
Formerly:

  • Chief of Staff – Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
  • District Director – Rep. Sue W. Kelly (R-NY)
  • Executive Assistant – Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato (R-NY)

Jan Fowler (The Washington Tax Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Assistant – Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH)
  • Legislative Assistant (Tax, Social Security, Banking/Finance, Budget, Insurance, Pensions, Labor, Small Business,     Education) – Rep. James O McCrery, III (R-LA)

Stephen Ham (McAllister & Quinn LLC)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Assistant (Defense and Military Construction Appropriations, Arts, Humanities, Animal Rights) – Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Noushin Jahanian (Intel Corporation; The Washington Tax Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Policy Director – Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Gregory Nickerson (The Washington Tax Group LLC; Van Heuvelen Strategies LLC)
Formerly:

  • Staff Director (Republican) – House Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures
  • Tax Counsel (Republican) – House Ways and Means Committee

Kyle Winslow (McAllister & Quinn LLC)
Angela Becker- Dippmann (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • Professional Staff Member – Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Policy Director – Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Andrew Davis (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • Minority (Democratic) Communications Director – Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • Communications Director – Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Communications Director – Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC)
  • Deputy Director – Senate Democratic Technology and Communications Center

Gabriel Horwitz (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Director – Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Legislative Assistant (Agriculture, Trade, EPA, Resources, Conservation, Wildlife, Environment, Steel, Defense, Energy) – Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR)
  • Legislative Assistant (Homeland Security, Coastal Waterways, Environment, Immigration, Agriculture, Appropriations, Homeland Security, Telecommunication, Transportation, Corps of Engineers Projects) – Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)

David Harry Mann (Holland & Knight LLP)

Jeff Markey (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Director Nuclear Cleanup Caucus – Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
  • Legislative Director – Rep. Jack Metcalf (R-WA)

Steve McBee (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Assistant, Defense, National Security, Appropriations – Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA)
  • Legislative Assistant, Foreign Affairs – Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Legislative Assistant, Defense, Foreign Affairs, Trade, Labor, Transportation – Rep. Allan Swift (D-WA)

Deana Perlmutter (Holland & Knight LLP)

Michael W Sheehy (McBee Strategic Consulting, LLC.)
Formerly:

  • National Security Advisor – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Democratic (Minority) Staff Director; Chief Counsel – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Beth A Viola (Holland & Knight LLP)
Formerly:

  • Associate Director for Public Liaison – Council on Environmental Quality (Executive Office of the President (Bill Clinton))

Robert Wesley Harris (The Glover Park Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Director – Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D NC-1)
  • Special Assistant – Rep. Frank W. Ballance, Jr. (D NC-1)

Alex Mistri (The Glover Park Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs – Office of Legislative Affairs (Executive Office of the President (George W. Bush))
  • Chief of Staff – Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
  • Legislative Director – Rep. Robin Hayes (R NC-8)
  • Legislative Aide (Defense, Foreign Affairs, Crime, Indian Affairs, Academies) – Sen. D. McLauchlin (Lauch) Faircloth (R-NC)

Catharine Ransom (The Glover Park Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Legislative Asstistant – Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
  • Minority (Democratic) Professional Staff Member – Committee on Environment and Public Works

Gregg Rotschild (The Glover Park Group LLC)
Formerly:

  • Chief Counsel – Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • Legislative Director – Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Minority Counsel – Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Legislation that Solyndra or a Firm Representing the Company Has Lobbied On:

  • 110th HR 6049: Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008
  • 110th S 3335: Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008
  • 110th S 3478: Energy Independence and Investment Act of 2008
  • 111th HR 1 IH: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • 111th HR 2454 RH: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
  • 111th HR 2847 RS: Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2010
  • 111th HR 2998 IH: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
  • 111th HR 3136 IH: To extend the program to provide grants for specified energy property in lieu of tax credits.
  • 111th HR 4085 IH: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an investment credit for property used to fabricate solar energy property, and for other purposes.
  • 111th HR 4599 IH: Renewable Energy Expansion Act of 2010
  • 111th HR 5252 IH: Renewable Energy Tax Incentives Extension Act
  • 111th S 1733 RS: Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act
  • 111th S 2755 IS: Solar Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act
  • 111th S 2899 IS: Renewable Energy Incentive Act
  • 112th HR 1540 RH: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  • 112th HR 2055 RS: Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012
  • 112th HR 2219 RH: Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012
  • 112th S 981 IS: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Issues that Solyndra or a Firm Representing the Company Most Recently Lobbied On:
Budget/Appropriations
“Defense appropriations, Financial Services appropriations, DOD, S 3454 National Defense Authorization Act, Renewable energy”

Defense
“DOD, S 3454 National Defense Authorization Act”

Energy/Nuclear
“H.R. 2219 (no official bill in the Senate yet), the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 This bill funds the Department of Defense for FY12. Lobbied on obtaining language expressing interest in how DoD funds were being spent on solar PV related to country of origin of solar cells and modules.” & “Renewable energy” & “Issues related to Department of Energy loan program.”

Taxation/Internal Revenue Code
“Issues related to tax code section 48C and solar manufacturing equipment tax credit.”

Comments

  1. Good Listing of the facts. Lets see how Obama spins the truth.

  2. bill ruggirello says:

    Sure were a lot of REPUBLICANS lobbying during 2011 – the year of this purported “scandal”

  3. This is a well intentioned venture however it should be invested into research and development instead one failed company doesn’t show the future of the venture only a guideline of how a company should not have been run.

Trackbacks

  1. […] wanted to share something that I found interesting and startling going on in Washington. The whole Solyndra scandal, if you want to call it that, may have led to some other dirty dealings being […]

  2. […] Research Group — which has no affiliation with THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL — researched Solyndra’s lobbying efforts, and it’s not a pretty picture. But the Solyndra scandal could not have happened if the […]

  3. […] it should not. Palin has gotten a lot of traction in attacking the Obama administration for scandals like Solyndra. Romney, who has been described as a human weather vane, has gotten the message and has followed […]

  4. […] here: Research Report: The Lobbying Activity of Solyndra Inc. Obama Tainted by Loan Guarantees to Solar Firms New York Times: The Solyndra Mess Solyndra Scandal […]

  5. […] Energy: Obama put $500MM in one solar energy start-up (Solyndra) that failed. Government should be investing in science and research that helps the industry. […]

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