Questions have been raised about Obama donor Steve Westly of Westly Group Investments. A Republican National Committee ad states:
“Meet Steve Westly. He raised over $500,000 for Obama’s campaign. With Obama in office, Westly Group Investments have received 500 million taxpayer dollars. Westly was even appointed to a top advisory role, influencing how federal taxpayer money was spent…Westly raised money for Obama, then got a half a billion taxpayer dollars. Obama’s friends are doing fine, but the middle class isn’t.”
Politico is reporting that the RNC is demanding that the White House release internal communications between Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Mr. Westly. According to Politico:
Republicans have long alleged that Westly’s campaign fundraising prowess garnered him preferential treatment in the form of federal money for companies backed by his firm, the Westly Group, and direct access to top White House officials. But the White House and the Obama campaign have strongly denied the allegations, dismissing them as a political stunt.
Westly’s name also came up in the Solyndra investigation: Emails showed he had warned White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010 about Obama’s upcoming visit to the California solar company, a year before it filed for bankruptcy.
“Will the White House release all communications between Steven Chu and Steve Westly between inauguration day and the distribution of stimulus funds to Westly-backed companies?” the RNC asked in a memo to White House press secretary Jay Carney and Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “Will they release a transcript of advisory board meetings with Chu and Westly?”
Westly spokesman Joel Berman denied the accusations telling the Washington Post, “Westly never contacted DOE or the White House regarding loan or grant applications for Westly Group portfolio companies,” Berman said. “There is no evidence to suggest a connection between Mr. Westly’s roles as an investor, member of SEAB, and as a supporter of President Obama.”
The Washington Times caught up with Secretary Chu this week and asked the Energy Secretary about these allegations to which he answered, “I have no comment on that. I don’t think we had very many emails at all.”
Secretary Chu refused to answer questions about crony capitalism allegations happening in his department.