President Obama rubbed elbows Monday night with two men at the center of the Solyndra loan scandal at an exclusive fundraiser in California.
Steve Westly, a financier whose money-raising prowess helped to snag him a post on the administration’s energy advisory board, and Matt Rogers, a former Energy Department senior adviser who helped to approve the Solyndra loan, were spotted by reporters at the $35,800-per-person fundraiser for the president’s re-election campaign.
Mr. Westly sent warnings to the president not to attend an event at Solyndra's headquarters in the Bay area because of shaky finances at the solar energy company, which had received a fast-tracked $535 million federal loan guarantee in 2010 as part of the administration’s economic stimulus program. Mr. Rogers was partly responsible for overseeing stimulus awards at the Energy Department.
They were among about 60 wealthy donors who attended the fundraiser at the swanky home of progressive activist Quinn Delaney and real estate developer Wayne Jordan, a big Obama bundler, in Piedmont, Calif., near Oakland.
Reporters traveling with the president saw Mr. Westly juggling lemons, entertaining kids at the party. He was seated later at one of the tables farthest from the president as he spoke.
Mr. Obama stayed away from any discussion of alternative energy at the fundraiser, except to say that his re-election would ensure that the government promotes “smart regulations … that are going to deal with issues like climate change.”