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Obama bundler Steven Westly enjoys White House access and DOE funding

By Laurie Bennett

April 4, 2011 at 8:08am

The Obama years have been good to venture capitalist and former California gubernatorial candidate Steven Westly.

Westly was a big help to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, and now enjoys significant access to Obama administration officials.

The Center for Public Integrity reports that four of the companies in which his venture firm, Westly Group, have invested have received more than $510 million in grants and loans from the Energy Department.

Steven Westly
Steven Westly

Two of those companies, Tesla Motors and Amyris Biotechnologies, have since gone public.

Westly, who refused to speak to the center, sits on a board that advises Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The board itself is a powerful network, including former Lockheed Martin Chairman Norm Augustine, former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and former Defense Secretary Bill Perry.

He also was a guest at the state dinner for the president of China in January, and at a Silicon Valley dinner in February, attended by Obama and tech leaders such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

Westly, former California state controller, ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2006. Two years later, he raised more than $500,000 for the Obama campaign.

He founded the Westly Group to invest in clean technologies. On its web site, the company says: “We believe that with the Obama administration, and other governments in Western Europe and Asia, committing hundreds of billions of dollars to cleantech, there has never been a better time to launch clean tech companies.”

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1 Comments

  • #1.   A M 04.04.2011

    This doesn’t seem that bad. Even though its cronyism, I’d rather have someone who believes in green energy as a crony to our President than have something like the myriad of a-holes Bush brought to the White House.

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