WASHINGTON -- When the House Energy and Commerce Committee met in October to decide what Solyndra-related documents to subpoena from the White House, the panel's lead staffer, Gary Andres, as ever, was in the closed-door meeting.
Just three years earlier, Andres was on the opposite side. In 2008, he was a top lobbyist with Dutko Worldwide, which was paid $50,000 to craft Solyndra's loan guarantee application to the Bush White House, according to lobbying records.
The energy panel has relentlessly pursued the Obama administration's handling of the loan guarantee to the solar panel company, which went bankrupt despite a $528 million loan. Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified before an Energy and Commerce subcommittee earlier this month at the request of Republicans.
Earlier this month, over the objection's of committee Democrats, the panel took the remarkable and unprecedented step of subpoenaing internal White House emails related to the Solyndra loan.
Andres is not registered as having specifically worked on the Solyndra loan guarantee, and a spokesperson for the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a super committee member, said that Andres did not have any involvement with the company while at Dutko.
According to lobbying records, Dutko lobbied the office of the loan guarantee program and the White House Office of Management and Budget, among other executive offices, "regarding the Solyndra loan application."
Federal records list Deanna Perlmutter as having registered on Dutko's behalf to lobby for Solyndra. Perlmutter is a high-profile lobbyist who divorced Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado in 2008, the same year she left Dutko for Holland & Knight, another high-powered firm in Washington. Perlmutter took the Solyndra contract with her.