Key findings

  • Several political allies of President Obama financially back companies receiving millions in U.S. grants and loans.
  • One, venture capitalist Steve Westly, was a major bundler of campaign donations for Obama in 2008.
  • Since 2009, four firms in The Westly Group’s portfolio are beneficiaries of some $510 million in grants and loans.
  • In August, Westly was appointed to a government advisory committee guiding Cabinet secretary Steven Chu.
  • In February, Obama urged a credit to buyers of electric cars made by Tesla Motors and other companies. Tesla’s stock immediately rose.
  • Until late last year, The Westly Group had been a major investor in Tesla Motors. Steve Westly still has a stake.
  • The White House and Energy Department say political supporters have no edge in competitions for loans and grants.