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Sen. Grassley Questions Solyndra Investor’s Charity Giving

Tuesday, 18 Oct 2011 03:16 PM

 

The George Kaiser Family Foundation, an investor in Solyndra LLC, may not qualify for the favorable tax status it claims as a public charity, according to Sen. Charles Grassley.

Grassley, an Iowa Republican, sent a letter dated Monday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman questioning whether the foundation met qualifications.

“The numbers are very troublesome,” Grassley wrote. The foundation claims assets of $4 billion and has given out less than 2 percent of its total assets in grants over three years, about $215.4 million, according to Grassley.

Kaiser, an oil billionaire, was a campaign fundraiser for President Barack Obama in 2008. The foundation he started invested in Solyndra, a maker of solar panels that received $535 million in loan guarantees from the Energy Department before filing for bankruptcy on Sept. 6.

Grassley urged the administration to tighten loopholes that let charities avoid payout requirements.

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