Today, President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Citigroup chief and Obama campaign fundraiser Michael Froman as the next U.S. Trade Representative.
Froman, who bundled between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s campaigns, was the former head of CitiAlternatives. In his cronyism exposé Throw Them All Out, Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer revealed that Froman’s company was one of the largest investors in Solar Reserve–a green energy company that bagged $737 million in loan guarantees from Obama’s Department of Energy to fund a Nevada solar facility.
The Department of Energy says the project created just 45 permanent jobs.
Schweizer says the Froman-Obama money connections go back several years:
Obama and Froman first met at Harvard Law School, where they served on the Law Review together. When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Froman introduced him to major Democratic Party players like Robert Rubin, raised money for the campaign, and advised Obama on policy. When Obama ran for President, Froman helped raise large sums of money on Wall Street. After he secured election, Obama asked Froman to join him in the White House as deputy assistant to the President and deputy national security adviser.
If confirmed, Froman would join fellow Citigroup alum Jack Lew, now Obama’s Treasury Secretary. In the aftermath of the financial meltdown, Citigroup received $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees. The big bank claims taxpayers made a profit on the bailout.
Obama’s embrace of big Wall Street bank executives stands in direct contrast to his past statements.
“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,” said Obama in 2009.