Cliff Stearns, from obscure Florida congressman, to leading Solyndra investigation
WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns lost his bid to become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, fate seemed to pull him back into the ranks of the obscure, a figure unrecognizable outside a Florida district whose power players tend to be thoroughbred horses.
But there was President Barack Obama on Thursday taking a direct shot at the Ocala Republican during a nationally televised news conference, escalating tension stemming from the lawmaker's lead investigative role into the failed solar company Solyndra.
Sterns' consolation prize last year — chair of the House oversight and investigations subcommittee — has inserted him into the biggest scandal to touch the Obama administration.
"It's sobering," Stearns, 70, said in an interview from his office Thursday. He had four others lined up and has been a regular on cable news since the controversy accelerated last month.
"It's sobering," he went on, "because it's a lot of money that's being lost and these loan guarantees are not just Solyndra. There are lots of others out there. The responsibility is to show the taxpayer money is being used wisely and we're starting to find that it's not." (story here)