COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says a half-billion dollar government loan to a solar energy manufacturer is an example of an “abuse of authority and power.”

Bachmann made the remarks Friday at an Orange County rally before the start of the California GOP convention.

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The Treasury Department announced Thursday it has launched an investigation into a $535 million loan to the Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra Inc.

The Silicon Valley company was the first renewable-energy manufacturer to receive a loan guarantee under the stimulus law. President Barack Obama’s administration frequently touted Solyndra as a model for its clean energy program.

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It has since laid off more than 1,000 people and filed for bankruptcy.

Bachmann called the loan “crony capitalism” during the rally.

Solyndra executives raised more than $100,000 for Obama and Democrats.

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