Sunrise (1/25/11)

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MICHELLE OBAMA’S BOX SEATS

WH.gov releases infographic of guests joining First Lady Michelle Obama in the upper level box seats for the State of the Union speech. Breakdown:

  • Education/Youth: 5
  • Tuscon tragedy: 4
  • Military: 4
  • Stimulus: 4
  • Health Care Reform: 2
  • Corporate: 2
  • Went to help Chilean miners: 1

IMPROVE VIDEO IN CONGRESS

Sunlight: “…the Sunlight Foundation and Main Street Insider called upon the House of Representatives to improve how it makes floor and committee videos available online. We also requested that the House to provide a centrally located and frequently updated website with aggregated listings of all committee events and floor schedules.”

–The video should be:

  • Comprehensive of all official House proceedings;
  • Indexed and aggregated in a central website and (when applicable) on each committee’s site;
  • Published in a modern video format (such as h.264 or WebM);
  • Rapidly made available to the public;
  • Archived online;
  • Inclusive of closed captioning and other metadata, such as meeting agendas;
  • Published in a manner that encourages reuse on widely-used platforms

DSCC CHIEF TO TAP LOBBYISTS

Roll Call: “Most of Sen. Patty Murray’s closest contacts downtown are former Senate aides or lobbyists with roots in the Pacific Northwest. As the Washington state lawmaker leads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in a potentially brutal election cycle, she will get fundraising help from her circle of K Street contacts. And lobbyists say she will rely on a laid-back but persistent style to tap downtown and corporate interests.”

CROSSROADS CSI

New York Times: “The report by the Office of Special Counsel finds that the Bush administration’s Office of Political Affairs — overseen by Karl Rove — served almost as an extension of the Republican National Committee, developing a “target list” of Congressional races, organizing dozens of briefings for political appointees to press them to work for party candidates, and sending cabinet officials out to help these campaigns. … The report found that during the Bush administration, senior staff members at the Office of Political Affairs violated the Hatch Act by organizing 75 political briefings from 2001 to 2007 for Republican appointees at top federal agencies in an effort to enlist them to help Republicans get elected to Congress.”

FINRA INVESTIGATES CALIFORNIA LOBBYING

Bloomberg: “Payments to [the California Public Securities Association] that has spent $1.85 million on state ballot campaigns since 2000 are the focus of a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority probe, according to a letter received by at least some members.”

BAYH NOT MAKING GOOD LAST IMPRESSIONS

Ezra Klein on Evan Bayh: “In 2010, Sen. Evan Bayh retired. Part of the reason, he told me, was that the corrosive effect of money in politics had left his profession looking corrupt. “You want to be engaged in an honorable line of work,” Bayh said, “but they look at us like we’re worse than used-car salesmen.” … On Friday, Bayh announced that he was joining Apollo Global Management, a private-equity megafirm, as “a senior adviser with responsibility for public policy.” Something tells me that this isn’t going to vastly improve the way Americans think about their politicians.”

KAZAKHSTAN GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

–A recent lobbyist registration shows the lobbying firm BGR Group registered to lobby for BGR Gabara, the London-based sister firm of BGR Group, on behalf of Kazatomprom, the national nuclear holding company of Kazakhstan. Is Kazatomprom avoiding foreign lobbying laws by having BGR Group register to lobby for their London office?

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