Sunrise (1/27/11)

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DISINFORMATION ON LOBBYING:

The Hill: Republicans and Democrats use bogus arguments to mock and attack President Obama’s call for disclosure of lobbying contacts.

Sunlight’s John Wonderlich responds: “First, no one is suggesting putting the names online of all constituents who meet with Members of Congress. There are any number of reasonable thresholds of who must report their lobbying, and the current definition is broken. This objection is a diversion. … Second, Obama’s current self-imposed policies are far better than nothing. The President is building lobbying disclosure policies on top of Congress’s broken half-hearted effort. If Obama’s policies ultimately fail, Congress should fix them. This is a poor excuse for inaction. … Third, we don’t need a comparison of the openness of the White House and Congress. Influence is wielded wherever it’s effective. Senator Reid may have fantastic breakfasts for constituents, but the need for better disclosure of lobbying is unaffected by their coffee and crullers. … The President and congressional leaders should take a hard look at our lobbying laws, and decide, together, that they need to be fundamentally improved.”

CLEAN ENERGY LOBBYING RACE BEGINS

New York Times: “The lobbying, negotiating and deal making now begins on clean energy legislation. … With President Obama in his State of the Union describing the framework for a “clean energy” measure, environmental, business and other groups this morning began to determine how they move forward. … Those who favor the concepts Obama laid out called the speech an important jump start for action.”

SPEAKER BOEHNER TO ADDRESS INSURANCE LOBBY

Insurance Journal: “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will give the keynote address to members of the Big “I” during the group’s annual D.C. conference later this year. … Boehner is scheduled to speak on Thursday, April 14, hours before state groups of members from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America fan out across Capital Hill to lobby their congress members, senators and their staffs on issues relevant to the independent agency system.”

NEW ETHICS DEMS

–The Hill: “On Wednesday, a day after tapping Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) to be the new ranking member on the committee, Pelosi filled the rest of the spots. … Democrats on the committee will include: Reps. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), John Yarmuth (Ky.) and Donna Edwards (Md.) and Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi.”

TAUZIN JOINS ALSTON BIRD

–Politico: “Former PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin is headed to the lobbying law firm Alston + Bird, Tauzin confirmed to POLITICO Wednesday night. … Tauzin declined to discuss the details of his new job, preferring to allow the firm to make the announcement.”

A PHOTO SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS

Atlantic (follow link for the photo): “This gripping photo has been bouncing around the Internet today. If the protests of the last few days manage to extract meaningful reform from the Egyptian government, it could enter the pantheon of iconic protest images epitomized by Jeff Widener’s tank man.”

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