Sunrise (2/25/11)

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WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY DUCKS AND DODGES ON OFFSITE LOBBYING

Sunlight: “[Jay] Carney refuses to answer whether the White House has any guidance on when it’s appropriate to schedule meetings that occur outside the reach of the visitor logs records. I doubt there’s any formal guidance, but instead that whoever sets up a meeting thinks about the meeting’s potential disclosure in the same way you might consider who is invited, how big the meeting might be, or what the agenda should be. In other words, these decisions are probably made as a matter of course. … Rather than engaging with detail in the question, or sidestepping it altogether, Carney attacks the idea that anyone would question the administration’s commitment to transparency … If the White House feels vulnerable on lobbying reform, then they should avoid obfuscating on real questions about how the visitor logs policies work.”

BOEING RETURN ON INVESTMENT = 64,000%

–Politico: “For a decade, the world’s two largest aerospace companies fought a bitter battle to build the next fleet of Air Force refueling tankers, a fight that’s likely to continue at least at the political level even after Thursday’s announcement that Boeing bested EADS for the $35 billion contract. … Boeing has spent more than $52 million lobbying since 2008. EADS and Northrop Grumman, who partnered with EADS until 2010, spent almost $44 million in 2008 and 2009. And last year, EADS spent $3.2 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. … But Boeing also had a powerful ally in the International Machinists and Aerospace Workers Association. EADS planned to build its tankers in Alabama, a state that doesn’t rely on union labor, while Boeing plans to assemble its planes in Washington state. Since 2008, the union has spent more than $5 million on lobbying expenses.”

TWITTER OWNER DISCUSSES WASHINGTON TIES

Politico: “Is Washington important to Twitter or is Twitter important to Washington?” [Biz] Stone said during an interview with POLITICO. “I don’t think you have to frame it either way, but I think the point is there are a lot of similarities in the way we think about technology.” … But at least for now, Twitter’s presence in Washington will remain muted. The company has a single employee here – former C-SPAN producer Adam Sharp, who was hired in November. His duties include giving politicians tutorials on how to use Twitter or explaining its privacy policies. … Stone says there are no plans to expand Twitter’s one-man office, but the idea hasn’t been ruled out.”

MORE OIL MONEY IN WASHINGTON

Bloomberg: “The American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and gas industry trade group, will start backing political candidates this year as the U.S. considers repealing $46 billion in subsidies and imposing pollution rules. … The group, whose members include Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., would make donations separately from industry executives and employees, who gave $27.6 million mostly to Republican candidates for Congress last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. API has paid for advertising on policy issues and to lobby on legislation.”

FUNDRAISING PARTIES THIS WEEKEND

Sunlight: “Over the next few days, quite a few members of Congress are using getaways and sports events to stock their re-election accounts.”

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