Sunrise (3/7/11)

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GREEN-ENERGY LOBBY

Washington Examiner: “K Street is the epicenter of this green-industrial complex, and ground zero might be the firm founded by Democratic revolving-door earmark lobbyist Steve McBee. … McBee, a former top staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and powerful House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare. Also, he has hired up the Capitol Hill staff at the center of big environmental legislative pushes like cap and trade. … McBee’s clients include SolarCity and the Green Tech Action Fund as well as electric-car maker Better Place Inc., waste-to-power company Ze-gen, and solar-power developer BrightSource Energy. But the big guys — Boeing, JP Morgan, and Google — also hire McBee to lobby for green-energy subsidies.”

RALSTON ON RORY REID

Las Vegas Sun: “Rory Reid kept using the word “transparent” last week to describe an elaborate ruse so he could accept a $750,000 contribution from a single political action committee — 75 times the legal limit. … He’s right. It was transparent. But not in the way he means it. … This was a transparent attempt to find a loophole in the campaign contribution laws by a gubernatorial candidate apparently desperate for money to try to revive his moribund campaign. And it was specifically designed to be opaque — a master PAC created with a name that belied its true purpose and 91 phony entities with names concocted to mislead. … Whether what Reid did was legal — or should be legal — will be determined later. But this was nothing short of a conspiracy to commit the equivalent of money laundering in a political campaign, where Reid solicited contributions in large amounts for a PAC ($850,000 during one reporting period) and then the money was washed through sham entities in smaller amounts ($10,000 increments) to appear in the candidate’s war chest.”

AGENCY AWARDS CONTRACT TO DIRECTOR’S EX-FIRM

The Hill: “Government watchdogs are questioning the awarding of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to the agency director’s former firm. An agency spokesman said nothing improper took place. … At issue is an early 2010 contract that DARPA awarded to RedXDefense, a pact largely unreported at the time. The contract was for $400,000 and was extended in August 2010.”

FUNDRAISING PARTIES TODAY:

–Rep. Nydia Velazquez hosts a financial services luncheon today at Charlie Palmer Steak.

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