Sunrise (4/19/11)

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FOREIGN MONEY FUELS ONLINE POKER LOBBYING BLITZ

NYT: “For the past four years, the foreign companies that control the global Internet poker industry have helped bankroll an elaborate lobbying campaign here, seeking to keep the United States from shutting their American operations down. … Former Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Republican of New York, has been the public face of the effort, which has included charity poker tournaments featuring members of Congress, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to a disparate assortment of lawmakers, including Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader. … But late last week, the United States Justice Department delivered an unexpected thunderbolt to this huge lobbying campaign when it indicted top executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, accusing them of fraud and money laundering.”

LAVISH FRESHMAN FUNDRAISER A FLOP

McClatchy: “A freshman California lawmaker made a big splash but barely broke even at a glitzy and controversial January GOP fundraiser featuring country singer LeAnn Rimes, new campaign filings show. … Celebrity, it seems, comes at a cost. … Rimes and her entourage made out well at the Jan. 4 fundraiser that served as Republican Rep. Jeff Denham’s big political debut in Washington. Between assorted fees, flowers, catering and other costs, Denham’s special fundraising committee reported spending $212,250 on the Rimes event. … The committee, meanwhile, raised only $212,900 from outside contributors.”

BOEHNER AIDE LEAVES FOR FAST GROWING LOBBYING FIRM

Roll Call: “Jay Cranford, a policy aide to Speaker John Boehner, is leaving the Hill to join the lobby shop Clark Lytle & Geduldig as a partner in May. … The newly minted lobbyist will work on the firm’s existing clients, but he also will focus on building an energy and technology practice. In addition to his work for the Ohio Republican’s leadership team, Cranford previously served as staff director of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.”

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