Sunrise (5/18/11)

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BIZ SAYS DROP CONTRACTOR DISCLOSURE EO

The Hill: “A coalition of more than 80 business groups told President Obama to “abandon” a draft executive order that would have government contractors disclose their political contributions. … In a letter sent Monday to Obama, groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Retail Federation and the National Association of Manufacturers said that they oppose the draft order since it would inject politics into the federal contracting process. In addition, they said the draft order would chill their free-speech rights.”

RNC SEEKS UNREGULATED MONEY

Politico: “The Republican National Committee is considering a proposal to hand over partial control of its most valuable asset – its voter file – to a newly formed private entity that would enhance it by using unregulated money from an increasingly influential network of independent groups allied with the GOP. … The RNC’s willingness to essentially contract out management of its voter information reflects the plight of a committee grappling with a huge debt left over by from the chairmanship of Michael Steele, as well as a campaign finance landscape increasingly dominated by independent groups. … While critics of the plan worry that it could quicken the RNC’s slide into irrelevance and empower (and enrich) outside operatives, supporters cast it as a means to collect more sophisticated information about likely Republican voters by taking advantage of the money flowing into new, mega-donor-funded independent groups, such American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS, for short), groups connected to GOP operatives Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and Mike Duncan.”

YOU CAN ALWAYS DEPEND ON THE KINDNESS OF LOBBYISTS

Roll Call: “Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln is planning to set up shop on K Street. Alston & Bird will announce this week that the Arkansas Democrat will join its operation, according to a source close to the firm. … This will be just the latest in former Members at the firm. Earlier this year, Alston picked up former Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) and affiliated with former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.). Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) is also at the shop.”

HUNTSMAN SEEKS LOBBYIST SUPPORT FOR PREZ BID

Politico: “Jon Huntsman spent Tuesday meeting with lobbyists and potential donors, continuing to build the fundraising and D.C.-based network he would need to finance and run a presidential campaign in 2012. … The former Utah governor held a lunch meeting with lobbyists at Emergent Biosolutions’s offices above the swanky Willard Hotel downtown, a lobbying source said. Privately, lobbyists with several large firms and trade associations say that Huntsman’s team has reached out recently to invite them to similar events – a sign Huntsman is casting a wide net as he tries to catch up with potential candidates who have spent months or even years building their national networks.”

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