Sunrise (5/26/11)

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FACEBOOK HIRES GOP LOBBYISTS

DealBook: “In an effort to expand its power base in the nation’s capital, Facebook has hired Joel Kaplan, an executive vice president at the Texas utility giant Energy Future Holdings, to head the company’s office in Washington. … It’s a significant coup for the fast-growing social network, which is seeking to increase its influence among policy makers and lawmakers. … In some ways, Mr. Kaplan’s move — from the private equity-owned Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU — symbolizes the emergence of social media as the new new thing. … It also shows how Silicon Valley and venture capital has re-established itself as the hottest pocket in the deal world, while the private-equity industry has lost some of its luster. … When Mr. Kaplan left the Bush administration, he took a job working for private equity firms at Energy Future Holdings. In 2007, at the market peak, a group including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, TPG and Goldman Sachs paid $44 billion for the company.”

SUPER PACS PUSHING THE LIMITS

WaPo: “A year after the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling allowed unfettered election spending by corporations and unions, a new phenomenon is taking shape: interest groups that are trying to claim the imprimatur of the Republican and Democratic parties. … The groups are officially independent but are run by former party operatives. The Republican Super PAC, for instance, is run by three members of the Republican National Committee. … Now, some of these quasi-official independent groups want to have Republican and Democratic lawmakers help them raise money. … There’s a debate, however, about whether the practice is legal.”

OBAMA COURTS WALL STREET

WaPo: “At 6:30 on Monday evening, Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina walked up Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, dressed as the spitting image of the Wall Street bankers he hoped to impress. … “Do you like this?” he said smoothing down his red striped tie. The rail-thin operative wore a dark suit and was accompanied by an aide swinging a tautly wrapped umbrella. “I think it looks pretty good!” … Messina then turned toward the red brick townhouse of millionaire Wall Street hedge fund director Marc Lasry, where, for the third time that day, he made a fundraising pitch to investors whom his boss once vilified as “fat cats.” … Messina’s visit to Lasry’s home is a clear sign that the fundraising season for President Obama’s reelection campaign has begun in earnest and that his team is operating in a markedly less sensitive political climate than last year. These days, the object is to raise $700 million, and Messina is not as discerning as he once was about where it comes from.”

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