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Opinion: King Harry, the Washington lobbyist ‘godfather’ (w/video)



kingharry-600x142-7372652-6964523When Sen. Harry Reid rose to his leadership position in 2005 one of his first acts at the helm was to hold a meet and greet with prominent D.C. lobbyists. The meeting was described by one lobbyist as, “it was like a scene out of ‘The Godfather.’ . . . He was in the back room and people were lined up to greet him and pay homage.” The lobbyist contributions flowing into Reid’s campaign to fund his negative ads represent the lobbying community paying back “the godfather” for his years of hard work fighting for the D.C. special interest groups.

Now one day after Politico reported on Reid’s reliance on Washington lobbyists to fund his nasty smear campaign on Sharron Angle, Reid has decided to go back to the K Street trough for more money. With Nevada’s unemployment rate at 14.2 percent and the foreclosure rate at the highest in the country, Reid has decided again to turn his back on Nevadans and have breakfast with his well-heeled friends at the posh Charlie Palmer Steakhouse on Capitol Hill to raise more money for his campaign.

“Only in Reid’s kingdom would Senator Harry Reid wake up at the Ritz-Carlton and then stroll down to the posh Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse–where a porterhouse steak costs a mere $84–and dine with his lobbyist friends,” said Jerry Stacy, Spokesman for Angle.  “Meanwhile there are over 193,000 Nevadans who are unemployed, because Senator Reid is working to please his liberal base and expand the role of the federal government, instead of focusing on creating an economic environment that will create real jobs. It is time to elect Sharron Angle who will not be beholden to the elite lobbyist community and will always stand up and fight for Nevada.”


Reid Attended A Fundraising Breakfast At The Fancy Capitol Hill Charlie Palmer Steakhouse

Senator Reid Hosted A Fundraising Breakfast This Morning At Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse On Capitol Hill Soliciting Donations From Special Interest Groups. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has his inside-the-Beltway fundraising down to a formula. Pick a venue, host a breakfast at 7:45 a.m., spend 45 minutes with paying guests and then head for the door. And that’s exactly what the Nevada Democrat is expected to do Thursday morning at Charlie Palmer Steak. The event will bring in as much as $2,500 per political action committee and $2,400 from individual hosts, according to a copy of the private invitation.” (Anna Palmer, “Fundraisers Showcase Personalities,” Roll Call, 8/3/10)

  • Examples Of Dishes On The Charlie Palmer Menu Consist Of A $61 Butter Braised Stuffed Maine Lobster Or A $78 Iced Shellfish Platter. (Charlie Palmer’s Menu, www.charliepalmer.com, Accessed 8/4/10)

Senator Reid Has Accepted Big Money From The Lobbying Community

Reid’s Latest Campaign Finance Report Showed That He Racked Up $56,000 In Contributions From Registered Lobbyists In Just A Few Week Span. “K Street has placed a big bet in the Nevada Senate race, putting a bundle of cash behind Harry Reid.  During just a few weeks, the Senate majority leader racked up $56,000 in individual contributions from registered lobbyists, according to an analysis of his latest campaign fundraising records, which cover the final days before the Nevada primary through the end of June.” (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “K Street Bets On Reid,” Politico, 8/4/10)

  • “Indeed, Federal Election Commission Records Show That Reid Is Blowing Away Angle In Lobbyist Money: Since The Start Of 2009, Lobbyists And Political Action Committees Have Bundled An Additional $519,000 To Reid, While Angle Has Yet To Report Any Similar Donations. (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “K Street Bets On Reid,” Politico, 8/4/10)
  • “Through The First Quarter Of 2010, Reid Has Raised Nearly $640,000 From The Lobbying Industry, Making It The Fourth Biggest Source Of Funds For His Campaign Coffers, According To The Center For Responsive Politics.” (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “K Street Bets On Reid,” Politico, 8/4/10)

Reid Has Accepted $1,108,255 Over His Career From The Lobbying Industry. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/4/10)

Reid Has Accepted $9,236,160 From PACs Over The Course Of His Career. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 8/4/10)

In 2005, When Reid Became The Senate Democrat Leader, One Of His First Acts Was To Meet With A Team Of K Street Lobbyists

In 2005, Hours After Becoming The Senate Democratic Leader, Reid Was Greeted Lobbyists At A Capitol Hill Steakhouse. “Hours after Sen. Harry Reid was sworn in for a fourth term on Jan. 4, many of these same lobbyists descended upon a Capitol Hill steak house to congratulate the Nevada Democrat for being chosen by his peers as the new Senate Democratic leader. Daschle lost his own bid for a fourth term in November, and lobbyists immediately began to reach out to the Nevadan, a quiet Westerner who had mined lobbyists for campaign donations but rarely sought their legislative counsel.” (Mark Preston, “Reid To Enlist K Street,” Roll Call, 1/24/05)

  • “‘It Was Like A Scene Out Of ‘The Godfather,’ Said One Lobbyist At The Reception. ‘He [Reid] Was In The Back Room And People Were Lined Up To Greet Him And Pay Homage.’” (Mark Preston, “Reid To Enlist K Street,” Roll Call, 1/24/05)
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