A lot of different theories floating around on the real reason for this Federal land grab. Water, Fracking, solar plant, save the desert tortoise. Which is correct. Regardless this is a government run amuck and trampling on American citizens. Who’s next, you, me?
By Marcus Stern
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Harry Reid recognized nine years ago that connections between his official duties and the lobbying activities of his relatives could lead to ethical questions.
In 2003, the Nevada Democrat publicly banned relatives from lobbying him or his staff after newspaper reports showed that Nevada industries and institutions routinely turned to Reid’s sons or son-in-law for representation.
Now, questions surrounding family ties are flaring again in Nevada around the Senate majority leader. He and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert.
Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada. His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.
Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the non-partisan advocacy group Public Citizen, said the senator is dealing with “an iffy ethical landscape” because of the family connections and should recuse himself from the project. “Is this just happening because … it benefits the Reid family, or did Harry Reid actually believe in this?” Holman said.
The senator has supported numerous clean energy projects in Nevada. Rory Reid cites energy as one of his specialty areas at the law firm.
The two Reids deny discussing the ENN project.
“I have never discussed the project with my father or his staff,” said Rory Reid. Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for the senator, said he had not discussed the project with his son.
The Langfang, China-based ENN Energy Group hopes to build what would be the largest solar energy complex in America. The site chosen with Rory Reid’s guidance is in tiny Laughlin, Nevada, a gambling town of 7,300 along the Colorado River, 90 miles south of Las Vegas.
County officials have said that they were so thrilled to recruit a company to the area, with the prospect of thousands of new local jobs, that they were eager to negotiate Read more…
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