Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon website today details the saga of something called the Clean Energy Project. Founded and staffed by for former aides to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the nonprofit collected donations from corporations which received hundreds of millions in federal grants and loan guarantees at Reid’s urging. From the article:
Their donations to the CEP suggest “a vehicle to promote pay-to-play politics,” says Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group.
“It is run by Reid insiders, funded by those who want Reid’s political favors, and there’s a track record of Reid dispensing favors to those who fund it,” Boehm said in an email. “As the late Senator [Sam] Ervin said, sometimes things are what they look like.”
Also from the article:
Rebecca Lambe, Reid’s top political strategist who has been directed by Reid to take the lead in hiring for his 2016 reelection campaign, founded CEP in 2008 and served as its executive director. Reid’s former chief of staff Susan McCue served as CEP’s president at that time. Lambe is now an adviser to CEP, according to her official bio. McCue is a member of its board.
Senate Majority PAC was the recipient of a $700,000 donation from Dr. Salomon Melgen, most of which was spent in New Jersey to re-elect Senator Robert Menendez in 2012. Melgen’s medical practice has been raided twice by the FBI, apparently as part of an investigation into Medicare fraud that Menendez tried to thwart.