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Nuclear Development LLC & Lobbying Belleforte Nuclear Plant

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Posted on August 03 2018

 

Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA); originally established to create greater transparency for “lobbying” activities related to all parts of Government. There are certain thresholds, specifically any Organization (or person or entity) that spends >$3,000 (cumulatively) must register with the Clerk of the House of Representatives AND the  Secretary of the US Senate. The LDA also requires the Clerk & Secretary to make a referral to the AUSA of the District of Columbia for failure to register. The LDA also codified the penalty, albeit it’s a civil penalty but nonetheless said civil fine is up to $50,000

The LDA has been amended by Congress several times, most notably in 2007 and 2017:

 

as amended, (2 U.S.C. § 1601 et. seq., referred to hereinafter as the “LDA”) states that the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall (1) provide guidance and assistance on the registrations and reporting requirements of this Act and develop common standards, rules, and procedures for compliance with this Act; [and] (2) review, and, where necessary, verify and inquire to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of registrations and reports.

 

After January 1, 2017, an organization employing in-house lobbyists is exempt from registration if its total expenses for lobbying activities does not exceed and is not expected to exceed $13,000 during a quarterly period. The $3,000 income threshold for lobbying firms remains unchanged. This is known as a loophole or more precisely the 20% grassroots loophole.

Executive Branch:

Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 1602(3) “covered Executive Branch official; Applicable Schedule C. Important to note employees Senior Executive Service employees are not covered Executive Branch officials as defined in the LDA unless they fall within one of the categories below. Covered Executive Branch officials are:

  • The President
  • The Vice President
  • Officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President
  • Any official serving in an Executive Level I through V position
  • Any member of the uniformed services serving at grade O-7 or above
  • Schedule C employees.

 

Legislative Branch Official:

  • A Member of Congress
  • An elected Officer of either the House or the Senate
  • An employee, or any other individual functioning in the capacity of an employee, who works for a Member, committee, leadership staff of either the Senate or House, a joint committee of Congress, a working group or caucus organized to provide services to Members, and any other Legislative Branch employee serving in a position described under Section 109(13) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. Appendix § 109(13)).
 

Essentially if you are going to do any amount of lobbying the law requires you to register. Full Stop.

 

Cohen & Lobbying Refresher: 

 

 

Cohen and AT&T primer 

 

 

Cohen lack of LDA Registration primer:

 

 

Cohen and Contingency Lobbying primer:

 

 

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) & Bellefonte Nuclear Plant

Just a few days after the November 2016 Election, TVA announced the sale of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant to Nuclear Development, LLC, for the purchase price of $111Million. See the November 14, 2016 TVA Press Release, found here. One thing to keep in mind the Ts & Cs of the TVA Bellefonte sale to Nuclear Development, LLC (ND) is ND has until until November 2018 to complete his purchase of the Bellefonte plant from TVA.

 

See local ABC news affiliates report:

To say this “story has a lot of layers” might be an understatement and as you know all politics is local. Therefore yes while last night’s Wall Street Journal Article was astounding. I personally find that local news reports tend to be far more detailed and offer some amazing insights.

See this 2017 Chattanooga Free Times-Press Article, link found here. The cost far greater than the WSJ reported. There’s also Federal credits: Department of Energy production tax credits for Advanced Nuclear Facility of $2 billion. The construction cost are far greater than the purported $5 billion loan, each reactor has an expected cost of $4billiom, each times two = $8billion:

 

Haney said the projected $13 billion cost to finish both reactors, minus the $5 billion in tax credits, would give him new reactors with a 60- to 80-year life for about $4 billion each, or only about half of what Georgia Power Co. is now spending to build new reactors at its Plant Vogtle.

Because of its design, Bellefonte also could benefit from the mixed oxide fuel the Department of Energy is trying to develop from recovered bomb materials from disarmament agreements. But the MOX plant in South Carolina where such fuel would be made — and which could provide a virtually free source of nuclear fuel for Bellefonte —

 

On May 22, 2018, the Chattanooga Free Times-Press Published this eye popping article, link found here. That appears to expand on the WSJ article about Michael Cohen and Qataris. The headline and solid collaborative investigative reporting, is remarkable:

 

Haney hires Trump lawyer to solicit foreign investment to finish Bellefonte...Cohen hired as consultant to lure Qatar money for abandoned TVA nuclear plant

Journal said Haney hired Cohen as a consultant on the Bellefonte project and on April 5 the two met with Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, the vice chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, to seek an investment in Bellefonte. The newspaper said the meeting was at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club near Miami Beach, just south of where Haney now lives in a former Hearst mansion on the Atlantic Ocean in Manalapan, Fla.

 

So in the spirit of being fully transparent, you should know that Franklin L. Haney and his wife  Emeline have been longtime Democrat Super Donors, see this 2012 Project Sunlight Foundation Article. In 2012 they gave >$1.2Million to then President Obama. Further Haney’s wealth and deep entrenchment into TVA could and should give you pause.

 

Haney has secured other lucrative government leases and contracts over the years. Haney leased space in Chestnut Tower in Chattanooga, which he built in 1979, to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He also leased spaced to the TVA at 1101 Market Street, known as Monteagle Place. In 2009, TVA made a deal to buy the building at Monteagle Place in Chattanooga, agreeing to pay a total of $8 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Jim Berry, CEO of Republic Parking, which itself does a brisk business leasing space to the federal government, bought Chestnut Tower in 2010. Earlier Haney had sought even more business from TVA, but in 2002, the agency turned down Haney's offer to help finance completion of a nuclear plant.

Cramer said that his firm's work for FLH consisted of "monitoring the DOE Loan Guarantee program along with several other energy issues," 

 

Lobbyists & Lobbying firms “officially” hired:

Franklin Haney has officially hired the following “lobbyists” for the Bellefonte project:

former Alabama Congressman Robert "Bud" Cramer

former TVA Chairman Dennis Bottorff,

former TVA chief operating officer Bill McCollum

former chief of staff to then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Tom Anderson.

The following lobbying firms:

Jake Perry + Partners, Peck Madigan Jones, THE ICKES AND ENRIGHT GROUP, INC

you can run a House Report and I encouraged you to check my homework, Link to the House LDA Database found here.

2013 LDA Filing for FLH Company (originally reported as Nuclear Development, LLC)

 

January 2017 Nuclear Development Lobbying Disclosures, I’ve highlighted important data points in this LDA filing:

Q1 2017 LDA Disclosures Nuclear Development, LDA Filing found here.

Q2 2017 Nuclear Development LDA, again look at what I highlighted and the Disclosures meetings at the White House re Nuclear Tax Credits. LDA link found here.

 

 

And FYI Franklin Haney has LDA filings in various business entities, such as FLH Company which in 2018 thus far has spent >$360,000 in lobbying for his Nuclear Development but masked it by filing under his FLH Company, Senate LDA Database found here.

 

For example you wouldn’t know FLH Company was linked to Nuclear Development LLC until you drilled down on the actual FLH Company LDA Disclosures, see I highlighted the aha data point for you:

Notice Item # 16 on FLH Company’s April 2018 Senate LDA Disclosures:

House and Senate Energy and Water FY 18 Appropriation Bills, "Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018", H.R. 3266, S. 1609. Advanced Nuclear Loan Guarantee Program funding.

 

Here’s the written testimony of Steve Clemmer Director of Energy Research and Analysis Climate & Energy Program Union of Concerned Scientists. This hearing occurred in March of 2017, the same timeframe as Nuclear Development’s aggressive lobbying. Link to his 18 page written testimony found here.

So my point? Sure throwing out Michael Cohen being offered $10M in a contingency lobbying engagement creates clicks but the REAL issue is the over corruption of the Drain the Swamp and frankly, Franklin Haney is a greedy swamp creature but then again most people don’t take the time to peel the layers back to cast sunlight on the actual “man behind the curtain” 

For the record I am an equal opportunity critic, so none of you should be surprised that I’d be willing to call out a long time Democrat “super donor”. The point is I’m sick of seeing so much special interest money being poured in to DC and both parties are complicit but it doesn’t give me any pleasure to make the disclosure that Franklin Haney is as swampy as the Kochs  and Mercers. 

Perhaps I am naive in hoping that our Government is for and by “the People” but I’m not convinced that Corporations are “people” and there’s just entirely too much dark and special interest money pouring in to the pockets of DC, particularly law makers. We deserve better than  this, eat or be eaten kind of Government. -Spicy Out

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