Senator Harry Reid, of Nevada and his Son Rory have made another of their notorious and only legal because Harry Reid makes the laws, land deals. This time selling public land to a Chinese firm for a Solar Farm. The land in question happens to be the land where Cliven Bundy and his family have been grazing their cattle for the last 140 years. Senator Harry Reid fully intends to stand back in the shadows while the full monopoly of violence of the United States Government is employed to make him and his son a couple of million dollars in a land transaction that if any regular citizens attempted, would land them in federal prison for 20 years or more.
(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.
ENN is headed by Chinese energy tycoon Wang Yusuo, who made a fortune estimated by Forbes at $2.2 billion distributing natural gas in China. Wang escorted Reid and a delegation of nine other U.S. senators on a tour of the company’s clean energy operations in Langfang, and Reid featured Wang as a speaker at his 4th annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last year.
NEVADA’S LARGEST LAW FIRM
To advance the Nevada project, ENN retained the state’s largest and most prestigious law firm – Lionel Sawyer & Collins, where Rory Reid works. It is headed by Richard Bryan, a former Nevada attorney general, governor and member of the U.S. Senate.
Rory Reid faced a one-year cooling off period from lobbying the Clark County commission after leaving his post in January 2011, and Bryan took the lead on ENN’s negotiations with the county.
Since the one-year ban expired, Rory Reid has been ENN’s primary representative before the county, according to Steve Sisolak, the board’s vice chairman.
Rory Reid acknowledged representing ENN at both the county and state levels since January. He declined to discuss the project otherwise.
Two months after Harry Reid’s China trip, Lionel Sawyer registered ENN Mohave Energy LLC as an American subsidiary of the Chinese company. The firm negotiated with the county to buy the land rather than lease it, as the county’s staff had recommended.
In December, Clark County commissioners voted unanimously to sell up to 9,000 acres of public land to the subsidiary at pennies on the dollar.
The deal spurred local controversy. Separate appraisals valued the land at $29.6 million and $38.6 million. The commission agreed to sell it to ENN for $4.5 million.
The county did build in certain conditions before the project could begin, including milestones for jobs creation and investment. ENN also must assure the county that it has a power company willing to commit to buying energy from the solar farm. But in the eight months since the commissioners approved the deal, no utility has signed a power purchase agreement.
Yes, Harry Reid really is this corrupt.
A fight is brewing in Nevada and it looks to have the potential for bloodshed on a par with the Waco and Ruby ridge Massacres.
Militias head to Nevada rancher’s standoff with feds: We’re not ‘afraid to shoot’
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s decades-long battle against the federal government over grazing rights has heated to the point where militia groups have joined in and taken up spots against the feds who’ve circled his land — and talk is, they’re not afraid to open fire.
A spokesman for the one of the militia groups said as much to local 8 News Now: I’m not “afraid to shoot,” he said.
Margaret Houston, Mr. Bundy’s sister and a cancer survivor, said at a town hall gathering this week that the situation “was like a war zone” and that she felt “like I was not in the United States,” The Daily Mail reported.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal described it this way: “Serious bloodshed was narrowly avoided,” in a story about how dogs were unleashed on a woman who was pregnant while the rancher’s son was hit with a taser.
On Tuesday, armed Bureau of Land Management agents stormed Mr. Bundy’s property, escalating a court dispute that’s wound for two decades over the rancher’s refusal to pay for grazing fees.
Mr. Bundy’s view is that he owns his property — that it’s been in his family’s hands for centuries — and he doesn’t have to pay for his own 900-head of cattle to graze on the 600,000 acre Gold Butte property.
The government, meanwhile, says the land belongs to it, and agents have swooped and circled, closing off roadway access to the property and flying helicopters overhead the family’s home.