Even Senators do it on occasion. Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV), a few years ago (and only now appearing in some of the press) lobbied Alejandra Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, to approve the Appalachian Climate Technology Now coalition’s application for as much as $100 million in Federal funds for

creat[ing] an industrial cluster around a number of climate resilience technologies while focusing on the development of resilient infrastructure and site readiness, attracting, training and retaining a skilled workforce, fostering entrepreneurship and startups, and building community capacity[.]

The coalition ultimately was awarded nearly $63 million in grants for the purpose.

ACT Now is a West Virginia-base entity. So far, so good; it’s entirely appropriate for Senators to front for their constituents.

ACT Now also is a coalition that includes, among others, the Charleston Area Alliance, which is chaired by Jack Rossi. Rossi also is listed as the Treasurer of the Joe Manchin for Senate campaign. Still so far, probably so good; Senators are allowed to lobby for constituents that are in some way connected to the Senator.

When Manchin wrote his lobbying letter to Castillo, he neglected to mention his connection to Rossi. Oops.

That far, no good. Manchin should have done the full disclosure bit and freely mentioned the Rossi-Manchin relationship, and he should have done so up front, in that letter and in any preceding and subsequent communication with Castillo and anyone else with whom he spoke on the matter.

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