Want Part of Those Stimulus Contracts? Hire a Host of Expensive Lobbyists

Tell us something we don't know. Bloomberg is reporting the first up for any Stimulus contracts are those with Lobbyists:

At first glance, SmartSpark Energy Systems looks like a lot of technology startups. It raised $6 million in venture capital, employs 24 people and doesn’t make any money.

What sets the company apart: It has two teams of lobbyists.

The first jobs of the federal clean-energy stimulus plan are here -- and they’re for lobbyists. SmartSpark is part of a stampede of technology companies hiring insiders in Washington and state capitals to gain influence. They’re vying for a piece of last month’s $787 billion stimulus package.

“There is so much at stake here that there’s an enormous need for entrepreneurs to get close with policy makers,” said Jason Matlof, a partner at Battery Ventures in Menlo Park, California. “There are billions just for R&D. It’s a lot of money.”

The spending is far more than venture capitalists can give renewable-energy companies, especially during a recession, Matlof said. Battery told its eight clean-technology companies last month to put a specific executive in charge of getting public money, and to consider hiring lobbyists.

The stimulus bill, signed by President Barack Obama last month, includes $77.6 billion for clean-energy projects, according to the research firm IDC.

Money Chase

Competition for government dollars will be intense, said Jon Sakoda, a partner at New Enterprise Associates in Chevy Chase, Maryland. NEA has 25 clean-energy startups in its portfolio, he said.

“At least half have either hired lobbyists or will in the next three to six months,” Sakoda said.

Now this is pathetic that startup companies, who need to be mean, lean, fast execution machines, are required to spend their startup capital on lobbyists in D.C. just to get a fair shake.

What's the issue? Seemingly D.C. has no business clue to figure out which contracts should be awarded to whom.

Now may I suggest a thing things. Criteria on contract awards should require these startups are incorporated in the United States, are not offshore outsourcing or using guest worker Visas. Those criteria alone should wipe out a huge percentage of glorified labor arbitrage agenda corporations from consideration. Then, hello Obama administration: perhaps one should consider contracting out with a large group of private venture capitalists, capable of evaluating business plans, models and the ability to execute....to evaluate these contract bids (and no, not your CIO who had brazen theft right under his nose!)

Can we truly get this money to those who deserve it? Previously DHS, the FBI and a host of alphabet soup agencies wasted billions and billions giving contracts to the usual suspects (Accenture, SAIC, etc) who could not write one line of code that actually worked or deliver one project that did not exceed it's budget over 100%.

Get some geeks in there, American geeks, people who have the expertise to evaluate the merit of some of these contract bidders.

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