A Visit to the Capitol Markets (Part 2)


Spring has sprung in DC—the Cherry Blossoms are out, and the buses full of students are everywhere.

First stop for the day was Congressman Barney Frank’s office to discuss an initiative to develop a clean energy accelerator park in New Bedford, MA. More on this later, but a few immediate takeaways:

—The prep work for the FY 10 budget is essentially done, the real work now begins behind committee doors to sort out specifics and priorities. FY 11 efforts begin soon…

—Legislators have limited control over flow of stimulus dollars; they can endorse (and you should engage on this), but ARA (stimulus) money will flow through mostly pre-existing channels, which is both good and bad.

—Earmarks may or may not be dead, but it’s clear that they have changed with the notion of competitive bids for any earmark that does make it into a budget. How that will work? Anyone’s guess at this point.

—The Staffers are good, smart, and extremely busy; be prepared, respectful, and get to the point—and, as always, relationships matter.

Extra credit trivia question: How many monuments are there in DC? I don’t know the answer but it’s a big number.


[Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a travelogue written by venture capitalist Jim Matheson, who is in the nation’s capitol as part of a DC Fly In organized by the New England Clean Energy Council. You can read his first post here.]

Trending on Xconomy