Reid holds ‘private’ celebration of return to Senate

As lawmakers last week prepared to celebrate the opening of the 112th Congress, a reception for returning Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was held at the Library of Congress.

But while parties were taking place all over Capitol Hill, the event last Tuesday evening for the Senate majority leader was kept under wraps, including details on who sponsored it and who was invited.

The party would have remained a secret but for an Internet posting over the weekend by the Liaoning Hi-Tech Energy Group, a Chinese utility operator. It said Jinxiang Lu, the chairman and CEO of  A-Power,  a renewable energy company based in Senyang, China, had attended Reid’s party and also his official swearing-in the next day.

In October, A-Power announced it was opening a wind turbine assembly plant in Henderson, a deal that Reid was credited with putting together.

Asked about the reception today, Reid staff initially demurred. A spokesman said it was a "private event," and that only information about the Senate majority leader’s "public activities" for his inaugural were divulged.

Later, Reid’s office put out a statement. "This was an intimate gathering of Senator Reid’s personal friends and supporters in recognition of the start of the 112th Congress," it said.

According to sources familiar with the event, the party was paid for by Reid’s campaign organization, Friends for Harry Reid, with RSVP’s on the invitation directed to political aide Jake Perry. A Reid aide emphasized the event was not a fundraiser.

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