Obama hits links with energy chief

President Obama went golfing on Saturday with one of his usual partners and the head of a Texas energy company.

Milton Carroll, chairman of CenterPoint Energy, joined the president on the outing, as did top Democratic lobbyist Joseph O’Neill and former Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a traditional golfing buddy.  

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In recent years, CenterPoint has been criticized for analysis claiming that it did not pay taxes for years, while instead spending millions on lobbyists and raking in tax rebates.

The company’s political action committee has not been a major Democratic donor. Instead, it has shuttled money to dozens of Republican candidates. In 2012, it sent $5,000 to Texas Gov Rick Perry’s (R) presidential campaign, but nothing to Obama’s.

Carroll, however, has been a more reliable Democratic donor. Though the executive has contributed a relatively modest $4,500 to candidates since 2010, they were all Democrats.

Obama on Saturday opted not to head to his preferred course at Andrews Air Force Base.

Instead, he and his party went to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., an exclusive spot that has hosted four Presidents Cups. The invitation-only club is located on the shores of Lake Manassas, about 40 miles outside of Washington.