CONGRESSMAN HENRY "BULLDOG" WAXMAN ON ENRON AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATIONgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
BuzzFlash Interviews Congressman Henry Waxman
December 24, 2001
BUZZFLASH INTERVIEWS CONGRESSMAN HENRY "BULLDOG" WAXMAN ON ENRON AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
There are many Democrats who aren't backing down. One of our favorites is Congressman Henry Waxman (29th District, CA). BuzzFlash calls the Los Angeles Congressman "Bull Dog" Waxman.
This year alone, Waxman has pressured Vice President Cheney to reveal who influenced the administration's "energy policy" (although Cheney isn't fessing up yet). He has taken on NBC News in an effort to disclose the facts surrounding allegations that former GE Chairman Jack Welch told the NBC election desk to call the November election for Bush. (GE owns NBC, in case you live on Jupiter and didn't know that.) The pugnacious Bear State legislator has tried to get Karl Rove to disclose more about whether he improperly met in the White House with representatives from companies in which he owned stock. In his spare time, the Congressman has also taken on the tobacco industry and the gun lobby, among other formidable foes.
Waxman is the ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee, where he regularly is a tenacious and articulate counter balance to Dan "Why Don't I Have Bill Clinton and Janet Reno to Kick Around Anymore" Burton. For that alone, the "Bull Dog" of the House of Representatives deserves our praise.
When BuzzFlash caught up with Congressman Waxman (in a telephone interview just before the holiday recess) he had just placed an Enron tip line on his website:
What is an Enron tip line? Well, we will let the Congressman explain.
And hey, send the Congressman a fax or letter and tell him how much you appreciate his strong spine and unwavering pursuit of justice -- or give his office a call. (E-mail is not an effective means of communication to most congressional offices, unless it is addressed to a specific staffer.) He's a true patriot -- and an innovative and creative one at that.
* * *
BUZZFLASH: Congressman Waxman, we are a great admirer of your work on BuzzFlash. We call you "Bulldog Waxman."
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: [laughs] Thank you very much.
BUZZFLASH: And we have worked with your staff on covering your investigation of the NBC election-night coverage and a couple of other issues. Today, we're calling specifically to ask you why you have an Enron tipline on your website and what sort of information that you're looking for.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: We have a tipline on Enron on our website because we're asking people to give us information that they may have as we take on our own investigation of Enron; especially as we investigate Enron, not only for its financial dealings, but also for the larger political connections that this corporation and its leaders have had with the Bush administration. What has happened with Enron is quite breathtaking. This was the seventh-largest corporation in the country. And it collapsed while its executives were able to walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars. Their employees and their investors were left in the rubble.
The fact of the matter is that Enron and Ken Lay, who was the Chief Executive Officer of Enron, had an extraordinary amount of influence and access to the Bush Administration. Lay was called a close friend by both the President and the Vice President. When the Vice President chaired an Energy Task Force, Ken Lay had an opportunity to meet privately with the Vice President and to have a great deal of influence in their recommendations. We know he met one-on-one with Karl Rove. We also know that many people in this administration came right out of Enron and went to the administration. So we are seeking more information as we look at all these times that the Enron corporation had contact with the Bush Administration, how they handled their own financial affairs, how they came to the situation they are in, which I think is an outrage. Their executives had inside information about the fragile condition of this corporation, were able to bail themselves out, but left everybody else in shambles.
BUZZFLASH: You sent a letter on December 4, which is also accessible on your website, to the Vice President of the United States, a four-page letter, asking for more information about Enron and particularly, among other things, their role in the deliberation process by which the Vice President came up with an energy policy for the administration. Have you received an answer from the Vice President?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: We have not yet received an answer from the Vice President. I'm disappointed that he hasn't responded, yet. I'm even more disappointed that when he did respond to earlier requests to make the information public about how his Energy Task Force operated, he refused to do so. We had asked the General Accounting Office, which is a non-partisan watchdog for the Congress, to do a report about this Energy Task Force. They, by the way, did a similar report on the Clinton Health Task Force in the last administration. And when they sought information from the Clinton Administration, they received everything that there was to receive. The position that the Vice President took when he was requested to furnish information about his Energy Task Force by the General Accounting Office was that he just refused to give it to them. The General Accounting Offices issued what is called a demand letter. And it's quite an extraordinary move on their part. To send it to the Vice President is the first time in their history they've ever sent such a letter to any Vice President. They had stonewalling by the Administration, continued stonewalling by the Administration. And they're contemplating filing a lawsuit to force the Administration to give them this information.
Now I think that the Vice President ought to make public or certainly give to the General Accounting Office everything that went on with the Energy Task Force. With Enron's collapse, it's even more important that we know at least what went on with Enron. Because it may well be that the Enron executives misrepresented their corporation's situation in asking for policy recommendations from the Administration. And that could also be that they told the Administration that they needed certain legislative or executive actions because they were on the brink of bankruptcy. Either way, this is not the kind of thing that ought to be kept secret, kept secret by the Bush Administration. The President has often talked about how he believes in transparency in government. I certainly believe that there is a fundamental principle of accountability. And that they are trying to keep their actions secret and not to be accountable for either the simple routine information about how a task force on energy policy was organized when they met and how they came to their recommendations.
BUZZFLASH: In your letter of December 4, you include references to an article from the Los Angeles Times and other sources about alleged direct influences of Enron upon the resulting energy recommendations. It's my understanding that beyond confirmation of that, the Vice President has not even released to you a list of people he met with as part of this process. Isn't that right?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: That's my understanding. The Los Angeles Times did an outstanding job of investigative journalism. And they were able to point out how there were all sorts of different ties between people either who are in the Administration or contacting the Administration to advance energy policy on behalf of some of the energy corporations, particularly Enron.
So when the LA Times did its scathing report about what they were able to find out about the Energy Task Force, it certainly came as no surprise and it's hard to imagine there is much more left to hide. But the Bush Administration is trying to hide everything they've done and the information about everyone they met with as they formulated their own thinking on energy policy.
BUZZFLASH: It was in your letter that you include information that Bush Senior Adviser Karl Rove owned over $60,000 worth of Enron stock and reportedly spoke frequently about energy policy with Mr. Lay, and that Mr. Lay and his company, since 1993, donated nearly $2 million to the Bush campaign. Are there any conclusions to be drawn from that or do we still just need to hear from the Vice President about the details of what went on during the deliberation over the energy policy?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: I think those facts you cite raise very serious concerns, not just about the Energy Task Force, but further, about people in the Administration like Karl Rove who gave Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, the opportunity to talk to him one-on-one to talk about policy -- and at the same time, that Karl Rove had a large sum of money in Enron stock, which would appear to be a conflict of interest. We asked Karl Rove -- and we asked the White House counsel -- whether Karl Rove had any waiver from the traditional conflict of interest laws that would prevent him from having such a meeting. The White House said he didn't need it, which is in our view contrary to the law.
We asked other information of the White House counsel's office about Karl Rove's apparent conflict of interest -- to determine if he did in fact have a conflict of interest -- and they stonewalled us on that information as well. It's worth noting in some of the particulars that you get from our letter that there are a significant number of ties between Enron and the Bush Administration. Not only did Karl Rove hold a substantial amount of stock in Enron, but Lawrence Lindsay, the President's chief economic advisor, was an advisor to Enron itself (reportedly receiving $50,000 last year from Enron) -- and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick served on Enron's Advisory Council. Others had stock. The Enron executives had given substantial amounts of contributions to Mr. Bush over the years. There are a lot of ties that raise a lot of concerns about -- with such intimate contacts between Enron and people in the Administration -- how much did they knew about what was going to happen with this corporation, which took us all by surprise when it suddenly collapsed.
[BuzzFlash Note: According to Congressman's Waxman letter to Cheney, "Secretary of the Army Thomas White, a former Enron executive, valued his company stock between $25 million and $50 million earlier this year.]
BUZZFLASH: On the political side, you're the ranking Minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, led by President Clinton's nemesis, Dan Burton. Is the Republican side cooperating in this effort to let the American people transparently see whatever relationship might exist between Enron and the executive branch?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: By and large, it's the Republicans who control the House of Representatives who are trying to treat the Enron issue in a very isolated way. There have been hearings about some of the financial aspects of Enron, or how the accountants handled the information. I think they're making hearings on the fact that the Enron employees couldn't dispose of their stock. But I think the Republicans can't avoid the issue. This is a dramatic collapse of such an important corporation. But the Republicans don't want to take on the broader perspective of how Enron has been able to manipulate a lot of the policies this Administration is pursuing because they are the recipients themselves of substantial campaign contributions from Enron.
I think their strategy is to try to take disparate aspects of the Enron story and try to bore people to death with the sliver that they're looking at, and have people think, well, that this is a complicated financial picture and maybe we'll never know what all went on. And it was interesting how the Republican majority leader Dick Armey responded when he was asked about the Enron corporation. Armey, who is also from Texas, responded that Enron is a private corporation, so therefore what happened to Enron is their private business. I don't look at it that way. When people are thrown out of work right before Christmas, when investors find that their investments become worthless and the executives of the company are able to loot hundreds of millions of dollars for themselves, it seems to me that something criminal has probably taken place, and we ought to get to the bottom of it.
BUZZFLASH: Meanwhile, Enron's pension plan went under.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: That's right. The people who were in the know sold their stock, while the employees who didn't know anything were forced to buy the stock for their pension plans and were prohibited from even selling that stock. So they ended up seeing their investments evaporate right before their eyes.
BUZZFLASH: During the Clinton Administration, the chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, was relentlessly tenacious in calling an investigation any time there was even the merest allegation of alleged impropriety in the Clinton Administration. To us, it seems a little hypocritical at this point that they are sort of sitting back on Enron and any other number of issues that have emerged in the Bush Administration. Do you have any comment on that?
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: Well, there is no question about the hypocrisy of the Republicans. You only have to look at this from the perspective of what would the response be of the Republicans if this were the Clinton Administration? If the Clinton Administration had such close and intimate ties with a corporation, or put it another way, a labor union, in which executives walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars while the union's pensions were dissipated. They would be not only calling for an investigation before they got the facts; they would be calling for impeachment. I have made no accusations because I need to get more facts to find out if there has been wrongdoing by the Bush Administration. And all we are asking for is an honest investigation of the facts. I don't think that we're going to get it from the Republicans. That's why we're doing it on our own.
It's interesting also to note how this administration has handled policy information. They are not only withholding the information about their ties to Enron and Enron's role in the Energy Task Force and how the Energy Task Force operated, but they've lied to the American people about a Social Security surplus. They have been very careful to try to keep the public from getting information that I think, that should rightfully belong in the public domain, that they single-handedly changed the presidential records that should be made available to public and academics. And to try to withhold those records, they've used executive privilege most recently in one of the hearings in the Government Reform Committee, which even prompted Chairman Dan Burton to speak with outrage that we had information being withheld on the pretense -- and I think it was a real reach for them -- of claiming executive privilege.
But those are the policy issues. If you evaluate the constant ways that the Bush Administration has treated certain facts in the time that they have been in office, it's disconcerting. Because if you look back, there was a time when it looked like Vice President Cheney had a heart attack. And they said, "No, he didn't." But it turned out he had. They came into office and immediately claimed there had been vandalism by the Gore people. And that it turned out that there were no facts behind that allegation. It was just a fiction.
In August, the President was faced with a difficult decision on stem-cell research, so he came up with the idea that there were 63 lines. It turned out later that it was all made up. There was no such thing as 63 lines that were available for research. And even on September 11, when the issue was raised where the President might be and he received some criticism for not returning to Washington, Karl Rove issued a statement that there was specific and credible evidence that Air Force One was going to be a target of terrorists. And then it turned out later that the Vice President I think said that just wasn't anything they could verify, that they had no real information about it. So if they're in a tight squeeze, they're willing to make up information that's not real. And when it comes to policy matters, they want to withhold information that is real and ought to be available to Congress, which has the legal responsibility to conduct oversight of the administration on behalf of the public that ought to know how their government is operating.
BUZZFLASH: So instead of the transparent administration that they promise, they're giving us an opaque administration.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN: That's right.
BUZZFLASH: OK, Congressman, thank you so much.
Contact information for Congressman Henry Waxman is available at:
Also visit the House Committee on Government Reform/Minority Office at:
You can read Congressman Waxman's letter to Vice President Cheney at:
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 26, 2001
Back to the real world.
-- Cherri (email@example.com), December 26, 2001.
**Enron has been able to manipulate a lot of the policies this Administration is pursuing because they are the recipients themselves of substantial campaign contributions from Enron.**
So was the Clinton administration.
-- (B@F.D), December 26, 2001.
Although I live about 50 miles south of Waxman’s slice of the jungle, his antics are approaching cult status in SoCal…and beyond. I like his style but he will soon need a bigger stage to display his wares…..I predict he will move over to the public sector in due time and become a ‘media’ personality.
But for now, he is the self-anointed ‘spear carrier’ for the Angry American Jewish Community, whose singular focus is the besmirching of the Bush/Republican Administration. That’s kewl.
Just remember friends, it’s all about the spin.
Happy New Year!!!!
-- So (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 26, 2001.
Democrats not too pure to accept $100K of Enron money just before bankruptcy declared.
-- (Roland@hatemail.com), December 26, 2001.
Whether or not the Democrats took money from Enron, the real focus should be on the extraordinarily favorable treatment of Enron by the Bush Administration, during the California crisis.
-- Peter Errington (email@example.com), December 27, 2001.
And furthermore, regarding the $100K contribution to the Democrats (a minor detail in the large picture in any event), I just read that Sen. Patty Murray says that that money will go to a charity benefitting laid-off Enron workers.
Way to go, Patty! That's twisting the knife in those fuckers.
-- Peter Errington (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2001.
I like this spin. Couldn't read thru much of it but caught this: "$60,000 worth of Enron stock" equates to "a substantial amount of stock in Enron". Now that's funny!
And of course we should all be concerned about the campaign contributions! My, my, a company contributing to the party of their choice. Ooh ooh call out the dogs! gotta love the turn around.
-- Maria (email@example.com), December 27, 2001.
Most corporate campaign contributors contribute to both parties so as to cover all bases.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2001.
Henry is a very, very good politician. The volume of his crusades creates more volumes of exposure which is what the good ones do in order to keep on doing what they do. Like the ACLU he comes across about one in twenty gripes where you're really glad he's around but otherwise he's a self serving pain in the ass. Should he decide to move would anyone out like to have him?
-- Carlos (email@example.com), December 27, 2001.
Ah geeze, this is all hype right? How about a little history.....
Enron Power Trader brags about his influence over Bush FERC and regulatory appointments.
May 25, 2001
Power Trader Tied to Bush Finds Washington All Ears
By LOWELL BERGMAN and JEFF GERTH
urtis Hébert Jr., Washington's top electricity regulator, said he had barely settled into his new job this year when he had an unsettling telephone conversation with Kenneth L. Lay, the head of the nation's largest electricity trader, the Enron Corporation.
Mr. Hébert, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said that Mr. Lay, a close friend of President Bush's, offered him a deal: If he changed his views on electricity deregulation, Enron would continue to support him in his new job.
Mr. Hébert (pronounced A- bear) recalled that Mr. Lay prodded him to back a national push for retail competition in the energy business and a faster pace in opening up access to the electricity transmission grid to companies like Enron.
Mr. Hébert said he refused the offer. "I was offended," he recalled, though he said he knew of Mr. Lay's influence in Washington and thought the refusal could put his job in jeopardy.
Asked about the conversation, Mr. Lay praised Mr. Hébert, but recalled it differently. "I remember him requesting" Enron's support at the White House, he said of Mr. Hébert. Mr. Lay said he had "very possibly" discussed issues relating to the commission's authority over access to the grid.
As to Mr. Hébert's job, Mr. Lay said he told the chairman that "the final decision on this was going to be the president's, certainly not ours."
Though the accounts of the discussion differ, that it took place at all illustrates Enron's considerable influence in Washington, especially at the commission, the agency authorized to ensure fair prices in the nation's wholesale electricity and natural gas markets, Enron's main business.
Mr. Lay has been one of Mr. Bush's largest campaign contributors, and no other energy company gave more money to Republican causes last year than Enron.
And it appears that Mr. Hébert may soon be replaced as the commission's chairman, according to Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration's point man on energy policy.
Mr. Lay has weighed in on candidates for other commission posts, supplying President Bush's chief personnel adviser with a list of preferred candidates. One Florida utility regulator who hoped for but did not receive an appointment as a commissioner said he had been "interviewed" by Mr. Lay.
Mr. Lay also had access to the team writing the White House's energy report, which embraces several initiatives and issues dear to Enron.
The report's recommendations include finding ways to give the federal government more power over electricity transmission networks, a longtime goal of the company that was spelled out in a memorandum Mr. Lay discussed during a 30-minute meeting earlier this spring with Mr. Cheney.
Mr. Cheney's report includes much of what Mr. Lay advocated during their meeting, documents show. Both men deny discussing commission personnel issues during their talk. But Mr. Lay had an unusual opportunity to make his case about candidates in writing and in person to Mr. Bush's personnel adviser, Clay Johnson. And when Mr. Bush picked nominees to fill two vacant Republican slots on the five- member commission, they both had the backing of Enron, as well as other companies.
Mr. Lay is not shy about voicing his opinion or flexing his political muscle. He has transformed the Houston-based Enron from a sleepy natural-gas company into a $100 billion energy giant with global reach, trading electricity in all corners of the world and owning a multibillion- dollar power project in India. He has also led the push to deregulate the nation's electricity markets.
Senior Bush administration officials said they welcomed Mr. Lay's input but did not always embrace it: President Bush backed away from curbing carbon-dioxide emissions, an effort supported by Enron, which had looked to trade emission rights as part of its energy business.
"We'll make decisions based on what we think makes sound public policy," Mr. Cheney said in an interview, not what "Enron thinks."
The Bush-Lay bond traces back to Mr. Bush's father and involves a personal and philosophical affinity. Moreover, Enron and its executives gave $2.4 million to federal candidates in the last election, more than any other energy company. While some of that went to Democrats, 72 percent went to Republicans, according to an analysis of election records by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group.
"He's for a lot of things we're for," said Mr. Johnson.
But when it came to deciding on nominees for the commission, Mr. Johnson said that Mr. Lay's views were not that crucial. The two most important advisers, he said, were Andrew Lundquist, the director of Mr. Cheney's energy task force, and Pat Wood 3rd, the head of the Texas public utility commission.
As governor, Mr. Bush named Mr. Wood to the utility commission. This year, when the White House filled the two Republican slots on the federal agency, Mr. Wood was the first choice, Mr. Johnson said.
Consumer advocates and business executives praise Mr. Wood. But Mr. Lay also had a role in promoting him. Shortly after Mr. Bush was elected governor in 1994, Mr. Lay sent him a letter endorsing Mr. Wood as the "best qualified" person for the Texas commission.
In all, there are five seats on the commission, two held by Republicans, two by Democrats and one held by a chairman who serves at the pleasure of the president. Mr. Hébert, who became a commissioner in 1997, was named chairman by Mr. Bush in January.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's mandate to ensure fair prices in wholesale electricity and natural gas markets makes it crucial to sellers like Enron as well as consumers.
The movement toward deregulation sometimes leaves the commission caught in a tug of war: power marketers like Enron are trying to break into markets and grids controlled by old-line utilities, which operate under state regulation. The commission's chairman has considerable latitude in setting its agenda.
As part of its oversight of the wholesale electricity markets, the commission ordered several companies to refund what it considered excessively high prices this year in California. One lesser offender named in the commission's public filings — $3.2 million, of a total of $125 million — was an Enron subsidiary in Oregon.
Enron owns few generating assets, but buys and sells electricity in the market. Many of those transactions resemble the complicated risk-shifting techniques used by Wall Street for financial instruments.
Mr. Hébert, after he became chairman, initiated an examination into the effects those techniques have on the electricity markets. "One of our problems is that we do not have the expertise to truly unravel the complex arbitrage activities of a company like Enron," he said, adding, "we're trying to do it now, and we may have some results soon."
William L. Massey, one of the agency's two Democratic commissioners, said he supported the inquiry but had not been aware of it — an indication of the chairman's ability to set the commission's agenda.
Finally, the commission is trying to speed the pace of electricity deregulation by opening up the nation's transmission grid, much of which is owned by privately owned utilities that enjoy retail monopolies. Some Enron officials say the commission has been moving too slowly to open the grid. They attribute some of the problem to utilities. But they also fault Mr. Hébert.
"Hébert still has undeserved confidence in some of the vertically integrated companies coming to the table and dealing openly" with transmission access issues, said Richard S. Shapiro, an Enron senior vice president.
The utilities, however, maintain that they provide cheap and reliable service for their customers. Washington lobbyists for one Southern utility said that Enron was really interested in focusing on the utility's big-business clients, which under state regulation pay higher rates than residential customers.
Since 1996, about half the states have moved to open their retail markets to competition, and the commission has begun to make it easier for outsiders to use the nation's transmission grid. But the promise of cheaper rates has been largely unfulfilled. So the push for more deregulation, in which Enron has been a leader, has slowed, especially when California's flawed program led to skyrocketing rates and chaotic markets.
Mr. Hébert is a free-market conservative who favors deregulation but also recognizes the importance of state's rights. A former Mississippi regulator, he is a protégé of Trent Lott, the Senate Republican leader from Mississippi. Mr. Hébert said Mr. Lott was instrumental in his nomination to the commission in 1997 by President Clinton.
President Bush elevated Mr. Hébert to chairman on Inauguration Day, a move Mr. Lay said he told the White House he supported.
Mr. Johnson, the White House personnel chief, said that Mr. Lott and Mr. Hébert had both been told that Mr. Hébert could remain chairman at least until the administration's nominees — Mr. Wood and Nora Brownell, a Pennsylvania utility regulator — are confirmed by the full Senate. The Senate energy committee voted earlier this week to approve the two nominees, after a hearing last week indicated strong support.
It is widely expected that President Bush will name Mr. Wood to replace Mr. Hébert as chairman after the Senate acts.
In an interview for a forthcoming episode of "Frontline," the PBS series, Mr. Cheney suggested as much. "Pat Wood's got to be the new chairman of the F.E.R.C., and he'll have to address" various problems in the electricity markets, he said.
Mr. Hébert said that no one had told him he was being replaced. If someone else is named chairman, Mr. Hébert can remain a commissioner until the end of his term, which expires in 2004.
It was a few weeks after President Bush made him chairman that Mr. Hébert said he spoke by telephone with Mr. Lay.
Mr. Lay told him that "he and Enron would like to support me as chairman, but we would have to agree on principles" involving the commission's role in expanding electricity competition, Mr. Hébert said of the conversation.
A senior commission official who was in Mr. Hébert's office during the conversation said Mr. Hébert rebuffed Mr. Lay's offer of a quid pro quo. The official said that he heard Mr. Hébert's side of the conversation and then, after the call ended, learned the rest from him.
Mr. Hébert said that he, too, backed competition but did not think the commission had the legal authority to tell states what to do in this area. Concerning the issue of opening transmission access through the creation of regional networks, Mr. Hebert supports a voluntary process while Enron seeks a faster and more compulsory system.
Mr. Lay said that while he might have discussed issues relating to the commission's authority concerning access to the grid, "there was never any intent" to link that or any other issue to Mr. Hébert's job status.
The commission is a quasijudicial agency, so decision-makers like Mr. Hébert must avoid private discussions about specific matters pending before the commission. Mr. Hébert and Mr. Lay both said that line was not crossed, but Mr. Hébert said he had never had such a blunt talk with an energy-industry executive.
Mr. Lay added that his few recent conversations with Mr. Hébert were nothing special. "We had a lot of access during the Clinton administration," he said.
And he said that while making political contributions "probably helps" to gain access to an official, he made them "because I'm supporting candidates I strongly believe in."
Last June, Enron executives were asked to make voluntary donations to the company's political action committee. The solicitation letter noted that the company faced a range of governmental issues, including electricity deregulation.
This year, some people who sought but did not get nominations to the commission said that Mr. Lay and Enron had had a role in the process.
One was Joe Garcia, a former Florida utilities regulator and prominent Cuban-American activist. He said he had been "interviewed" by a few Enron officials, including Mr. Lay, who he said had not been as "forceful or insistent" as the other Enron officials.
But in their conversation, Mr. Garcia said, Mr. Lay made clear that he would be visiting the White House, adding that "everyone knew of his relationship and his importance."
Mr. Johnson, the White House personnel chief, could not cite another company besides Enron that sent him a list of preferred candidates for the commission, but he remembered hearing the views of Tom Kuhn, who heads the utility industry trade group, the Edison Electric Institute. Mr. Kuhn was a classmate of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bush at Yale.
As for his conversation with Mr. Garcia, Mr. Lay said he was comfortable with his candidacy but "I'm not sure what I told him about my friends at the White House."
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2001.
Dubya is a scumbag, he accepts bribes from his scumbag CEO buddies in exchange for buttfucking the people. The idiots who voted for him thought they would somehow be able to avoid being buttfucked, but unless they are one of the CEO scumbags, they will not. You cannot change an idiot like Dubya, he doesn't know how to be a decent man. Best thing to do is simply let him fuck everyone for 3 more years until it hurts real bad. After 3 more years of taking it up the ass, the dumb Repugs asses will be so sore that maybe even they will remember how stupid they were when the next election comes around.
-- (voting for scumbags is not @ good. policy), December 29, 2001.
Enron fucked up as a company because Lay and a few others decided to play a shell game. Happy here if they all spend serious jail time.
The idea of an Enron bothers me not a whit. A major lament for European livestock growers in WW2 was that when Hitler croaked the jews he croaked the market servers and that market didn't recover till years afer the war for the lack.
-- Carlos (email@example.com), December 29, 2001.
"The idea of an Enron bothers me not a whit."
Indeed, it is amazing how selfish some people have become. I would hope that you would at least be more concerned if you had been one of the stockholders who got fucked up the ass.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 29, 2001.