A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
Some Thoughts On The Enron/Bush Administration
By Steve Warren
January 13, 2002
On Thursday and Friday of this week reports out of Washington are about the Bush administration trying to distance itself from Enron. It is reported that Enron officials called on the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury in October seeking help to influence banks as their credit crunch was beginning to snowball. Ari Fleischer and others in the administration were making the point that the administration took no action on the requests. As if this gave Bush and his team some brownie points.
Last year as the California energy rates were skyrocketing amid widespread reports of price gouging and with Enron rolling in millions from consumers there, Ken Lay met personally with Dick Cheney. The next day the administration announced it would not be imposing price controls on electricity.
The GOP economic ‘stimulus’ package of 2001 was set to give the biggest corporations in the nation handouts...rebates for the ‘alternative minimum taxes’ they’ve paid over the past 15 years. the biggest sinkhole into which these dollars could be sunk: Enron. it was up for 254 million dollars under that plan. Enron stands to collect most of that in the newly revised version being pushed by the administration, the one that W says will help put people back to work.
In 1993 while working on an oversight committee, Wendy Gramm, wife of Senator Phil of Texas helped Enron get an exemption from regulations. Five weeks later...she joined Enron’s Board. In recent years, Phil has received nearly 100,000 in campaign contributions from Enron. That does not count the huge amounts donated to him by Lay and other Enron chiefs directly.
Enron got special legislative treatment so that its operations fell in the cracks between securities regulators and commodities regulators. Last year,when Lay complained to Bush that the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wasn’t quite with the program, the man was replaced by a more docile successor.
By the way, Enron flew Poppy and Barbara Bush to W’s inauguration. Even the new chairman of the Republican Party Marc Racicot is an Enron lobbyist.
All this, of course, is just a little peek into this whole amoral and greedy mess. So, the administration did nothing to urge bankers to help the free-falling Enron in October. So what!? The Bush team had already served Enron extremely well.
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