presents The Angry Liberal
Enron, Part II: Republicans Cash In on Ken Lay (And Vice Versa)
January 20, 2002
I don't usually publish letters that I receive, but this one typifies the Republican defense of the Enron scandal:
I'm always impressed with the conservative battle cry of "Your guys are just as slimy as our guys!" After all, as long as Enron pays off both sides, it's okay, right? Well, let's take a peek at Enron's contributions to see just which politicians that fine upstanding company supports, shall we?
All of this information was obtained from the Federal Election Commission website, so if you don't believe my numbers, you can play along at home. This column will focus on Ken Lay's personal campaign contributions during Election 2000.
From 11/3/99 to 11/6/2000, Ken Lay contributed $300,700 to various campaigns and PACs around the country. Amount of money given to Republicans: $297,700. Amount given to Democrats: $3,000. Well, as long as both sides benefit. . .
Lay's Democratic choices for contributions are as follows:
Let's assume that Lay likes Republicans (an astounding claim judging from his bipartisan contributions, right?). Why would he contribute to the three aforementioned Democrats? Well, let's see. Two, Bentsen and Edwards, were Texas incumbents who won their races handily (with 60% and 55% of the vote, respectively). I'm sure that Lay knows both of these guys and decided that since their races were locked up, there was no reason to insult them by contributing to their Republican opponents. The third, Corzine, had a double-digit lead in his race in March, 2000, the date of the contribution. Lay probably also liked the fact that Corzine was a zillionaire investment broker, and was willing to spend what ever it took of his own fortune to win.
The long and short of this data is as follows: Ken Lay is a Republican. Around 99% of his contributions went to Republicans in 2000. The remaining 1% went to three Democrats: Two were incumbent Texans with locked up races and the third was, as far as business went, a kindred spirit with a locked-up race - at least that's the way it appeared at the time.
So the next time your straight-laced Republican friend (you know the one, the well-dressed guy whose trousers occasionally reveal the outline of a garter and stockings) proudly announces that Enron contributed to both sides, you can tell him with confidence that Ken Lay didn't. Lay expects a return on his investment, and judging by the laws Republicans passed that benefited Enron (The "stimulus" bill passed by the Republican house would have handed Enron $254 million), he's gotten a ridiculously generous return, indeed.
Republican politicians should really be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Invest in one today and watch that investment grow!
(In part III, I'll look at the Enron Corporation's campaign contributions. Anybody wanna guess how that will turn out?)
(Special thanks to my tireless research assistant, BLHamrick@aol.com.)
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
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