Kenny Boy and W.
Eric Boehlert of Salon.com quotes approvingly two major newspaper leads that did not shy away from mentioning explicitly the close ties between George W. Bush and Enron’s Ken Lay (now defending himself from criminal conspiracy charges):
Los Angeles Times: “Lay lent Enron’s corporate jet to the younger Bush eight times during the 2000 campaign, was co-chair of a gala tribute to him and was one of his top campaign contributors. Enron was also a major patron of Bush and the Republican Party.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “Lay was co-chairman of President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign and was a leading fund-raiser for the current president’s 2000 campaign. Enron and its executives contributed more than $3 million to GOP causes between 1998 and 2002.”
Since we’re doing Enron quotes, it is as well to remember these, as well:
Enron Traders Caught On Tape
LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2004
ENRON’S INTERNAL MEMOS
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released two Enron memos describing company plans to inflate energy prices during California’s energy crisis of 2000.
The practices were considered so outrageous, that an attorney with the California Public Utilities Commission dubbed them a “smoking gun memo.”
(CBS) When a forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports.
“Burn, baby, burn. That’s a beautiful thing,” a trader sang about the massive fire.
Four years after California’s disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard – on audiotapes obtained by CBS News – gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.
“He just f—s California,” says one Enron employee. “He steals money from California to the tune of about a million.”
“Will you rephrase that?” asks a second employee.
“OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day,” replies the first.
The tapes, from Enron’s West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down . . .”