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Greens Urge Investigation of Bush & Enron Ties

by USGP Media Team Tuesday, Jan. 08, 2002 at 6:12 PM




For immediate release:

Monday, January 7, 2002


Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,




WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leaders in the Green Party of

the United States urge Congress to extend its

investigation of Enron to the company's ties to

the Bush administration, in the wake of

revelations that Enron cheated employees and

misled energy consumers and investors as the

company went bankrupt in late 2001.

"Enron represents the exercise of corporate power

at its worst," said Anita Rios, a member of the

party's national steering committee and an Ohio

Green activist. "On one hand, President Bush and

his advisors and supporters preach privatization

of Social Security and converting it into

personal investment in Wall Street securities.

On the other hand, his leading corporate backer,

Enron, allegedly bilked its own employees out of

their invested retirement money and defrauded


As the Houston-based energy company collapsed in

2001, Enron's employees and retirees with 401K

plans, who had been prohibited from selling their

Enron stock, lost their life savings. At the

same time, the upper hierarchy of company

officials dumped about billion of their own

stock as Enron filed for bankruptcy on December

2, 2001.

"Advisors to President Bush who have connections

with Enron have helped engineer economic policy,

based on the principle that deregulation, tax

breaks, tort reform and other handouts for

wealthy citizens and corporations are good for

America," said Ben Manski, a Wisconsin Green who

is also a steering committee member. "It's more

than a case of undue influence from energy

lobbies over the White House. With the Bush

presidency, the petrochemical corporations run

the White House."

Greens cite the following reasons for expanding

the investigation by the Senate's governmental

affairs committee:

*** Enron chairman Ken Lay -- President Bush's

principle financial backer since he first went

into politics -- and Enron have donated

million to George W. Bush since 1993; a company

memo in 2000 shows that Enron pressured employees

to donate heavily to the Bush campaign. Enron

donated more than any other energy firm to the

Bush campaign. Mr. Lay's wife donated 0,000

for Bush Inauguration festivities. Mr. Lay was

the only energy executive to meet alone with Vice

President Dick Cheney while the latter was

drawing up a new national energy policy in

secret. According to a New York Times article in

May 2001, Mr. Lay "had access to the team writing

the White House's energy report, which embraces

several initiatives and issues dear to Enron."

(Mr. Lay also sits on the board of directors of

pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, along with

President Bush's father.)

*** Karl Rove, Bush's top political strategist,

sold over ,000 (perhaps as much as 0,000)

in Enron stock in 2001 after exposure for

conflict of interest. Mr. Rove and Mr. Lay are

known to have frequently discussed energy policy.

Enron paid Lawrence B. Lindsay, President Bush's

top economic adviser, ,000 in consulting fees

in 2000. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick

went straight from Enron's payroll to his federal

job; Army Secretary Thomas White Jr. is a former

Enron executive and has held an estimated

-0 million in Enron stock.

*** Enron, a power broker in natural gas,

wholesale electricity, water, and other needs and

services, has lobbied extensively for utility

deregulation, especially the right to price-gouge

customers and to profit from the volubility of

energy stocks. The California legislature is

currently investigating whether Enron and other

companies deliberately manipulated the state's

electricity supply during the recent California

energy crisis in order to drive up prices.

*** Enron persuaded Texas Governor Bush to exempt

energy firms from regulation, and to corral

support for export credit agencies that would

ensure financial handouts and bailouts when U.S.

companies undertake risky international projects

in developing nations.

*** According to Enron investigator Senator Carl

Levin, Enron engaged in a "massive shell game

with multiple layers of conflicts of interest.

One such conflict which apparently triggered the

collapse was the fact that debt was transferred

to paper partnerships in which Enron officials

had personal financial interests to make Enron

look financially better." The accounting firm

Arthur Anderson may have played a role in

concealing such practices during audits. The

Green Party insists that the public also deserves

to know how much Bush Administration officials

may have known about these improprieties.

"All Americans should be outraged at President

Bush's disdain for executive accountability,"

said Tom Sevigny of Connecticut, another steering

committee member.

"The President's Enron connections, his refusal

to comply with the General Accounting Office's

demand for information on how the administration

crafted its Energy Plan, his invocation of

executive privilege to block a congressional

subpoena necessary to investigate FBI abuses, his

decision to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-ballistic

Missile Treaty without consulting Congress, his

pressure on Congress to grant the President 'Fast

Track' authority to determine trade policy with

no Congressional or public oversight, the gutting

of constitutional protections by Attorney General

John Ashcroft -- these are attacks on the checks

and balances that are supposed to make the U.S. a

democracy. What's equally shameful is the

willingness of many Republicans and Democrats to

indulge this power grab."

Since 1990, Enron has made .8 million in

contributions to both Republican and Democratic

politicians, according to the Center for

Responsive Politics.


The Green Party of the United States


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