Populist Al's Attacks On Enron: Hypocrisy At Its Finest
When The Populist Version Of Gore Uses His "The People Vs. The Powerful" Rhetoric, Just Remember Two Words: Gore And Enron.
AL GORE: "This struggle between the people and the powerful was at the heart of every major domestic issue of the 2000 campaign and is still the central dynamic of politics in 2002." (Al Gore Op-Ed, "Broken Promises And Political Deception," The New York Times, August 4, 2002)
THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION HELPED ENRON WITH NUMEROUS BUSINESS DEALS
President Clinton Took A Personal Interest In An Enron Energy Deal. "On Nov. 22, 1995 . . . Clinton scrawled an FYI note to [Chief of Staff Mack] McLarty, enclosing a newspaper article on Enron Corp. and the vicissitudes of its $3 billion power-plant project in India. McLarty then reached out to Enron's chairman, Ken Lay, and over the next nine months closely monitored the project with the U.S. ambassador to New Delhi, keeping Lay informed of the Administration's efforts, according to White House documents reviewed by Time. In June 1996, four days before India granted final approval to Enron's project, Lay's company gave $100,000 to the President's party." (Michael Weisskopf, "The White House: That Invisible Mack Sure Can Leave His Mark," Time, September 1, 1997)
The Clinton-Gore National Security Council And Vice President Gore Interceded On Enron's Behalf. "Gas giant Enron Corp.'s plan to develop Mozambique's Pande natural gas field appears to have been saved from cancellation last month by a blunt threat from the U.S. National Security Council to cut off future U.S. aid to the country. . . . U.S. sources said [Mozambican Energy Ministry John] Kachamila then entered into negotiations on [an] alternative proposal . . . [and] began to portray the Enron deal as bad financially . . . . Given the hurdles, Enron is pinning its hopes on a visit to South Africa on Dec. 6 by Vice President Al Gore, who will take in talks with President Nelson Mandela." (Jonathan Bearman, "White House Rescued Enron's Deal To Develop Mozambique's Pande Field," The Oil Daily, December 1, 1995)
Enron Received Over $4 Billion In Federal Assistance During The Clinton-Gore Administration. "'All told, Enron received over $4 billion from the federal Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank for projects in Turkey, Bolivia, China, the Philippines, and elsewhere' during the Clinton administration." (Greg Pierce, "Inside Politics," The Washington Times, January 14, 2002)
The Clinton-Gore Commerce Department Had An "Economic War Room" To Aid Enron And Other Corporations. "From . . . [the] Washington war room, the negotiators for the Enron Corporation, the lead bidder in the American consortium, have been shadowed and assisted by a startling array of Government agencies. In a carefully-planned assault, the State and Energy Departments pressed the firms' case." (David E. Sanger, "How Washington Inc. Makes A Sale," The New York Times, February 19, 1995)
Clinton-Gore Administration Officials Were "Unabashed Cheerleaders" For The Enron Power Contract In India. "Many Clinton Administration officials had been unabashed cheerleaders for the deal, with Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary warning in June that canceling the Dabhol contract would endanger other private power projects being financed from outside India." (John-Thor Dahlburg, "India Orders Plug Pulled On U.S.-Run Power Project," Los Angeles Times, August 4, 1995)
The Clinton-Gore Energy Department Awarded A Contract To Enron For The Construction Of The Largest On-Grid Photovoltaic System In The United States. "Amoco/Enron Solar will develop the country's largest on-grid photovoltaic farm--a 10 MW facility on Department of Energy land at the Nevada Test Site-- under a power purchase agreement with the Corporation for Solar Technology and Renewable Resources, a DOE-funded nonprofit organization. Although the 10 MW purchase commitment from the Nevada Test Site is a mere 10 percent of the hoped-for 100 MW solar goal, CSTRR president Rose McKinney-James said she was 'pleased and encouraged' by CSTRR's accomplishments to date." (Libby Brydolf, "Largest PV Farm Set For Nevada Test Site," The Electricity Daily, November 6, 1996)
The Clinton-Gore Administration Helped Enron Salvage An Energy Contract In The Philippines. "President Clinton today salvaged a U.S. proposal to ease trade barriers on computer technology by the year 2000 as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum wrapped up its work. . . . Key investors in Subic Bay include Houston-based Enron Corp., which has a subsidiary developing the area's power source, and Coastal Corp., which has taken over the huge tanker storage area. Enron and Coastal were among the first 94 investors in Subic Bay, which now serves as the Asia hub for Federal Express. Those firms, along with Dallas-based EDS, serve on the APEC Business Advisory Council that met with Clinton Sunday night."
(Nancy Mathis, "Clinton Salvages Motion On Computer Technology," The Houston Chronicle, November 25, 1996)
The Clinton-Gore Administration Helped Enron Secure Over $400 Million In Loans For A Joint Venture. "The U.S. will provide up to $400-mil in government-backed loans to support a possible joint venture between Enron and Uzbekistan to develop gas reserves, the U.S.' Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) said June 24. OPIC's announcement coincided with a state visit by Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, who meets with President Clinton June 25." ("Support For Possible Enron-Uzbek Link," Platt's Oilgram News, June 25, 1996)
The Clinton-Gore Administration And The OPIC Helped Enron Finance A Gas Pipeline Through Eastern Bolivia And Brazil. "Environmentalists say U.S. government financing is being misused to finance a gas pipeline through a rare forest ecosystem in violation of the Clinton administration's own policies. American energy giants Enron and Shell, along with the Bolivian consortium Transredes, are hurrying to complete the 243-mile pipeline, which will extend from an existing gas pipeline near the city of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia to Cuiaba, Brazil. . . . The $570 million Cuiaba Integrated Energy Project is set to be completed by March, financed in part with a $200 million loan delivered to the companies on June 15 from the Overseas Private Investment [Corporation]." (James Langman, "Clinton Regime Ripped For Supporting Pipeline," The Washington Times, January 11, 2000)
The Clinton-Gore OPIC Issued A $200-Million Loan That Helped Enron Construct A South American Gas Pipeline. "The Overseas Private Investment Corporation approved a $200 million loan Tuesday for a gas pipeline in Bolivia, a project opposed by environmental groups and some U.S. lawmakers. . . . In addition, Enron and Shell committed themselves to spending more than $20 million to develop and implement a regional conservation plan for eastern Bolivia over the next five years."
(Harry Dunphy, "OPIC Approves $200 Million Loan For Bolivia Pipeline," The Associated Press, June 15, 1999)
ENRON OFFICIALS HAD REGULAR SEATS ON CLINTON OVERSEAS TRADE MISSIONS
Enron Executives Traveled So Often On Trade Missions That The Company Was "Compelled" To Let The World Know That No Employees Were On Ron Brown's Plane When It Crashed. "Enron officials were so often part of Clinton's international trade missions that the company felt compelled to issue a news release saying no one from Enron was involved when a plane crashed in Croatia in 1996, killing all aboard, including [then] Commerce Secretary Ron Brown." (Jack Douglas Jr. and Jennifer Autrey, "Enron Spread Its Political Donations," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 27, 2002)
A Sample Of Clinton-Era Trade Missions That Included Enron Executives:
Russia In March And April 1994. "Rodney L. Gray, chairman and chief executive officer of Enron International accompanied Brown on [a] . . . trade mission to Russia in March and April of 1994. In Russia, Enron signed a deal to develop a market for Russia[n] gas in Europe." (Center For Public Integrity Website, www.publicintegrity.org, accessed August 20, 2002
India In January 1995. "Kenneth Lay, chairman and chief executive officer of the Enron Corporation, accompanied Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown on the trade mission to India in January, 1995. In India, Enron signed a contract for a 2,000 megawatt power plant in Dahbol worth an estimated $400 million. Enron also won a contract to build a $920 million power plant on the West coast of India and a $1.1 billion contract for offshore gas and oil production." (Center For Public Integrity Website, www.publicintegrity.org, accessed August 20, 2002)
Bosnia And Croatia In July 1996. "The Enron Development Corp. had good reason to be thankful when its president accompanied Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor on a trade mission to Bosnia and Croatia last July. With Kantor's help in Croatia, Enron signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a 150-megawatt power plant that will cost $100 million or more to build." (Walter V. Robinson, "Donations Are Linked To Kantor Trade Missions," The Boston Globe, February 12, 1997)
South Africa In December 1998. "[F]or every South African and American who cares about jobs, and about making our economies work for all people, this is a very important trade mission. . . . These companies see a new Africa. They want to trade and invest more with countries that are moving from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy. . . . Another company is Enron [represented by Terrence Thorn]. They want to develop a $2,500 million gas pipeline and iron and steel facility in Mozambique that will mean thousands of jobs." (Then-Commerce Secretary Daley As Quoted In "United States And Africa," Africa News, December 2, 1998)
China In April 1999. "U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley's infrastructure trade delegation to China this week produced several business deals. Some were part of the trade mission and others were timed to coincide with it. . . . Enron International China Pipeline, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enron Corp. of Houston Texas, signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday to jointly develop a natural gas pipeline. The 765 kilometer pipeline, the first onshore pipeline to be built in cooperation with a foreign company, will transport natural gas from Sichuan Province to markets in Hubei Province." ("Daley's China Visit Nets Trade Deals For U.S. Companies," ChinaOnline, April 2, 1999)
Egypt In October 1999. "A group of U.S. corporate executives headed by Commerce Secretary William Daley arrived here Wednesday hoping to exploit fresh trade opportunities with Egypt after a change of government. The delegation is looking forward 'to exploring commercial opportunities resulting from Egypt's economic reforms and ongoing privati[z]ation reforms,' Daley said on his arrival here at the head of a delegation of 12 business leaders. Among the U.S. companies represented were Nortel Networks, Enron Corporation [represented by Richard Bergsieker, Senior Vice President], ProNetLink.com and New York Life International." ("US Trade Mission To Explore New Privati[z]ation Opportunities In Egypt," Agence France Presse, October 13, 1999)
Latin America In February 2000. "Commerce Secretary William Daley left Friday evening for Latin America with 19 U.S. corporate executives on a U.S. business-development mission focusing on information and communications technology, environment, and energy. Among the 19 executives are . . . Terrence Thorn, executive vice president of Enron. The mission will travel for eight days to the Southern Cone countries of Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The key issue in that region is the privatization of power companies, not just at the federal level, as in the past, but now at the state and local levels, according to a Commerce Department official. In addition, the mission will look at ongoing and new opportunities in cross-border oil and gas pipelines."
("Daley Visits Latin America," The Oil Daily, February 14, 2000)
Like Infamous DNC Fundraiser Johnny Chung, Enron Also Donated To A Charity For Clinton Energy Secretary O'Leary. Chung said that a Department of Energy official offered to arrange a meeting with Secretary O'Leary for a Chinese businessman "in exchange for a $25,000 donation to Africare, a charity support by O'Leary." Similarly, after O'Leary included Enron officials on her trips, "Enron showed its gratitude. At Christmas 1995, documents show, it donated an unknown sum of cash in O'Leary's name to a charity called 'I Have a Dream.'" ("O'Leary To Testify Before House Panel On Contribution To Charity," Inside Energy/With Federal Lands, December 8, 1997; Michael Weisskopf, "Enron's Democrat Pals," Time, August 17, 2002)
Enron "Seemed To Purchase" Seats On A Clinton-Era Overseas Trade Mission. "In 1995, a $100,000 check from Enron to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) seemed to purchase some highly coveted seats for Enron executives on an overseas trade mission led by then-Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. Earlier, Enron Chairman Ken Lay accompanied the previous commerce secretary, Ron Brown, to India. Mr. Clinton instructed his chief of staff, Mack McLarty, to help Enron obtain a contract to build a power plant in India, for which the firm received $398 million in U.S. taxpayer assistance. In 1996, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rulings favorable to Enron coincided with another $100,000 contribution from Enron to the DNC." (Editorial, "Enron And The Clinton Administration," The Washington Times, January 18, 2002)
ENRON AND THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION: A SHARED VISION ON GLOBAL WARMING
The Clinton-Gore Administration's Global Warming Agreement Would Have Helped Enron. "The Clinton administration's interest in an international agreement to combat global warming also dovetailed with Enron's business plans. Enron officials envisioned the company at the center of a new trading system, in which industries worldwide could buy and sell credits to emit carbon dioxide as part of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. Such a system would curtail the use of inefficient coal-fired power plants that emitted large amounts of carbon dioxide, while encouraging new investments in gas-fired plants and pipelines -- precisely Enron's line of business." (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
Enron Shaped The Clinton-Gore Global Warming Policy. At a July 1997 meeting, Enron was part of a select group that shaped the administration's case for policy action on the theory of man-made climate change. (Christopher C. Horner, "Controlling Hypocritical Authority," National Review, April 23, 2002)
Ken Lay Urged Clinton And Vice President Gore "To Back A 'Market-Based' Approach To The Problem Of Global Warming," Which Would Be "Good For Enron Stock." In a White House meeting in August 1997, "Lay urged President Clinton and Vice President Gore to back a 'market-based' approach to the problem of global warming -- a strategy that a later Enron memo makes clear would be 'good for Enron stock.'"
(Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
Ken Lay Said The Kyoto Global Warming Accord Would Dramatically Help Enron. Following the White House meeting, Ken Lay said there was broad consensus in favor of an emissions-trading system. An internal Enron memo noted that "the Kyoto agreement, if implemented, would 'do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.'" (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
Ken Lay Bragged That Gore Had "Solicited" His Views On Global Warming. "In an August 1997 memo by Mr. Lay to all Enron employees, the chairman said Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore had 'solicited' his view on how to address the issue of global warning 'in advance of a climate treaty to be negotiated at an international conference.' That memo said Mr. Clinton agreed a market-based solution, such as emissions trading, was the answer to reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere." (Jerry Seper, "Enron Gave Cash To Democrats, Sought Pact Help," The Washington Times, January 16, 2002)
Enron Officials Pressured The Clinton-Gore Administration To Restructure Legislation Relating To Global Climate Change. "Despite the Senate decision, Enron continued to push the Clinton administration well into 1998 for what the company called a 'restructuring' of legislation that would have been a 'first step to solving the problems of global climate change.' The firm, according to the records, sought laws that would have favored Enron's natural gas inventory and reduced competition from coal." (Jerry Seper, "Enron Gave Cash To Democrats, Sought Pact Help," The Washington Times, January 16, 2002)
The Clinton-Gore Energy Department "Rework[ed]" Its Proposal So That It Was To Enron's Liking. "Drafting a 1995 plan to help facilitate cash flow and credit for energy producers, it asked for Enron's input-and listened. The staff was directed to 'rework the proposal to take into account the specific comments and suggestions you made,' Clinton Deputy Energy Secretary Bill White wrote an Enron official." (Michael Weisskopf, "Enron's Democrat Pals," Time, August 17, 2002)
Enron Said The Final Gore Global Warming Treaty Was "Another Victory For Us." An internal Enron memo about the Kyoto Protocol said, '"[i]f implemented, this agreement will do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States. . . This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!' Drafted by Enron's Kyoto emissary immediately upon his return from Japan, it praises individual Kyoto features with 'we won,' 'another victory for us,' and 'exactly what I have been lobbying for.'" (Christopher Horner, "Outside View: Caught En Flagrente Kyoto," United Press International, January 31, 2002)
THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION WAS A KEY SUPPORTER OF ENRON'S ELECTRIC DEREGULATION PLAN
Ken Lay Was A Clinton Golfing Partner And Energy Advisor. Lay played golf with President Clinton and "[advised] the Democratic administration on energy." (David Ivanovich, "Power Play," The Houston Chronicle, November 10, 2001)
The Clinton-Gore Administration Supported Enron's Agenda To Deregulate Electricity. "Closer to home, deregulation of the electric-power industry tops the company's domestic political agenda. To date, electricity deregulation has progressed piecemeal, state by state. Bills in Congress [to] deregulate the industry nationwide have gone nowhere. Enron officials were able to enlist the support of the Clinton administration, but the legislation failed to move on Capitol Hill, largely because of personalities and turf issues."
(David Ivanovich, "The New Power," The Houston Chronicle, April 15, 2001)
A Regulatory Change By The Clinton-Gore Administration Transformed Enron. "Key orders by FERC in 1996 also supported Enron's transformation into a freewheeling trader of gas, electricity and more exotic products, such as telecommunications services and sulfur-dioxide emissions credits. The new rules ensured that Enron and other merchant companies could buy electricity from independent power plants and sell it to distant customers, using transmission lines borrowed from utility companies."
(Dan Morgan and Juliet Eilperin, "Campaign Gifts, Lobbying Built Enron's Power In Washington," The Washington Post, December 25, 2001)
Enron Lobbied Clinton To Act On FERC Order 888 And "Allow Wholesale Open Access To The Nation's Electricity Transmission Grid." "Gas companies, trade groups and utilities are barraging the White House with support for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Order 888, telling President Clinton that the administration should not delay implementation because of unfounded environmental concerns. . . . Order 888 will allow wholesale open access to the nation's electricity transmission grid. Also writing to Clinton was a group of 26 trade groups and energy companies that urged that EPA not turn the rule over to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for review. The group includes . . . Enron Corp. . . ."
(Paul Connolly, "Gas Firms Ask White House To Move On FERC's Electric Rule," The Oil Daily, May 14, 1996)
Clinton-Gore Energy Secretary Federico Pena Urged The White House To Take Action On Energy Legislation Favored By Enron. "Lay met with Energy Secretary Federico Pena to urge White House action on electricity legislation favored by Enron. Pena 'suggested that President Clinton might be motivated [to act] by some key contacts from important constituents,' according to another Enron memo. Taking the cue, Lay, one of 25 business executives on Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development, wrote to the president the same day." (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
In 1992, Clinton Signed A Major Energy Bill (H.R. 776) That "Set The Stage For A New Wholesale Electricity Marketplace" And The Growth Of Enron. The law "set the stage for a new wholesale electricity marketplace. Trading companies such as Enron could use the transmission lines of regulated utility companies to sell [blocks] of electricity to private customers." (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
Energy Secretary Pena Solicited Comments From Enron On The Clinton-Gore "Comprehensive National Energy Strategy." "Pena asked Enron officials to keep Energy Department staffers posted on developments in Congress, and solicited comments on the administration's draft of its Comprehensive National Energy Strategy, an Enron document said. Lay felt the draft was 'headed in the right direction' except for a few points, the document said." (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)
An Enron Spokesman Said That The Company Was Encouraged By The Final Clinton-Gore Plan. "Houston-based Enron Corp., a gas and electricity utility that has been aggressively pushing into newly deregulated state markets and is increasingly competing with Southern Co., said it was encouraged by the plan. 'We like that there's an absolute deadline for competition,' said Enron Senior Vice President Steven Kean." (Matthew C. Quinn, "Plan For Deregulating Nation's Electric Utilities Finally Sent To Congress," The Atlanta Journal And Constitution, March 26, 1998)
Provisions In The Clinton-Gore Energy Plan Were "Much To The Liking" Of Enron. "Under the Clinton plan, states would not be compelled to open up their markets to competition. States could retain the status quo if they decided their consumers would be better off with a regulated, monopoly system, although they would be forced to hold public hearings to explain why competition would not work. That provision is much to the liking of officials at Houston-based Enron Corp., the natural gas and power giant that has led the electricity deregulation push." (David Ivanovich, "Clinton Power Deregulation Plan Detailed," The Houston Chronicle, March 26, 1998)
DONATIONS AND ACCESS
Former Enron Chairman Ken Lay And His Company Contributed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars To Assist President Clinton And Vice President Al Gore. "[Ken] Lay contributed $11,000 to former President Bill Clinton during his two campaigns; Vice President Al Gore got $13,750 from Enron in the 2000 election. During Clinton's eight years in office, the company and Lay contributed about $900,000 to the Democratic Party." (Stephen J. Hedges, et al., "Enron 'Players' Worked D.C. Ties," Chicago Tribune, January 13, 2002)
Enron Donated To The DNC Shortly Before Company Executives Met With Gore. Over a 17-month period between May 1997 and October 1998, Enron donated $55,000 to the Democratic National Committee. "The cash came as Enron reportedly scored meetings with high-level Democrats - including then-President Bill Clinton and then-Vice President Al Gore."
(David R. Guarino, "'Outsider' Grossman Got Enron Cash For DNC," The Boston Herald, February 20, 2002)
Enron's Large Donations To Democrats Preceded Its Intensive Lobbying Efforts With Gore. "Enron Corp. donated $420,000 to Democrats over a three-year period while heavily lobbying the Clinton administration to expedite passage of a 1997 global warming treaty that would have dramatically increased the firm's sales of natural gas. Federal and confidential corporate records show that after donating thousands of dollars in soft money and PAC donations beginning in 1995, Enron received easy access to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore." (Jerry Seper, "Enron Gave Cash To Democrats, Sought Pact Help," The Washington Times, January 16, 2002
The Ties Between The Democrat Party And Enron Are Deep And Friendly. "Relations with the Clinton White House included Enron chairman Kenneth Lay's golf outings with the president and Lay's face-to-face lobbying session with Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. . . . Former Clinton officials working for Enron, [included] a former chief of staff and a former White House counsel." (Robert Schlesinger, "Enron Ties May Also Tar Democrats," The Boston Globe, January 24, 2002)
In April 1995, Ken Lay And His Wife Linda Attended A Clinton White House State Dinner In Honor Of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President Of Brazil. (Roxanne Roberts, "Dark Night At The White House," The Washington Post, April 21, 1995)
President Clinton Selected Enron's Ken Lay As A "Corporate Citizen" Who Is "Doing Well By Doing Good." "President Clinton, seeking to ease fears over job security, hosted a conference Thursday to highlight 'corporate citizens' who are doing well by doing good. . . . 'I think it's good to have an open dialogue,' said Kenneth Lay, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Enron Corp., a $13 billion natural-gas production and distribution firm. 'I appreciate the tone that the president has set, trying to address things in a nonemotional way.'" (George Rodrigue, "President Salutes Firms That Do Right By Workers," The Dallas Morning News, May 17, 1996)
The Clinton-Gore Administration Considered Appointing Enron's Terrence Thorn To Be Deputy Secretary Of Energy. "Bill White, the campaign chairman for Texas Sen. Bob Krueger's election campaign, and Terence Thorn, president of Houston-based Transwestern Pipeline Co., are under consideration at the White House for deputy secretary at DOE, several sources said last week. . . . Thorn, described by the source as Enron Corp.'s 'token Democrat,' has been president of the corporation's Transwestern Pipeline subsidiary since 1985. Thorn began his involvement with the gas industry in 1975 as a lobbyist for the American Gas Assn., where he was director of congressional relations from 1977-79. He joined Enron's predecessor, Houston Natural Gas Corp., as the firm's Washington representative in 1981." ("Texans Among Candidates For Deputy," Inside Energy, March 29, 1993)
ENRON'S PLAN FOR THE GORE 2000 CAMPAIGN:
CULTIVATE CLOSE TIES, DONATE, AND HIRE GORE AIDES
During The 2000 Presidential Campaign, Enron Tried To Cultivate Close Ties To Gore. "The Enron Corporation quietly drew up a plan to cultivate close political ties to Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential race and tried to build relationships with his inner circle . . . . In May 2000, shortly after Mr. Gore was assured of the Democratic nomination, Enron hired Sally A. Painter, a public relations executive, who drafted a 'six-month action plan for Enron' for 'Democratic political outreach in the 2000 presidential election,' the documents show." (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
The Recommended Enron Strategy: Get Involved In The DNC Convention, Help Gore In Swing States And With Inaugural Planning. "Ms. Painter identified influential advisers at the Gore headquarters in Nashville and in Washington whom she said Enron officials should get to know. Her plan called for writing briefs for Mr. Gore's staff on issues important to Enron and for Enron to play an 'active and visible role' at the Democratic National Convention. She also suggested that Enron 'actively participate in campaign activities on the ground in a key swing state.' If Mr. Gore was elected, she said, Enron should 'participate in senior team for inaugural planning.'"
(Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Hired A Close Gore Adviser As A Lobbyist During The 2000 Presidential Campaign. "In the summer of 2000, Enron hired one of Mr. Gore's old friends and a longtime financial supporter, Charles W. Bone. Mr. Bone, with contacts in Washington and at the Tennessee Valley Authority, helped Enron settle a bitter contractual dispute with the T.V.A. The suit was settled in January 2001 for more than $200 million. The authority, not Enron, disclosed the settlement." (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Donated To The Democrats In An Attempt To Curry Favor With Gore. "Former Enron officials said an important part of their strategy to win favor with the Gore campaign was a significant increase in the company's donations to Democrats." In 1999 and 2000, the company gave $362,000 in soft-money donations to Democrats. (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Sponsored A Private Meeting With Senior Gore Aides During The 2000 Campaign. "In what one Enron official recalled as a desire to 'have Enron's message become part of the energy and telecom policy of the Gore campaign,' Enron organized a dinner in the private Nest Lounge of the Willard Hotel, two blocks from the White House, that included top Gore and Enron officials as well as executives in the high-tech industry." (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Scripted The Meeting With Gore Aides. "Enron painstakingly prepared for the dinner. Ms. Painter wrote a document of 'potential questions to consider for the dinner discussion' for the Gore officials, including 'How can the vice president and the Democratic Party strengthen its business message?' and 'What has been your reaction to the vice president's leadership strategies?' People at the dinner said the discussion roughly followed the questions outlined." (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Drafted Policy Briefing Papers For Gore. "Christopher M. Long, who was a lobbyist for Enron, suggested in an internal memorandum that the company draft issue briefs for Mr. Gore on 'four policy areas on which Enron has unique experience: electricity deregulation, e-commerce (trading), energy services and broadband.'" (Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron Worked To Hire Gore Aides. "As Ms. Painter was planning more public interaction between Enron and Gore officials, Enron officials said, Mr. Shapiro worked behind the scenes to hire people close to Mr. Gore. In the summer of 2000, they said, Mr. Shapiro wanted to hire Johnny Hayes, one of Mr. Gore's closest friends and top fund-raisers in Nashville. But Mr. Shapiro could not hire Mr. Hayes because he was already on the Gore campaign's payroll. After the campaign, Enron hired Mr. Hayes as a lobbyist."
(Richard L. Berke, "Enron Pursued Plan To Forge Close Ties To Gore Campaign," The New York Times, February 18, 2002)
Enron "Paid Large Sums" To Gore Friends And Aides. "Records show Enron paid large sums to enlist the lobbying aid of former Tennessee Valley Authority Director Johnny Hayes and another Tennessee friend of former Vice President Al Gore. Enron paid $200,000 to Sideview Partners Inc., a company headed by Mr. Hayes, for lobby work involving TVA earlier this year, according to Mr. Hayes' midyear 2001 lobby activities report." Enron also paid $500,000 to the Nashville law firm of Charles Bone, another longtime Gore friend and fund-raiser. "Also registered to lobby on behalf of Enron this year was former Vice President Gore's former chief of staff, Jack Quinn. Disclosure reports for the first half of 2001 indicate Mr. Quinn's lobbying firm, Quinn, Gillespie $10,000." (Andy Sher, "Ex-TVA Director, Gore Friend Got Large Sums To Aid Enron," Chattanooga Times/Chattanooga Free Press, December 7, 2001)
Several Senior Enron Officials "Spent Election Night At Vice President Gore's Headquarters In Nashville." "Several senior Enron officials spent election night at Vice President Gore's headquarters in Nashville." (Dan Morgan, "Enron Also Courted Democrats," The Washington Post, January 13, 2002)