Democratic Underground

George W. Bush's Intimate Affair with a Missing... Corporation
January 11, 2002
by Ted Westervelt

After forging an intimate relationship with millions of dollars of campaign contributions with George W. Bush for the better part of a decade, Houston based mega-billion dollar energy trading company Enron is vanishing without a trace. So are billions of dollars from individual pension and retirement funds nationwide. Soon the last obvious vestiges of this formerly tight relationship will be the former Enron execs peppering the Bush Administration.

Recent information from the Vice President's office shows the dying corporation apparently played a vital role in the Bush Administration all the way through to its final days, and kept up an active political front until the final hours.

Can anyone tell us why?

One thing is certainly clear for all to see. Energy trader Enron's rise to mega-billion dollar prominence eerily mirrors George W. Bush's rise to national political power. And it's no random coincidence. Not only did the political arms of the company and generous executives easily make Enron Bush's top supporter in his 2000 Presidential bid, estimates of their financial support for Bush campaigns since his first run for governor of Texas run well into the tens of millions of dollars. If Bush supported initiatives for the national Republican party and Texas Republican party are included, this figure could easily climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why then, as Enron's favorite long term investment reached the promised land of the Presidency of the United States, was the company less than 12 months from seeking federal bankruptcy protection? Indeed, why was the company consulting with Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force on national energy policy within a few weeks of being unable to pay their own bills?

Even as Enron was beginning the long rotation to a belly up position, the company was still playing politics at a frenzied pace. Indeed, contributions totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates of both major parties were made from the Enron PAC alone over the last calendar year - practically up until their last days as a viable business. And despite a last minute flurry of contributions to many Democrats, the grand sums contributed to Bush and his causes still tower over them by exponential margins.

Could Enron have been looking for cover from the President of the United States during it's final desperate acts of gluttony and golden parachutes - like the last minute $300,000,000.00 in severance packages that top Enron execs doled out to themselves in the closing days?

Could it be the pending investigation on the accounting practices that led to the glowing financial reports that turned Wall Street into a gushing well of support, and opened the investor floodgates from day traders to managers of otherwise conservative pension funds?

Could it be ongoing grumbling about Enron's role in the California "Energy Crisis"?

Whatever the story is, let's hope that there are those brave enough to tell it. When a corporation with such an intimate connection to a standing President slips beneath the waves, and billions of dollars in our retirement accounts nationwide are caught up in the suction, the highest rated news show in the country will be the first to tell us why.

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