News Release

Enron: Interviews Available


Wheat is the research director for Texans for Public Justice, a non-profit policy and research organization which tracks the influence of money in politics. Wheat said today: “President Bush’s explanation of his relationship to Enron is at best a half truth. He was in bed with Enron before he ever held a political office…. Although Enron is George W. Bush’s No. 1 career donor, the president also is heavily indebted to the professional firms that aided and abetted the greatest bankruptcy and shareholder meltdown in U.S. history. Enron’s ‘independent’ auditor and ‘outside’ law firm — whose own questionable actions in the Enron debacle are being probed — gave a total of $560,385 to Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns. In addition, Arthur Andersen and Vinson & Elkins accounted for four of Bush’s elite ‘Pioneer’ fundraisers who collectively moved at least $400,000 more to Bush’s presidential campaign; Enron Chair Ken Lay was another Pioneer.”
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Mahajan is a specialist on South and Central Asian affairs. In an article published in the Texas Observer in April 2001, Mahajan said: “Enron also stands out for its skill in co-opting politicians from all parts of the spectrum to do its dirty work, and for its willingness to grease the wheels of government with liberal doses of campaign cash. Perhaps most striking is the way it has grown out of nothing, combining ultramodern Internet-fueled growth with techniques rarely seen since the days of the robber barons, when anyone sufficiently ruthless and corrupt could create billions of dollars in equity out of thin air.”
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Sainath is an Indian journalist who has won many awards, including Amnesty International’s Global Human Rights Journalism Prize. “The one formerly solvent and profit-making state electricity board in India is running tens of millions of dollars of losses after getting into a deal with Enron,” he said in a Jan. 24, 2001 news release from the Institute for Public Accuracy.
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Tauli-Corpuz is the founder and executive director of the Tebtebba Foundation — the Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education — in the Philippines. She said today: “Corruption and bad governance are usually the main reasons cited by the Northern governments, the World Bank, the IMF and even the WTO on why aid programs fail and why there is too much poverty in the [global] South. What is not being said, however, is that corruption and bad governance are equally applicable to them. Enron is again a clear case of corruption and bad governance not only within the corporation but within the U.S. government. The behavior of Enron in India since it signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the Congress Party for a 740-megawatt power plant in l993 is an exhibition of corruptive practices. What this tells us is that there is a need for more democratic and transparent global and national institutions which will regulate the behavior of corporations to make them more accountable.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167