When Gillespie Joined the Bush White House in 2007, the Watchdog Organization Public Citizen Said He Was 'A Prime Example of a Revolving Door That has Spun Out of Control': "Ed Gillespie has long been part of the Bush money machine, helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from business interests for Bush's 2004 re-election campaign... He fought on behalf of Enron against efforts to re-regulate the electricity market, which would have ended Enron's price gouging. He pushed for the energy legislation enacted in 2005, which included some $25 billion in corporate subsidies for oil, gas nuclear and coal interests. On behalf of financial service clients, he pushed for watering down accounting reforms. On behalf of Chrysler, he fought against improvement of fuel economy standards... By moving from lobbyist to chair of the Republican National Committee, back to lobbyist and then to White House counselor, he is a prime example of a revolving door that has spun out of control." [Public Citizen Congress Watch, 6/13/2007]
2001: Gillespie Lobbied on Behalf of Enron, and Enron Helped Write The Bush Administration Energy Plan Which Recommended Deregulation Of The Energy Market. Gillespie's lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates was paid $700,000 by Enron for a one year contract, and Gillespie personally lobbied on behalf of the firm. Enron had major access to Cheney's Energy Task Force, which drafted the Bush Administration's energy plan. "Whenever we had to get in to see a Republican, the first call was to Gillespie," a former Enron executive told The Washington Post.
2001: As Dick Cheney's Task Force Was Drafting The National Energy Policy, Gillespie Was Secretly Recommending Its Use As a Political Weapon. "Gillespie's simultaneous lobbying and campaign strategizing underscore Enron's influence in Washington before its collapse last year, as well as the way politics and policy often blur under the loophole-filled laws governing their combination." ["Enron Lobbyist Plotted Strategy Against Democrats," The Los Angeles Times, 2/11/2002]
2001: Gillespie Formed 21st Century Energy Project, Secretly Funded by Conservative Political Organizations, to Help Pass Bush's Energy Plan. "In a May press conference launching the group, Gillespie said the money came from contributions from the project's 10 members, which included the American Conservative Union and the United Seniors Association. And that's where things get interesting. When NEWSWEEK called the fund's members and asked how much money they'd put up, eight of the 10 said they'd given no money at all: Gillespie had asked only for their support, not their cash. In fact, NEWSWEEK has learned, the coalition was funded entirely by Gillespie's corporate lobbying clients. One of the firms that chipped in was Enron, which stood to gain from Bush's pro-energy agenda. Sources tell NEWSWEEK the now bankrupt energy company gave more than $50,000 to the project, secretly routing the money through one of its members, Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative interest group run by activist Grover Norquist. Asked about Enron, Norquist replied: 'We don't disclose our donors.'" [Newsweek, 'Winks, Nods Amp Corporate Cash," 2/24/2002]
2001: The 21st Century Energy Project ran TV, radio and print ads attacking 'liberal elites' who were trying to depict Bush as a tool of his 'Big Oil buddies,' as Gillespie put it in a memo to colleagues: "In Washington, lobbyist Ed Gillespie is known for his big-dollar clients--he was a $700,000-a-year consultant to Enron--and his tight relationship with the Bush White House. So when Gillespie started calling the leaders of conservative interest groups last spring, asking them to join an independent advocacy group to promote the president's energy plan, they figured Gillespie was discreetly doing the White House's bidding. 'Administration officials generally don't ask for support directly,' says American Conservative Union president David Keene. 'It's more a wink and a nod. Everyone knows Ed is close to them, so a wink and a nod is all it takes.'" [Newsweek, 'Winks, Nods Amp Corporate Cash," 2/24/2002]
2002: Gillespie Fought For $254 Million Tax Break for Enron Gillespie also lobbied for a "stimulus" bill written by former House GOP Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), which would have given Texas-based Enron a $254 million tax break. [Lobby Registration Report, 2/15/02; Newsweek, 2/4/02]
Enron's Bankruptcy Cost 20,000 People Their Jobs. Enron's Wreckage: 20,000 Enron employees lost their jobs and medical insurance. The average severance payment was $4,500. Employees lost $1.2 billion in retirement funds, and retirees lost $2 billion in pension funds. Top Enron executives cashed-in $116 million in stock and shared $55 million in bonuses before the bankruptcy filing. Enron's Chapter 11 bankruptcy resulted from overstating profits by $586 million over five years, and understating debt by $2.6 billion. The collapse of Enron resulted in approximately $63 billion in liabilities. [Sources: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2007 documentary); ABC News, 5/25/2006]
2002: Enron's bankruptcy, the largest in history at the time, 'exposed the decay of corporate accountability': "No-account accountants, see-no-evil stock analysts, subservient 'independent' board members, gelded regulators, purchased politicians--every supposed check on executive plunder and piracy has been shredded. Enron transformed itself from a gas pipeline company to an unregulated financial investment house willing and able to buy and sell anything--energy futures, weather changes, bandwidth, state legislatures, regulators, senators, even Presidents... It is Enron's rise that lays bare the hypocrisy of modern conservatives--call them Enron conservatives. Enron conservatives fly the flag of free markets but actually use political and financial clout to free themselves from accountability, rig the market and then use their position to ravage consumers, investors and employees. These are not the small-is-beautiful compassionate conservatives George Bush advertised in the election campaign, or the tory conservatives who protect flag, family and honor. Enron conservatives make the rules to benefit themselves. 'They have clout and the ability to get the rules written their way,' said Stephen Naeve, chief financial officer for Houston Industries, Inc. about Enron in 1997. 'They play with sharp elbows.'" [The Nation, "Enron Conservatives," 2/4/2002]
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