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Extended Discussion of John Kerry's Enron Hypocrisy:
| 26 Jan 03
| Bernardo Issel
Posted on 01/26/2004 12:53:42 PM PST by .cnI redruM
Senator John Kerry often bashes President Bush as to how Enron and other power companies have influenced the administration's energy policy. Kerry has used Enron as a pejorative adjective to describe dubious policies. Moreover, he gave $1000 to an Enron worker's relief fund because it had originated as a campaign donation from a wind company which was an Enron subsidiary. On the campaign stump, he charges corporations with having adversely impacted American democracy.
NonprofitWatch.org agrees with the Senator regarding his critiques of Enron and corporations, but suggests that this criticism should also be directed at his wife Teresa Heinz.
For eight years Teresa maintained a close relationship with Ken Lay. Since 1995 Mr. Lay served as a trustee of the Heinz Center for Economics, Environment and Science which Teresa founded to memorialize her late husband. Teresa, as well Fred Krupp the executive director of Teresa's main environmental philanthropy Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), also served as trustees.
Oddly, Mr. Lay served as a trustee even after Enron's demise -- a pamphlet obtained from the Heinz Center in the spring of 2003 listed him as a trustee affiliated with Lay Interests LLC. This seems odd in light of Kerry's highly critical comments of Enron.
It is probable that as a wealthy trustee of the group, Mr. Lay was a major donor to the project; about this NonprofitWatch.org has no information, but this should be something for Teresa and the Heinz Center to reveal to the public.
In light of Enron's demise and Ken Lay's leadership role in the scandal-ridden company, his service as a trustee is a poor commentary upon the work of the Heinz Center, besides being an embarrassment to the memory of Mr. Heinz.
Regarding Teresa, Mr. Kerry and his campaign have celebrated Teresa Heinz for her philanthropy, of which environment is a major part. However, NonprofitWatch.org suggests that a significant part of her environmental advocacy was shaped to benefit Enron's interests. Teresa long served as vice-chairperson of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), though she has stepped down from that role and is currently just a trustee. Teresa's Heinz Foundation has long been a major financial supporter of EDF. In light of Teresa's relationship to Enron's Ken Lay and her role with EDF, the below policy stances by EDF that benefited Enron raise questions regarding the ethics and integrity of Teresa's work.
-- In 1998 EDF opposed a ballot initiative Proposition 9 that would have repealed utility deregulation in California. When the bill to deregulate California's energy market passed the legislature in 1996, EDF failed to voice opposition. Energy deregulation proved to be a gross catastrophe for California in terms of economics and the environment but was of great benefit to energy companies such as Enron. Teresa's close ties to Enron's Ken Lay raise the question of whether she was beguiled by Mr. Lay and his likely donations to the Heinz Center.
-- EDF was a major proponent of greenhouse gas emissions trading, a business-friendly approach to address global warming. While environmentalists criticize Bush regarding his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, it should be noted that the Kyoto's trading clauses which EDF influenced have been criticized by some environmentalists as loopholes of the treaty. Enron was a strong supporter of Kyoto as the company looked forward to profiting from trading in greenhouse credits. In light of Enron's business shenanigans and the company's utter collapse, NonprofitWatch.org suggests that the emissions trading scheme may itself be a house of cards. Moreover, the capacity to trade depends upon low targets for emissions reductions. Here again, close ties to Ken Lay raise questions about the judgement of EDF.
-- EDF has long focused on environmental matters related to Brazil. When Enron built an environmentally-damaging pipeline through a biologically rich area of the Brazilian Amazon, EDF politely never publicly condemned Enron. Only after Enron's fall did EDF utter public criticism, in an email sent out to the group's email list.
-- Other examples of EDF's support for Enron will be described in a future briefing.
Whether Teresa had an active or ignorant role in the above is not clear and probably could never be fully ascertained; however either case reflects poorly upon her philanthropy environmentalism. Her close ties to Enron's Ken Lay cast questions about both the integrity of Teresa's philanthropy and the environmentalism of Teresa's EDF. At the very least there is the troubling appearance of conflict of interest coinciding with policy by EDF in the interest of Enron.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; corruption; edf; enron; kerry
Oh my! Look who's panties Kenny Lay talked his way into. Gotta love it! HHQ (Hillary Headquarters).
To: .cnI redruM
Kerry Signals He's A Contender
Massachusetts Senator Blasts Bush on Energy, Gets in Line for `04
By Elizabeth Wilner
W A S H I N G T O N, Jan. 22 Sen. John Kerry today slammed the Bush administration's energy policy and Enron ties, offering some politically intriguing rhetoric in one of the clearest signals to date that the Massachusetts Democrat intends to run for president in 2004.
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In a speech hosted by a Washington think tank, Kerry criticized the White House energy task force as too influenced by industry and not interested enough in making America less dependent upon foreign oil, or in cultivating new sources of energy to slow global warming.
During the question-and-answer session following the speech, Kerry dared the White House to release the names of those who participated in the energy task force proceedings. "If the White House were proud of who was there, if they thought [the list] reflected a fair balance," they would release the names, Kerry said.
Reaching Out to Wider Audience
Kerry spoke not only to the 100 or so in the audience, but to nine television cameras aimed at the podium and a group of national political reporters who attended the speech to gain some measure of his potential as a national candidate. Although he seemed to stumble whenever he veered from the prepared text during the 40-minute address, he turned in a solid and often enthusiastic performance.
Kerry's own proposed energy policy includes a series of tax incentives, including tax credits aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of cars. Kerry stressed during the speech that he is "not proposing that we all drive small," nor that "we mandate the use of public transit."
"I am proposing that we build the cars, SUVs, minivans and trucks we all want to drive, but make them more efficient," he said.
Kerry's aides are aware that former Vice President Al Gore's views on the environment sometimes caused him trouble with business leaders and union members.
The Massachusetts senator also took care to note his backing for the ethanol subsidy, which any presidential contender hoping to compete in the Iowa caucuses is bound to support, and he called for "making coal a cleaner fuel" possibly a reference to the battleground states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which President Bush happened to be visiting at about the same time Kerry spoke.
All of which suggests the Kerry camp hopes simultaneously to make him the first Democrat to tap into the latent political potential of the environmental movement, and to prove his pro-business credentials.
Kerry's efforts to woo the environmental community away from Gore have not gone unnoticed by close observers nor has the fact that Gore has not publicly engaged in a fight with the Massachusetts senator to keep them in his camp.
Dems Jockey for Position
Kerry is one of a handful of Democratic lawmakers who are taking high-profile stances this month on key aspects of the Bush agenda, as they jockey for position in the "invisible primary," carefully gauging their positions in relation not only to the president but to each other.
However, whereas the others have seized upon more hot-button topics like the economy and spending, foreign policy, or the Enron investigation itself, Kerry has chosen the relatively un-sexy subject of energy, on which he has built a long record.
On Thursday, Kerry will preside over a full Senate Commerce Committee hearing on CAFE standards, which was a cornerstone of his speech, along with his opposition to drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Also on Thursday, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will kick off its hearings into the collapse of Enron. The committee is chaired by 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman, who is widely viewed as a potential contender for the party's top spot in 2004.
Lieberman, D-Conn., also gave a foreign policy speech recently at Georgetown University in which he positioned himself at odds with both President Bush and his own party on the war in Afghanistan.
That same day, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri will deliver what his staff has billed as a major speech on the economy. Rather than focus on the current budget situation, a representative said, Gephardt will outline a vision for where the country should be economically a decade from now. Still unclear is whether Gephardt will address the president's tax cut and, if so, call for it to be scaled back or delayed.
Gephardt's speech will be compared in tone and substance to that of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's economic address from early January. The speech by Daschle, D-S.D., ignited a GOP assault, in which Republicans accused the Democratic Party across the board of wanting to raise taxes.
Next Tuesday, Gephardt will deliver the Democratic Party's response to the president's State of the Union address.
posted on 01/26/2004 12:59:18 PM PST
by .cnI redruM
(Texas; more churches than any other state in the US!)
To: .cnI redruM
posted on 01/26/2004 1:05:20 PM PST
(freepo ergo sum)
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