Enron's Web of Influence: The Political Players

The regulators

Wendy Gramm

Wife of Texas Sen. Phil Gramm; as Reagan-appointed chair of Commodity Futures Trading Commission, muscled through a measure exempting some energy trading from government oversight in 1993; joined Enron board five weeks later; Enron paid her between $915,000 and $1.85 million from 1993 to 2001.

Pat Wood

Named by Bush to chair Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; was Lay’s personal choice to replace Curtis Hebert Jr., who disagreed with Lay on regulatory policies.

Harvey Pitt

Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission was securities lawyer who represented Arthur Anderson, Enron’s auditor.

The Bush connections

President George W. Bush

Received $312,500 from Enron and its employees for gubernatorial campaigns and $413,800 for presidential war chest and inaugural fund. Nicknamed Lay "Kenny boy."

Vice President Dick Cheney

Former energy executive met with Lay and other Enron officials six times while crafting Bush administration’s energy policy, which reportedly contains 17 provisions sought by Enron; refuses to show records to Congress.

Lawrence Lindsey

Bush’s chief economic adviser was paid a total of $100,000 as Enron consultant in 1999 and 2000.

Karl Rove

Bush’s senior political adviser sold between $100,000 and $250,000 in Enron stock last June under advice of White House counsel, but participated in energy deliberations prior to sale.

George H.W. Bush

Former president, longtime friend of Lay, was key fund raiser and in 2000 went to a baseball game with Enron chief and future president. Lay slept over at Bush White House.

Alberto Gonzalez

White House counsel formerly worked at Vinson & Elkins, the Houston law firm that represented Enron and signed off on accounting schemes.

John Ashcroft

Attorney general disqualified himself from Justice Department criminal probe of Enron because he received $57,499 from company for his failed Missouri Senate re-election campaign in 2000.

Marc Racicot

Lawyer, handpicked by Bush to chair Republican National Committee, will retain his salary at firm that lobbies for Enron.

Donald Rumsfield

Defense secretary owned, and subsequently sold, $1,000-$15,000 in Enron stock.

Don Evans

As Bush’s chief campaign fund raiser, the Commerce secretary accepted Lay’s campaign donations and returned his call in October.

Spencer Abraham

Energy secretary received $10,500 from Enron executives for his failed 2000 Senate race in Michigan.

Elizabeth Moler

Second-ranking official in the Energy Department and former head of FERC in the Clinton administration; became a lobbyist for Enron in 1999, urging Congress to pass legislation that would give Enron easier access to interstate electricity markets.

Thomas White

Army secretary was Enron executive for 11 years; served as vice chair for Enron Energy Services, which a former employee claims used accounting tricks to create illusory earnings and hide losses; owned between $25 million and $50 million in Enron stock and more than $25 million in stock options at beginning of administration; vowed to privatize military energy services to allow companies like Enron to gain contracts; acknowledged discussing company’s financial problems with Lay and other Enron employees 29 times last summer.

Robert Zoellick

U.S. trade representative was paid $50,000 as member of an Enron advisory board in 2000; owned $15,000-$50,000 in Enron stock

Charlotte Beers

Undersecretary of State owned $100,000-$250,000 in Enron stock at start of administration.

Margaret Tutwiler

Ambassador to Morocco, former senior aide, owned $15,000-$50,000 in Enron stock

Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff owned $1,000-$15,000 in Enron stock, sold last February.

Nicholas Calio

White House director of legislative affairs owned $1,000-$15,000 in Enron stock, sold last August.

The political operatives

Linda Robertson

Top Treasury official in Clinton administration, now Enron’s chief Washington lobbyist.

Ed Gillespie

Republican political strategist worked as lobbyist for Enron, was a top aide in Bush’s presidential campaign and headed communications for inauguration.

Ralph Reed

Former head of Christian Coalition and GOP strategist was hired for $10,000 a month by Enron in 1997 at recommendation of Bush political adviser Karl Rove, reportedly as a way to keep Reed loyal to Bush but distant enough to not disrupt campaign’s "compassionate conservative" spin.

The lawmakers

Sen. Phil Gramm

Texas senator received $101,350 in Enron contributions since 1989; pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which further deregulated energy commodity trading, allowing Enron to operate an unregulated power auction that quickly gained control over a significant share of California’s electricity and natural gas market.