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Public Citizen to Obtain Records of Enron Contacts with Bush When He Was Texas Governor

Feb. 15, 2002

Public Citizen to Obtain Records of Enron Contacts with Bush When He Was Texas Governor

Other Records Requests Are Pending; Documents Relating to Global Warming to be Released Next Week

AUSTIN, Texas ? Documents relating to contacts between Enron Corporation and President Bush when he was governor of Texas will be released to Public Citizen at 3 p.m. (EST) today. The 350 pages of documents that concern contacts or communications between the governor?s office and executives, employees and officers of Enron will be made available three weeks after Public Citizen requested them under the Texas Public Information Act.

The records have been stored in Bush?s father?s presidential library in College Station, Texas. Bush had designated his father?s library as the repository for his gubernatorial records, creating uncertainty as to whether they would be open to the public under federal law or the Texas open records law. (The Texas law requires a response to requests within 10 days; the archivist is proposing a 90-day response time as a general rule. Public Citizen recently told the Texas attorney general that Bush?s gubernatorial records should fall under the state open records law.)

“The current investigation and legislative debate over reforms concerning Enron show how important it is that these types of records be released promptly,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook.

Added Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen?s Texas office, “Disclosure delayed is disclosure denied.”

In the same request, Public Citizen asked for records relating to any considerations of, or actions taken on, global warming by then-Gov. Bush. The presidential library archivist has told Public Citizen that those records will be released next week. In addition, Public Citizen has filed a request with the Texas Public Utility Commission seeking records of communications between Enron and Commissioner Brett Perlman (who recently revealed he is a former Enron consultant) or former Commissioner Max Yzaguirre, who was an Enron executive and who resigned from the commission after failing to disclose his conflict of interest. It is unclear when those records will be released.