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Midwestern Energy Company

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  • raskrcktt
    The Westar Scandal: Democrats Demand Investigation for GOP Quid Pro Quo Scheme House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Rep. Joe
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19 3:44 AM
      The Westar Scandal: Democrats Demand Investigation for GOP Quid Pro
      Quo Scheme
      House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA),
      Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) Solicited
      Donations from Midwestern Energy Company for Favorable Legislation

      Dear Krickett schwarz,

      The current Westar scandal is exposing the worst side of GOP
      politics: a Midwestern energy corporation wanted legislation that
      would boost its profits, and tried to buy what it wanted with
      campaign contributions. GOP legislators gave the company just what
      it asked for, removing the legislative giveaway only after a public
      scandal engulfed the company.

      The story is a simple one told by Westar internal documents. The
      emails and memos below paint a picture of the perfect quid pro quo:
      a "seat at the table" for campaign contributions. (Note: You will
      need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Westar documents.)

      Step 1: "A Seat at the Table"
      In a series of three emails, Westar Vice Presidents Douglas Lawrence
      and Douglas Lake discussed their "plan for participation to get a
      seat at the table" when GOP lawmakers crafted an energy bill. The
      plan involved $56,500 in donations -- split between the corporation
      and individual contributions from Westar executives -- to Republican
      Congressmen to ensure the passage of a special interest benefit for
      Westar into a federal energy bill.


      Step 2: "Total Budget for Our Washington Efforts"
      In a May 17, 2002 memo to 13 fellow Westar executives, Lawrence
      explained the company's "estimated needs" for "the total budget for
      our Washington efforts regarding the Federal Energy Bill." The memo
      suggested that Westar executives contribute money to several GOP
      congressmen and candidates, including Tom DeLay and Senator Richard
      Shelby's protege, House GOP candidate Tom Young. Lawrence stressed
      that the donations were "recommended by our Washington lobbyist,"
      and that time was "of the essence." This memo dictates exactly who
      gives exactly what to exactly whom.


      Step 3: The Quid Pro Quo
      While drafting federal energy legislation, House Subcommittee on
      Energy and Air Quality Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) inserted language
      into energy legislation that would have exempted Westar Energy from
      SEC regulation. Barton was able to defeat an attempt by Democrats to
      strip the language from the legislation. When a federal
      investigation of Westar began, however, the Republican lawmakers
      dropped support for the exemption.

      Democrats Demand Investigation
      DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe has sent letters to White House Chief
      of Staff Andrew Card and Attorney General John Ashcroft demanding an
      investigation into the contributions made by Westar executives to
      GOP lawmakers.

      But Republicans are sticking together, and the Bush administration
      has refused to pursue these allegations.
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