by Tug
Abu Gonzales and Enron - a primer
Tue Jul 24, 2007 15:05

Abu Gonzales and Enron - a primer
by Tug

Just a friendly reminder that as long as Gonzales is going back and changing his positions on various ethical matters, let's go back a little further. I still can't believe that the country let Bush win on Enron ties alone, but that is my problem. Our current problem is Gonzales. Say we never invaded Iraq and torture people there...and say we never did it in Cuba either, then we would still have....ENRON.

Ok Cornyn, you want to say he does not believe in torture - fine. He is still just plain crooked, not unlike his client (see below).

I would like to point out - we have plenty of lawyers in this country - why are they so hell bent on keeping this guy do you suppose?

Not no, but hell no to Gonzales:

(Most of the things on this post you will have seen before)

Start with the Center for American Progress:

* Tug's diary :: ::

GONZALES DOES ENRON'S BIDDING: As an elected member of the Texas Supreme Court, "Enron and Enron's law firm were Gonzales's biggest contributors," giving him $35,450 in 2000. Overall, Gonzales raked in $100,000 from the energy industry. In May 2000, "Gonzales was author of a state Supreme Court opinion that handed the energy industry one of its biggest Texas legal victories in recent history." Since Bush brought him into the White House, Gonzales has worked doggedly to keep secret the details of energy task force meetings held by Vice President Cheney. [New York Daily News, 2/2/02]

Gonzales is "inextricably tied" to Enron, casting doubt on his ability to impartially handle the biggest corporate fraud in history. As the described in the press even now:

Gonzales also has connections to scandal-ridden energy giant Enron. He is a former partner in the Houston law firm Vinson and Elkins, which represented Enron. He also received $6,500 in campaign contributions from the company when he ran for re-election to the Texas Supreme Court.
Indeed, Gonzales got rich off of Enron as a corporate partner at Vinson & Elkins, which is the law firm that was sued for crafting these deals.
Remember, the federal government's case against Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling is still ongoing. Gonzales owes his fortune and much of his early political future to Ken Lay, so making him the nation's top law enforcement officer while the federal government prosecutes Lay presents an obvious conflict of interest. Also, we cannot trust the investigation and enforcement of rules against the future "Enrons" to a corporate lawyer who was possibly contributed to the Enron debacle in the first place.

The energy giant has long been Vinson & Elkins' top client. Last year, it accounted for more than 7% of V&E's $450 million in revenue. Managing Partner Joseph Dilg is a key contact for the Enron account. Enron's general counsel, James V. Derrick Jr., is a former V&E partner. Several other members of the legal department also hail from Vinson & Elkins.

V&E gave the Bush campaign $190,000, making the firm his second-largest donor. White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales is a former partner in V&E's corporate department.

and this one is pretty rich:

White House spokeswoman Anne Womack said that "to the best of his recollection," Gonzales "can't recall having had any conversations with anyone at Vinson & Elkins about Enron since last summer."

Joe Householder, a spokesman for Vinson & Elkins, also said the firm has had no contact with Gonzales about Enron.

But Craig McDonald isn't so sure. The director of Texans for Public Justice,

a watchdog group that's tracked Gonzales' career for years, said he wouldn't be at all surprised if Vinson & Elkins had shared its findings with the White House counsel.

"It's definitely plausible," McDonald said. "Gonzales is part of the V&E network. These guys protect each other."

Gonzales, 46, worked for Vinson & Elkins from 1982 through 1992, when he was tapped by Bush to become the then-governor's general counsel.

The law firm and Enron were Gonzales' main financial backers when he ran in 2000 to hold his seat on the supreme court. Vinson & Elkins contributed $29, 450 and Enron ponied up another $6,500.

The White House's Womack said there was no significance to this generosity. "It says that Enron and Vinson & Elkins took an interest in supporting Judge Gonzales," she said. "It's not unusual for a law firm to support someone who used to work there."

But McDonald at Texans for Public Justice said Vinson & Elkins' interest may have gone beyond mere boosterism. "They give more political money than anyone else, and this helps them with access to government officials," he said.

"That's what they're all about."

In an interview last year with Hispanic magazine, Gonzales said he never really embraced Republican ideology until joining Vinson & Elkins.

He also said he was personally assured by Bush before becoming White House counsel that "we're going to have a clean administration."

Gonzales is now the point man in the administration's effort to keep hidden Vice President Dick Cheney's notes regarding moves by Enron's Lay and others to shape national energy policy.

Halliburton, too?

Strong Ties to Enron and Halliburton
But let's go back a bit further to Gonzales' days as a partner at the Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins. Who was Vinson & Elkins biggest client? Enron. V&E is supected of leaking information to former partners (who were also Enron shareholders) in advance on findings of a probe into Enron's shady business dealings. Enron was one of Gonzales' main financial backers in his 2000 run to hold his seat on the Texas Supreme Court.

When Gonzales was on the Texas Supreme Court, he ruled heavily in favor of big business and accepted large campaign donations from companies that had cases currently before the court. Halliburton, for example.

Halliburton was another major Vinson & Elkins client, and Halliburton has taken very good care of Gonzales. For example, during four months in 1999 when a personnel dispute between Halliburton Co. and a terminated employee reached the Texas Supreme Court, Halliburton made campaign contributions to three justices, with the largest donation going to Gonzales. None of the Justices recused themselves from the case and the Court came through for Halliburton, electing not to hear the case, and letting stand a lower court ruling that erased a $2.6 million verdict against Halliburton. In a seven year period, Halliburton had at least five cases before the court, and each time, the court either declined to hear a case or ruled in the company's favor. McDonald said of Gonzales, "He was pretty good to corporate interests at the expense of consumer interests." In other words, a poster boy for the Bush administration.

The role of the attorney general should be to protect the Constitution as well as American's civil rights and constitutional liberties. The AG should be held to a higher standard as the ulitmate steward of law, not an exploiter of it. Gonzales has a long history of doing just the opposite.

And even a tie to the Swift Boat Guys - this is just a celebration of corruption now isn't it?

FYI - John O'Neill is the guy Chuck Colson of the Nixon administration
recruited to counter Kerry's appearance before the Senate. John O'Neill is
also in tight with the Houston lawyer crowd - practiced at Vinson and Elkins
with Alberto Gonzalez (Rice grad and current White House Counsel). Vinson
and Elkins were high dollar supporters of Bush-2000, ranking just under

What's supposed to be redeeming about this guy, again?

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