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Taken to the cleaners

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Let me get this straight:

The president of the United States has received nearly a million dollars from Enron Corp.; the vice president of the United States received a lots of money from Enron Corp.; both of these individuals were in the energy business prior to taking office; other members of this administration's staff come from energy businesses; the nation's top cop, the attorney general of the United States received lots of money from Enron; many politicians of both major parties received lots of money from Enron; Enron was a major player in last summer's California energy crisis; the public was taken to the cleaners during the California energy crisis; the California energy crisis was a result of predatory practices by energy companies; politicians created the policies which enabled the predators; Enron's Fat Cats sat in closed meetings with our administration to set national energy policy; our administration admits that Enron suggestions were adopted as national policy; our administration blocks public knowledge of the substance of the closed meetings; Enron's Fat Cat executives took mega-millions in profits in the recent past; Enron subsequently went into bankruptcy, costing billions of dollars in losses to investors;

The state of Alaska lost millions due to Enron's collapse; the State of Florida lost millions due to Enron's collapse; Enron's own employees were taken to the cleaners due to the bankruptcy; and, there is so much more.

Is there a pattern here? Are our politicians helping the fat cats get richer while the rest of us are taken to the cleaners? Are our "leaders" hiding something?

There's an old clich that says, "If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck and looks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." This is some ugly duck we have here - and it stinks to high heaven. It is way past time for campaign finance reform. We must criminalize this behavior by fat cats and politicians.

Unless we pay attention, the public will continue to be taken to the cleaners.

Erik Lie-Nielsen

Juneau



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