the CAMP ENRON Report


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

Some say it's nothing but a train wreck ... roll in the big cranes, clear the track, see what the crew's been smoking. If I thought so, I'd not be writing this ... and if they thought so, they'd not be drumming so hard.


For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

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Camp Enron Archives
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003

NOTE to READERS:
(2) All "major" articles of older material have now been imported, some with updates worth perusing. We'll keep it all on the main page for a while, will add a few loose pieces of history, will trim the main page and index the archives for convenience later.


OUR DEPARTMENTS:

the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ... taking an imposing analytic toolkit out of the box, over the wall and into the street ... with callous disregard for accepted wisdom and standard English

reading the tea leaves from original angles, we've led with uncannily prescient takes on the federal surplus, the dotcom crash, the "Energy Crisis", the Afghan campaign, the federal deficit.

More where those came from ... stay tuned.


For brief orientation, see this
Welcome to CP


CAMP ENRON:
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?

For a brief orientation, see this
Welcome to Camp Enron

OTHER GOOD STUFF:
Many thanks to Tony Adragna and Will Vehrs, still shouting 'cross the Potomac at QuasiPundit. Early Camp Enron material can be found in QP's Dispatches department.
Tuesday, January 15, 2002

 
--- Follow-up's on 2002-01-13 Short Takes ---

[From threaded responses and e-mail.]

WillV [at QuasiPundit.com] wonders why my tea leaves show potential trouble for (well-regarded white male Houston US House Democrat) Kent Bentsen, but potential opportunity for (well-regarded black female Houston US House Democrat) Sheila Jackson Lee. There's a difference.

Jackson Lee is running for re-election to the House, in a "safe" district. Bentsen is angling for a Senate seat, against credible opposition, while redistricting makes his "Leans Democrat" House district less secure. Thus minor Enron paper cuts could tip the balance against Bentsen's next move, while Jackson Lee has merely to avoid major damage (think Dan Rostenkowski) ... and she gets bonus national spotlight time to comfort the afflicted (Enron employees in her district) and afflict the comfortable (malefactors of bogus accountancy).

WillV also questions "Carnahan's Gold" ... is it a parsing problem? That was a topic caption, in the possessive ... not a contraction for "Carnahan is Gold". Yes, Jean C. is in a tough race, and something like this creates a digestible bite-sized "hook" that works almost without energy input ... the national media machine keeps reconditioning the local message.

Also on the QP Refuge, Mark Dahley flames: "giving back the money at this point would put her in a category as sleazy as Davis, but now gives her the chance to put a heroic spin on it." Just the point. Carnahan returned the money months ago, before everybody despised Enron. Sleazy would be waiting until this week (as Dick Gephardt, D-MO did) to return a thousand dollars Enron contributed in 1999.

Carnahan may have had other reasons at the time. She may have taken California's side against Enron's energy gouges. She may just have been teed off at Enron's $60K-to-nada support for her opponent last time around. As the supportive life partner of a career politician, she may have developed an instinctive nose for sleaze. (Every good pol should retain somebody with that gift.) But now, she's the only known specimen of a pol who turned down Enron money before it became obvious the stuff was toxic.

Several names were omitted in discussion of major politico's on the E-money list. Among these were the non-eyebrow-raisers, e.g., chairs and ranking members of Energy committees, and a couple of prominent Texans, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) and Rep. Martin Frost (D).

Hutchison's enrodynamics seem similar to those for Sheila Jackson Lee -- high visibility, low jeopardy. (Hutchison, like Jackson Lee, is thought to have potential for advancement.) Though tied for top honors in E-money, she seems not to have carried water for Enron in any conspicuous way. Indeed, for major players in the same state, their paths rarely seem to cross except as obligatory at parades, unveilings and such. Does she, like Carnahan, have a built-in sleaze-detector?

Frost is a California-born, Missouri-educated Jewish lawyer ... probably not your typical 12-term Texas Congressman. The savvy Capitol Hill apparatchik is Chair of the Congressional Democratic Caucus, Ranking Member on the all-powerful Rules Committee, and point man for his party's efforts in the decennial redistricting process (a matter of political life and death for many incumbents).

Can he get hurt? Unlikely, but yes, under either of two scenarios. Frost is in the running for Majority Leader, if and when Democrats retake the House. A minor Enron taint might shade the balance of interests against him. Or, should Frost be implicated in any major way with Enron legislative gamesmanship, he might lose any of his current leadership roles.