....LMB: "Enron's Recall Conspiracy?"....

October 04, 2003

Muckraking journalist Greg Palast just published an article which may or may not be true, but brings up an important and little-known fact about the California recall election.

The important fact: whoever wins the recall election will essentially decide the outcome of the $9 billion that Enron stole from California during its wild energy fraud days. The Davis administration is pressuring Bush's folks to demand that Enron pay up. Cruz Bustamante personally launched a lawsuit against Enron to make them pay up. But the governor of California can sign any sort of deal s/he wants with Enron to resolve the situation...

And Palast claims that there is already a "compromise" plan at the ready, drawn up by Bush's energy regulators, where Enron would pay around $180 million instead of the $9 billion (for reference, the current California budget deficit is $8 billion). And if the right governor was in office, this plan could go forward...

Then, the not-so-believable part. Palast claims that he has just received internal Enron documents that prove that Arnold Schwarzenneger met with Ken Lay of Enron in May 2001 and concocted a scheme for California. Unfortunately he gives little to no detail about these documents, or the meeting, so it's hard to take what he's saying 100% seriously.

So that's his argument, really, that during this secret meeting in 2001, Arnold and Ken Lay made plans so that if the California government kept demanding its $9 billion back, that the two would try to recall the California governor, to try to get the sweet compromise deal instead.

Yeah, seems a bit far-fetched to me. I think the bit about Davis & Bustamante and the compromise deal is true, but Palast really provides no evidence of the Arnold-Enron conspiracy. But remember come voting day, that whoever takes power can either lose or regain the state a huge chunk of stolen money.

Posted by Jake at 08:06 AM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I've read about the meeting between Ken Lay, and Arnold in several other places, eg:

Institute for Public Accuracy, Aug 14, 2003

Perspectives on Recall: Schwarzenegger and Ken Lay Meeting

In May of 2001, Lay convened a private meeting with junk bond king Michael Milken, Los Angeles' then-Mayor Richard Riordan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, at which Lay reportedly presented his vision of solving the state's energy deregulation crisis by, absurd as it sounds, expanding deregulation. The meeting, about which the public still knows very little, may become a major issue now that Schwarzenegger is no longer just a Republican movie star..."

Posted by: kathleen at October 5, 2003 06:16 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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