For instance, there was this. Problem: In 2005, a congressionally mandated annual State Department report on international terrorism showed that terrorism worldwide was on the rise. Solution: The administration announced that future editions of the report no longer would include statistics on international terrorism. See? Presto! Just like that, the problem went away.
And then there was this. Problem: In 2004, data released by the Department of Education showed that public charter schools, promoted by the administration as a solution to public school woes, were lagging regular public schools in performance. Solution: The administration decided to stop collecting data on charter school performance.
And this. Problem: Environmentalists complained that administration land-use plans for our national parks and forests could have long-term negative effects on the environment. Solution: The administration decided it no longer would conduct environmental impact studies to assess the potential consequences of its land-use plans.
Just think how it worked for Enron, the company Bush held up in his 1999 campaign as the kind of “CEO style” of leadership he would bring to the office. Oh, yeah, the intimate connection to Enron has disappeared too…
As a “Bush Pioneer” in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election, Lay was a key member of the Bush campaign’s fund-raising inner circle. Under Lay’s leadership, Enron ultimately gave Bush $550,025, making the corporation the Texan’s No. 1 career patron at the time the 2000 election campaign began, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Lay personally pumped almost $400,000 into Republican hard- and soft-money funds, while Enron slipped another $1.5 million into the GOP’s soft-money cesspool.
But that was just the beginning. Lay sent a letter to Enron executives urging them to contribute to Bush’s campaign. More than 100 of them — including Skilling, a major Bush giver since 1993, when he cut his first $5,000 check to GW’s gubernatorial campaign — did just that. Dozens of spouses wrote, including “homemaker” and frequent $10,000 donor Linda Lay, gave as well, making the Enron “family” a prime source of the money that gave Bush his early advantage over Republican rivals such as Arizona Senator John McCain.
All told, it is estimated that, over the years prior the company’s bankruptcy, Lay, his company and its employees contributed close to $2 million to fund George W. Bush’s political rise.
Lay found other ways to help, as well. He put Enron’s corporate jets at the disposal of the Bush campaign in 2000. He kicked in $5,000 to pay for the Florida recount fight, while a top Enron “consultant,” former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, ran the Republican’s recount effort. He even paid for his own bookkeeping, chipping in $1,000 to help the Bush-Cheney campaign comply with campaign-finance laws. And Lay and Enron gave $300,000 to underwrite the Bush-Cheney inauguration festivities in 2001.
See how easy it can be? It’s like it never happened.