Schwarzenegger: Total Amnesia?

by Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

Dissident Voice

October 4, 2003


Internal Enron e-mails confirm that Arnold Schwarzenegger was among a small group of executives who met with Ken Lay at the posh Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in May of 2001, in the midst of California’s energy crisis.  The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which obtained the e-mails, is calling on Schwarzenegger to acknowledge the meetings and disclose the information that was presented and discussed.


The meeting with Enron occurred ten days after rolling blackouts darkened California for two consecutive days; Schwarzenegger has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting. 


“You don’t meet with America’s most well-known corporate crook in the middle of California’s biggest financial disaster and not remember,” said FTCR’s senior consumer advocate Douglas Heller.  “Mr. Schwarzenegger should come clean about what happened at that meeting and if he shares Ken Lay’s views on energy regulation.”


The documents provide a list of invitees to the hastily arranged meeting and a list of those who actually attended.  Only eleven of the 45 invitees attended, including Schwarzenegger.  The meeting was meant to be an opportunity to gain business community support for Enron’s “comprehensive solution” to the energy crisis.  In one e-mail, Enron’s VP of Public Relations wrote:  “We’d like to position this meeting as an insider’s conversation of what’s going on with the energy situation.  This meeting should be for principals only.” (emphasis in original)


FTCR contends that Enron policies were responsible for the severe energy crisis California faced in 2000 and 2001.  The group noted that the crisis had dramatic implications on the state economy and state budget and will continue to impact consumers for years to come.  FTCR has called for a repeal of the deregulation and supported SB 888 (Dunn) to re-regulate the state’s electricity system.  FTCR has been critical of Enron’s involvement in the California energy crisis, in which the company developed schemes for manipulating the power market that forced massive price spikes in the state.


“Since it was apparently important enough for Schwarzenegger to attend despite the last minute notice, Schwarzenegger should now explain what happened at his meeting with Enron’s Ken Lay and whether or not he supports electricity re-regulation,” said Heller.


A copy of the documents is available at  http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp003709.pdf


The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights (FTCR) is a nationally-recognized, California-based, non-profit education and advocacy organization (www.consumerwatchdog.org).




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