The Enron E-Mails

Back in 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released some 1.5 million email messages that it collected as part of its investigation of Enron's price-gouging of California consumers. The press pounced on some of the choicer bits, but this is truly the gift that keeps giving.

For example, here is Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, then on retainer to Enron, writing to company VP Richard Shapiro, who was one of its in-house lobbyists:

From: ralph@censtrat.com
To: rshapiro@enron.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Date: 19 Dec 2000 15:19 PST
Subject: abramoff

Rick, good to see you today. excited about the prospects of the new office, kitchen cabinet/advisory team, etc.

as we discussed, jack abramoff is joining barry richards' law firm, Greenberg Traurig, on january 1. richards was just named lawyer of the year by the American lawyer while abramoff is arguably the most influential and effective gop lobbyist in congress. i share several clients with him and have yet to see him lose a battle. he also is very close to Delay and could help enormously on that front. raised $ for bush. until december 31 he can be reached at 202-661-3851. he assistant is Susan Ralston. [Emphasis added]

Ralston went on to be Karl Rove's personal assistant, by the way. And here's one that shows how Enron spread its money around and made sure several Members of Congress could take credit for its donations to the RNC. But note at the bottom where DeLay is described asking Enron for $100,000 in corporate and individual contributions to his federal PAC, ARMPAC, and where it is explained that the money will be used, in part, on the redistricting effort in Texas.

From: Carolyn Cooney
To: Rosalee Fleming , steven.kean@enron.com
Cc: tori.wells@enron.com, Richard Shapiro , Linda Robertson

Bcc: tori.wells@enron.com, Richard Shapiro , Linda Robertson

Date: 01 Jun 2001 04:06 PDT
Subject: The President's Dinner, June 27th In Washington, DC

May 31, 2001

To: Ken Lay
Steve Kean

From: Rick Shapiro
Linda Robertson

Subject: The President=01,s Dinner, A Congressional Salute Honoring Preside=nt=20 Bush and Vice President Cheney, June 27, 2001 in Washington, DC

This memo is a follow up to your phone conversation with Roger Enrico=20 regarding Enron contributing $250,000 to The President=01,s Dinner. The=20 President=01,s Dinner is a joint fundraising effort by the National Republi=can=20 Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the National Republican Senatorial=20 Committee (NRSC). We contacted both Congressman Tom DeLay and the House=20 Senate Dinner committee to ensure that Enron could fully participate in The==20 President=01,s Dinner and receive credit for money we have already committe=d to=20 give to the Committees earlier this year. =20

With the assistance of Congressman Tom DeLay we were able to apply our=20 previously contributed soft money toward this dinner. Consequently, we wil=l=20 be =01&credited=018 as giving $250,000 to this event, even though we are be=ing=20 asked to give only $50,00 in =01&new=018 soft money. Our earlier contribut=ions of=20 $100,000 each to the NRCC and NRSC will make up the remaining money. You==20 will be listed as Co-Chair of the event, the highest level of giving. We==20 will be crediting Congressmen DeLay, Armey, Barton and Tauzin for raising t=he=20 $100,000 allocation for the NRCC. As for $100,000 we earlier gave the NRSC=,=20 Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has requested that Enron give her some credit==20 for raising the money. We would like to split it among several other=20 Senators. =20

In addition, Congressman Tom DeLay has asked Enron to contribute $100,000 t=o=20 his leadership committee, ARMPAC, through a combination of corporate and=20 personal money from Enron=01,s executives. ARMPAC funds will be used to as=sist=20 other House Members as well as the redistricting effort in Texas. We will =be=20 meeting this request over the course of this calendar year. [Emphases added.]

With the Enron trials underway, we thought this would be a good time to dig into this e-mail trove. But it's too big to do alone. So, if you have some spare time and want to help bring more gems like these to light, go to the Enron Email Corpus and start searching. Post your best finds in the comments below, and we'll do our best to help shine a light on what you find.