Thursday, 11 June 2009

Ron Paul’s Bill H.R. 1207 to Audit the Fed

Written by  Ann Shibler

Ron PaulBill H.R. 1207 to audit the Federal Reserve now has 200 cosponsors. That’s 45 percent of House members, closing in on a whopping 50 percent. Impressive. So much so, the Federal Reserve is hiring public-relations guru and veteran lobbyist Linda Robertson as a resource to advise the Fed on “communications strategies.”

Former St. Louis Fed President William Poole, who is now a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, said, “Some members of Congress think there are votes in attacking the Fed.” He added, “The Fed is going to have a tricky time of unwinding what has been done” and will need to “keep in touch with members of Congress more thoroughly.”

Will it be Robertson’s job to protect the banking cartel from transparency, being a liaison between the Fed and Congress? Will she spearhead lobbying efforts to stop H.R. 1207 dead in its tracks?

Robertson admits to spending more than 25 years working on federal legislative issues, a serious Beltway player, so she may be worthy of any assigned task. Oddly, in her online bio no mention is made of her previous services for the energy trading company Enron; services of a sort that certainly showcase her worth in the fast-paced and often corrupt world of insider banking.

Robertson lobbied for Enron, which collapsed in 2002 after a spectacular accounting scandal. Her Enron representation is a complicated tale of manipulation and “legal” bribery. She was not, however, implicated in any fraud as Enron’s governmental affairs executive. But some claim she was the manufacturer of the infamous “Enron loophole,” which made energy trading exempt from regulations that covered other traders. This was accomplished by a $101,350 Enron contribution for Texas Senator Phil Gramm who then conveniently pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.

Regardless, this email, just one of 1.5 million Enron messages posted on the Web in 2003, from Robertson to Ken Lay and Steve Kean on June 1 of 2001, is a remarkable glimpse into the “K” Street game and how it was played by Robertson:

The President's Dinner is a joint fundraising effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). We contacted both Congressman Tom DeLay and the House Senate Dinner committee to ensure that Enron could fully participate in The President's Dinner and receive credit for money we have already committed to the Committees earlier this year.

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

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

Robertson also spent eight years working for the Clinton administration — assistant Treasury secretary for legislative and public affairs — and is currently head of government, community, and public relations at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

She is likely to start her new job in July with the title of senior adviser to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, which sits in Washington, D.C., the board that governs the 12 Federal Reserve banks.

Photo: AP Images

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