Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Public Citizen
AUGUST 19, 2005
3:54 PM

CONTACT: Public Citizen
(202) 588-1000

Westar Energy Rightly Fined for Illicit Contributions to Congress, But What About the Lawmakers?
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program
WASHINGTON - August 19 - While we applaud the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) decision to fine Westar Energy, two of its executives and its Washington, D.C., lobbyist a total of $40,500 for violating political campaign contribution rules, the agency should not close the book on this case yet. Fining the company responsible on one side of this scheme is only half the equation. The other half remains unsolved: What role, exactly, did lawmakers play?

To date, Westar has not released an internal report detailing exactly what happened behind closed doors in 2002 when the company attempted to “get a seat at the table” during energy bill negotiations by giving money to key lawmakers involved in crafting the energy bill, including U.S. Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

We know what Westar did, and it has been appropriately fined for such behavior. Now it’s time to investigate the lawmakers who were involved. Westar memos indicate that lawmakers asked the company to make contributions to political allies in exchange for a perk for the company in the energy bill. Did lawmakers initiate and approve this contribution plan, as the memos indicate? The public deserves to know. We urge Westar to release that report and the FEC to investigate the role lawmakers played in this sordid scandal, which smacks of bribery, so that the public has all the facts.

For more information about the scandal, click here.


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.