Thursday, October 21, 2004

DeLay's Lawmaking: Money in, favors out.

The Daily DeLay: T-Minus 12 Days and Counting
DeLay fights for repeal of consumer protections on donors' behalf

On May 14, 1996, Edwin Lupberger, then the CEO of Entergy Corp., wrote DeLay a letter to thank him for meeting with him during a dinner for Republican "Team 100" donors – people who gave or raised over $100,000 for the Republican Party – and discussing pending legislation.

"There is an issue before Congress of significant importance to our company and industry – repeal of the Public Utility Holding Act of 1935," Lupberger wrote.

The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 is a consumer protection law designed to prevent massive monopolies in the energy sector and to allow ratepayers some access to look at energy company books.

Lupsberger urged DeLay to push the relevant committee chairmen to act on repealing the act. Over the summer, Entergy gave $20,000 in soft money to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In September of that year, DeLay went to the floor of the House to push successfully for the law's partial repeal. A full repeal of PUHCA will make Enron and California's energy problems "look like appetizers," says watchdog Public Citizen.

(Another backer of repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act was Enron. They succeeded in partial repeals of PUHCA in 1992, 1994, and 1996, which in part led to energy company bankruptcies.)

Since 1993, DeLay has raised $885,929 from the energy sector, and countless millions more from these sources for his leadership committees and the Republican Party.

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