Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Energy Enron
October 4, 2003 1:34 AM   Subscribe

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected California can say HASTA LA VISTA BABY to 9 billion according to this article by investigative reporter Greg Palast. According to Palast it turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter with Ken (Enron) Lay and Michael Milken as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off. For memories sake here are a few of the the details behind the California energy scam in this report. Arnold has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting with Ken Lay.
posted by thedailygrowl (62 comments total)

 
And here I was just wondering if someone was going to post this...

Why hasn't anyone asked Schwarzenegger about his meeting with Lay? Good gravy, why hasn't any other candidate had the stones to bring this up in the papers, the press conferences, that steel cage grudge match of a debate?

Arnold's campaign HQ is 11 blocks from my home. I've been thinking about some kind of protest, but haven't found the right issue. What better way then to copy this article out and hand it to everyone walking by his campaign office?
posted by RakDaddy at 1:45 AM on October 4, 2003


"Enron E-Mails Show Arnold Met With Ken Lay During Energy Crisis... Schwarzenegger has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting. " consumerwatchdog.org
posted by gametone at 2:46 AM on October 4, 2003


Ye gods. Ahnuld doesn't REMEMBER? What is this, the early onset of senility? I'm pretty damn certain I'd remember a meeting with Kenneth Lay, given the guy has a certain notoriety...
posted by kaemaril at 3:42 AM on October 4, 2003


Thank you for posting this. Everyone from California was dead set on voting for Arnold, but now you've posted this, I think everyone will be convinced to go for one of the other candidates.
posted by wackybrit at 3:45 AM on October 4, 2003


Valarie Plame, Yellow cake, Arnie and Enron...

Why does everything become a huge deal like a month or two after I find out about it?

Get with the program, people
posted by delmoi at 4:10 AM on October 4, 2003


"This litigation, heading to trial now in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion they filched from California electricity and gas customers."

And if they win, so what? Where is the money going to come from?
posted by delmoi at 4:13 AM on October 4, 2003


Isn't saying "I don't remember such a meeting" tantamount to saying "yeah, I was there, but I need to say something that is plausibly deniable" ?




Valarie Plame, Yellow cake, Arnie and Enron...

Why does everything become a huge deal like a month or two after I find out about it?


what's your point, that people shouldn't care because you knew about it before they did? That's not much of an argument.
posted by sic at 4:49 AM on October 4, 2003


No, sic, that obviously important stories are ignored long after the become public news. On the White House / this person works for the CIA thing I've been wondering the same myself. Thanks to here I knew ages ago. Here in the UK it only just made the news this week.
posted by vbfg at 5:05 AM on October 4, 2003


Isn't saying "I don't remember such a meeting" tantamount to saying "yeah, I was there, but I need to say something that is plausibly deniable" ?

It depends on what you mean by "plausible."
posted by weston at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2003


Thank you for posting this. Everyone from California was dead set on voting for Arnold, but now you've posted this, I think everyone will be convinced to go for one of the other candidates.

Well, that was easy. Thanks everyone! Now we can go golfing.
posted by angry modem at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2003


I liked the part about Arnold stomping puppies while wearing jack boots in the nude and demanding nuclear war. Ain't October the best?
posted by kablam at 8:12 AM on October 4, 2003


I don't get it...

Arnold wielded so much influence 2 years ago that they brought him in a co-conspirator?? Why was Bruse Willis not invited then?

Adn why is Cruz silent on this issue since it 's such a bombshell?
posted by BentPenguin at 8:36 AM on October 4, 2003


"Arnold wielded so much influence 2 years ago that they brought him in a co-conspirator??"

No, but the topic of the meeting could have been "what are we going to do if Gray Davis wins again?". The answer could be what you see before you now.
posted by 2sheets at 9:11 AM on October 4, 2003


"Arnold's been getting a free ride far too long cuz the media wants to see an Austrian succeed."

(heard on "Wink-Wink, Don't Tell", NPR)
posted by RavinDave at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2003


Recall Arnold anyone?
posted by amberglow at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2003


Palast cites "thirty-four pages of internal Enron memoranda" as the basis for this scheme, but as far as I can tell the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights only provide 7 pages of emails which establish that Schwarzenegger was at the meeting. Am I missing something?
posted by homunculus at 10:09 AM on October 4, 2003


Hasta La Vista, California
posted by homunculus at 10:16 AM on October 4, 2003


I liked the part about Arnold stomping puppies while wearing jack boots in the nude and demanding nuclear war.

He'd win some votes with that here in Texas.
posted by boredomjockey at 11:04 AM on October 4, 2003


Amberglow, thanks for the link. Following it to the deranged rules governing this recall, it says "equal to 12 percent of the votes cast for the office of Governor in 2002, the last time the office was on the ballot" Will this recall count as the most recent time people voted for this position? If so, and the number of votes is as low as is expected (I've heard 4-5 million estimated to actually go out and vote), doesn't this create a true slippery slope, where we're lowering the number of votes needed incrementally? The only way to stop that trend would be to INCREASE the number of voters, and how do you increase turnout when there's an effort to invalidate whoever just turned out to vote?

Yeesh.
posted by Busithoth at 11:14 AM on October 4, 2003


Yeesh indeed, Busithoth. I still think Davis will pull through (if the Dem. base comes out to vote), but whatever happens, Californians need to get rid of this recall law--if a recall of the recall is started the day after the election, there's no one to blame but themselves.
posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on October 4, 2003


As if California was ever going to get $9 billion from Enron anyway.
posted by kindall at 12:05 PM on October 4, 2003


"Corporate whoreslugs" - heh.
posted by Eloquence at 12:25 PM on October 4, 2003


Gym Owner: Arnold Halted Neo-Nazi Rally

3 More Women Allege Misconduct
posted by homunculus at 3:00 PM on October 4, 2003


Oakland Tribune Withdraws Schwarzenegger Support

"Called a 'sexual harasser' by one female and a 'predator' by others, we can no longer in good conscience recommend him for governor," the editorial said.
posted by y2karl at 3:06 PM on October 4, 2003


"The Gropernator"

I suspect that nickname is going to stick.
posted by homunculus at 3:38 PM on October 4, 2003


Heh; good link, homonculus.
As appealing as it might be to "shake up" the status quo and hop on the Arnie novelty train, the basic rules still apply: You don't hire a sorority girl to run an international drug cartel, you don't hire a bass player to negotiate U.N. peace accords and, most of all, you don't hire a power-hungry egomaniacal actor whose monosyllabic ultraviolent movies have dumbed down the nation for the past two decades to run the most powerful state in the Union. Simple, really.
posted by Tlogmer at 4:08 PM on October 4, 2003


Nice as always to see the intellectual honesty and consistency of our friends on the right when it comes to stories about politicians engaging in boorish behavior with women.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:19 PM on October 4, 2003


Actually, I have evidence to the contrary:

Republicans sell out principles for nothing

Look who is supporting Tom McClintock: Dr. James Dobson, Bruce Herschensohn, Dr. Laura, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly and Terry Jeffrey – men and women of principle who aren't willing to throw the things they believe in overboard just to win the next election.

It isn't right and it never pays dividends.

posted by y2karl at 4:34 PM on October 4, 2003


Robert Scheer was making the same point last night on some PBS show. All these Republicans are completely selling out their "moral majority" constitients because they have a chance at getting this office. He noted how ironic is it that the GOP is getting rid of a pro-business, pro-prison industry, conservative Democrat to put in a socially liberal and misogynist Republican.

Even if Arnold wins, he won't be able to shake off his past nor convince anyone that the recall was "the will of the people" as much as it was the workings of Issa's millions.

This GOP's "win at any costs, democracy be damned" attitude started with Clinton, wound up in Florida, and is now making its way to California. One would think preserving democracy would be a conservative value. Oh well, I doubt anyone is switching parties over any of this.
posted by skallas at 4:45 PM on October 4, 2003


If anything it further proves how fucking morally bankrupt the GOP is and eventually it will completely bite them in the ass. Give it time. I can easily see another Perot this election ready to siphon off Bush's conservative base votes.
posted by skallas at 4:46 PM on October 4, 2003


Far more likely the Republicans pay Nader again to run, I think.
posted by y2karl at 5:20 PM on October 4, 2003


y2k, pay him again, or pay him to run again?
posted by amberglow at 5:52 PM on October 4, 2003


california insider blog by sacbee columnist who's been on arnold's bus tour
posted by amberglow at 7:08 PM on October 4, 2003



If anything it further proves how fucking morally bankrupt the GOP is and eventually it will completely bite them in the ass. Give it time. I can easily see another Perot this election ready to siphon off Bush's conservative base votes.
posted by skallas


Oh dear lord...imagine the chaos were someone like McCain to run as an independent...woof...now that would be a fun election: Clark, Dean, McCain and Bush... (I use Clark and Dean only because I think statistically they're the current dem front-runners.)
posted by dejah420 at 8:34 PM on October 4, 2003


y2k, pay him again, or pay him to run again?

Why, the latter, of course!
posted by y2karl at 9:09 PM on October 4, 2003


aw...since we're scandalmongering, i thought you knew something ; >
posted by amberglow at 9:35 PM on October 4, 2003


Damn, I realize that this comment is almost 30 years old, but it's still creepy:

"I think we can't live without authority," Schwarzenegger said. "There's a certain amount of people meant to be leaders, and to control, and another large amount, 95 percent, are followers.

"We have to tell (them) what to do and how to keep in order, you know?"

posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on October 4, 2003


Look who is supporting Tom McClintock... men and women of principle who aren't willing to throw the things they believe in overboard just to win the next election.

I would imagine that there are also quite a few liberals who, like me, would prefer McClintock over Schwarzenegger, even though McClintock is more conservative. I may disagree with McClintock's politics, but I don't doubt his competence. This isn't about conservatism vs. liberalism so much as it's about fantasy vs. reality.
posted by homunculus at 10:09 PM on October 4, 2003


Arnold is very creepy--I think he has a twisted Nietzsche thing going on (or maybe not twisted).

a little more arnold fun--outercourse
posted by amberglow at 10:10 PM on October 4, 2003


So SNL just did a very good anti-Arnohld sketch. (Yes, I'm home alone on a Saturday, but Jack Black and John Mayer are awesome, or were before they were "cool"). But poking fun at Arnold's lack of a competent platform is right on. If only the SNL crew was in charge of every political decision this country had to make. Or "The Daily Show" crew. Or anyone but the California-at-large crew.

And so on, and so forth...
posted by crawl at 10:41 PM on October 4, 2003


Arnold the Clinton Barbarian
posted by y2karl at 10:52 PM on October 4, 2003


What upsets me is that I posted about all of these problems with Schwarzenegger months ago to MeFi, reporting on things that were already out there... and the media seems fit to report on them only this week?!

Obviously, the allegations of sexual harassment and him being in bed with Enron were too unseemly for the mainstream media to cover... until they thought Schwarzenegger might win.

What it comes down to is this:
1> The media want to move in lockstep with everyone else. Always follow the trends of current public opinion.
2> They are afraid of offending their readers, even if means dancing around the truth. Given the choice of softsoaping an issue or addressing the truth, they tend to dance around the truth unless they have someone else to cite.
3> Build people up until things seem right... then tear them down. This tends to cause true yet contraversial news on candidates to appear only days before the vote.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:42 AM on October 5, 2003


The Progressive Case for Tom McClintock (from the Village Voice Orange County Edition, aka OC Weekly)
posted by calwatch at 3:43 AM on October 5, 2003


What upsets *me* is that the "Arnold-the-Nazi" and "Arnold-the-groper" memes will play more sensationally and will drown out the Enron connection much like the Anita Hill controversey distracted everyone one from zeroing in on the real question of the Clarence Thomas hearing (ie: his mediocre credentials).

Understand, I'm NOT making light of the lesser accusations. But bringing up a he-said/she-said situation in the eleventh hour reeks of desparation (regardless of its validity) and will probably fortify his support.

On the brighter side -- if the Palast are true, it's kinda hard to imagine it playing out now without creating a major scandal. (Maybe instead of 2 cents per dollar, they'll have to cough up a nickel).
posted by RavinDave at 6:59 AM on October 5, 2003


OOOps ... ammend the above to read: "if the Palast accusations are true ... "
posted by RavinDave at 7:00 AM on October 5, 2003


4 More Women Go Public Against Schwarzenegger
posted by y2karl at 7:35 AM on October 5, 2003


You know what's pathetic? Really? That this action movie star, whose sole credentials for being elected governor of (what is it? the 5th largest economy in the world or something on that order?) California are apparently that he looks good on camera, this fucking meathead, this appalling example of how corrupt and ineffective America's sham democracy has become... that it takes 15 women (so far) publicly declaring that he has groped them to even slow his seemingly inexorable roll towards public office. That he would get this far without being laughed off the podium is, I hope, deeply embarrassing to anyone left over there who cares.

Still, it's good entertainment, right?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:17 AM on October 5, 2003


Still, it's good entertainment, right?
yup. stav, all elections are a spectacle, this one is just compressed.

insomnia, you're absolutely right...i think the question is how and whether we as consumers of the media are able to pull what we need from the media playbook.
posted by amberglow at 9:30 AM on October 5, 2003


This guy has the same question about Palast's article as I do: where are the 34 pages of memos?
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on October 5, 2003


That this action movie star, whose sole credentials for being elected governor of (what is it? the 5th largest economy in the world or something on that order?) California are apparently that he looks good on camera, this fucking meathead, this appalling example of how corrupt and ineffective America's sham democracy has become... that it takes 15 women (so far) publicly declaring that he has groped them to even slow his seemingly inexorable roll towards public office. That he would get this far without being laughed off the podium is, I hope, deeply embarrassing to anyone left over there who cares.

I think this is underestimating Arnold in a big way. (And I say this not as a Arnold supporter but as someone who has become more and more appalled by him as time goes on.) Schwarzenegger has managed to position himself as an insider in Republican party politics for a large chunk of the last 20 years. In much the same way that Reagan actively campaigned behind the scenes for the Republican party in Hollywood, Schwarzenegger has been one of the most consistent Republican promoters and fundraisers in recent years, and has credibility through connections to St. Reagan's White House.

Does this mean he is qualified for Govenor? Personally, I prefer someone who comes from a background administrating smaller political and administrative nightmares. But it seems that far too much attention has been put on his career as a movie star and not his career working the political networks for this opportunity.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:15 AM on October 5, 2003


Uck. On review, in seems that the Schwarzenegger campaign has downplayed his political insider status and played up his acting reputation in order to promote the myth that he's a fresh face and populist outsider rather than a political opportunist.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:18 AM on October 5, 2003


Exactly KirkJS, I mean look at his campaign's alternatives:

1. I'm Pete Wilson's protege, have been heavily involved in politics you may not like for the past few decades, an insider among insiders, and have pals in big business like Ken Lay which links me directly to your energy problems a few years ago.

2. I'm just a hard-working immigrant that made it big. I don't know anything about your big city corrupt politics but I know i can fix it. INSERT_MOVIE_QUOTE_HERE.

Hey, this is a American, run for governor is you like, but last I checked this wasnt election season, this is Issa's Recall. Now the GOP tosses in some meathead who can get by on his celebrity alone to take the office and we're supposed to show this guy any level of respect? At least Ventura ran during a real election.

This is politics at its filthiest and the "last minute" outings of who Arnold really is is how you deal with this situation. Break him towards the end when the electorate fear and uncertainty begin to creep in.

I'm still waiting for the Arnold love-baby to come up the night before the election and put this guy back in the fake world of Hollywood where he belongs.
posted by skallas at 11:12 AM on October 5, 2003


What I really love, in a way that actually means I hate it, is this bit from his current TV commercials:

"I owe everything I have to California."

WTF does that mean? He owes everything he has to a large body which his hard work made even larger and an extreme determination to be a success as an actor, plus the smarts to use his acting money to invest wisely and conservatively in real estate. No one I know is saying Arnold's not smart, but that's not the question.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:12 PM on October 5, 2003


TV presenter 'groped' by Schwarzenegger may sue

Mr. Schwarzenegger Gets a Pass: "Why is it so hard for commentators to come right out and say: here is a man who seems to have a long history of contempt for women, who uses his celebrity to get away with sexual humiliation — why does he belong in public life? Would that sound too square, too P.C., too, um, feminist? From the newsstand crammed with leering lad magazines like Maxim to all-male, all-the-time talk radio to the self-congratulatory misogyny of "The Man Show," aggressive male chauvinism is back in style, and Mr. Schwarzenegger is its standard-bearer."
posted by homunculus at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2003


Interesting link, calwatch. Thanks.

"An upset McClintock victory on Oct. 7 could give us the following scenario: Democrats in the state Legislature won’t get most of their Volvo spending programs and special-interest payouts. The Republican governor won’t be able to enact any of his 1950s-era social initiatives. And because of McClintock’s hard-wired stinginess, the rest of us—Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens and Libertarians—can finally see some financial sanity returned to Sacramento."
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on October 5, 2003


Have we linked the Premiere article yet? Here's a copy which a Live Journal member was kind enough to transcribe.

“I was born to be a leader. I love being a leader,” he told Britain’s Loaded magazine two years ago. He’s not the only person impressed with his alpha-male mien. “He has a completely single-minded style. It is his agenda or no agenda,” says a longtime associate of Schwarzenegger’s. A producer who worked with Arnold on True Lies says, “Arnold is incredible. At one of the marketing meetings, Arnold got up and spoke and not only knew the direction we should take in marketing the film, but was so full of confidence, he inspired everyone in the room.” But confidence can cut a lot of different ways, and Schwarzenegger’s can manifest itself cruelly. During the filming of “Terminator 2,” Schwarzenegger had a dresser who, it was generally conceded, had not been hired for his looks. Often, in front of the whole crew, Arnold would order the man, “Sit, you ugly dog,” and the man would drop to his knees like a trained dog. Crew members would laugh, perhaps nervously, but no one spoke up in protest. The man was finally put out of his misery when a producer witnessed the spectacle” and fired the man rather than allow him to continue to be abused by Schwarzenegger.

Sit you, ugly dog. That says volumes about the character of the man. It's fitting that he has pig valves in his heart.
posted by y2karl at 2:07 PM on October 5, 2003


billsaysthis: He owes everything he has to a large body which his hard work made even larger

He's come out and said he's used steriods. He owes a lot to steriods which are just a shortcut to actually doing work. Face it, he's a meathead and without all those steriod enhanced muscles would never had any success and we wouldn't be here talking about him.

I wouldn't call what he does in movies "acting" either.
posted by skallas at 4:31 PM on October 5, 2003


Arnold is coming (Quicktime.)
posted by homunculus at 7:52 PM on October 5, 2003


Arnold's army says his sordid sexual history doesn't matter -- and GOP honchos just want to close their eyes and win.
posted by homunculus at 8:09 PM on October 5, 2003


"Cleaning out the time machine this weekend, I came across this excerpt from a history of Arnold Schwarzenegger's first year as governor of California..."
posted by homunculus at 8:32 PM on October 5, 2003


Or he'll do as the borrow, bomb and splurge current administration has done--pass the tax burden on to the next two or three generations.
posted by y2karl at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2003


Arnold's Biggest Fan
posted by y2karl at 9:36 PM on October 5, 2003


« Older DVD Easter Eggs...  |  Bothering Snape... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments