The Lay-Bush letters.

The Lay-Bush letters.

The Lay-Bush letters.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Feb. 15 2002 10:07 PM

Kenneth Lay Was Not Too Busy For Davos!

The Smoking Gun uncovers a torrid Bush-Lay correspondence.

The Smoking Gun has posted 40 pages of correspondence over the years between George W. Bush and Kenneth Lay, former chairman of Enron. None of the letters is particularly scandalous, but they do make for entertaining reading. In the unlikely event you had any doubt about whether the president considers Lay an old friend, please observe that a 1997 happy-birthday letter from then-Gov. Bush begins, "One of the sad things about old friends is that they seem to be getting older—just like you!" Other highlights include Lay instructing then-Gov. Bush to lobby the Texas delegation for corporate welfare (in the form of federal appropriations to the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation); Lay informing then-Gov Bush that he will be meeting with Uzbekistan's ambassador to the U.S., and that Enron has a $2 billion natural-gas deal in the works with Uzbekistan; Lay telling then-Gov. Bush to read a 1999 article about globalization by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times Magazine; then-Gov Bush thanking Lay for said article, assuring him that "I too loved it"; Lay urging then-Gov. Bush to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; Lay nagging then-Gov. Bush a bit more about attending the World Economic Forum (Lay was on the advisory council that year), and also thanking then-Gov Bush for making a phone call to then-Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania that somehow greased a prospective Enron deal in Philadelphia; and Lay urging then-Gov. Bush to give a speech at a conference hosted by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, whose president, Dan Yergin, is "Yale '68" and "a great friend."