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What’s at Stake for the Bush Administration

“Even if the government wins the trial, it will highlight the close connection between Enron and the Bush administration,” says Cal Jillson, SMU political scientist. “If the government loses, it will highlight the lack of corporate accountability and spur calls for re-regulation.”
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Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling are facing between them 40 federal charges, but government prosecutors have a lot riding on their shoulders, too. From the moment of Enron’s collapse, it became a political story as well as a financial one. Democrats called for hearings in Congress. Republicans returned any money they had received from Enron (ditto for Democrats). Jillson, an observer of Texas and national politics, sees more peril for the Bush administration in this case. Other issues Jillson can address:

  • Texas’ image tarnished by Enron
  • Enron and populist politics
  • Enron and campaign finance