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Toomey to Campaign with Enron Lobbyist Who Cost Pennsylvania Families Billions

Toomey to Campaign with Enron Lobbyist Who Cost Pennsylvania Families Billions

Reed Also a Scandal-Plagued Abramoff Associate

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pat Toomey will campaign with Ralph Reed, a lobbyist for Enron who helped usher in electricity deregulation in Pennsylvania that cost consumers billions. Reed was hired by Enron at the behest of Karl Rove to help Enron deregulate the electricity industry and expand its electricity market in Pennsylvania. Reed was also part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

“Pat Toomey is making an extremely questionable decision to campaign with Ralph Reed, an Enron lobbyist who helped corporate special interests make billions at the expense of Pennsylvania families,” said Mark Nicastre a spokesman with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “Ralph Reed lobbied for Enron to help usher in a deregulation program that cost Pennsylvanians billions while lining the pockets of corporate special interests. Pat Toomey fought for the deregulation of Wall Street that hurt middle class families and nearly collapsed our economy while he received millions from the financial industry. It’s not surprising that Pat Toomey is campaigning with Enron lobbyist Ralph Reed, Toomey has more in common with Reed and the corporate special interests they’ve both fought for than he does with middle class families in Pennsylvania.”

Reed was hired by Enron to help usher in electricity deregulation in Pennsylvania. Mr. Reed said he had been hired mostly to help with an Enron campaign in Pennsylvania to win a central role in the state’s electricity market, which was being restructured. [New York Times, 1/25/02]

Reed was paid $10,000 to $20,000 a month to lobby for Enron in Pennsylvania. Enron paid Mr. Reed $10,000 to $20,000 a month, the amount varying by year and the particular work, people familiar with the arrangement say. He was hired in September 1997 and worked intermittently for Enron until the company collapsed. [New York Times, 1/25/02]

Reed organized an astroturf campaign to deregulate utilities. Well what we were doing, Judy, was organizing consumers and citizens and encouraging them to support a deregulation plan that was backed by Governor Tom Ridge that would allow for more competition and more choice. That plan became law. It was implemented by the Public Service Commission. It’s become a model for the nation, and it’s lowered utility bills 5 to 10 percent, and saved consumers in that state hundreds of millions of dollars. It was a great success. [CNN, 1/26/02]

Reed lobbied to make regulations more friendly to utility companies. REED: It was, but then there was a drawing up of regulations that implemented that law, and those regulations were implemented by the Public Service Commission. [CNN, 1/26/02]

Electricity Deregulation cost consumers billions.Consumers might be due refunds of more than $1,000 each if state utility regulators determine the companies collected more in transition charges for so-called “stranded costs” than they actually spent on the deregulation process, said Citizen Power of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Steel and Cement Coalition. [Pittsburgh Tribune, 8/24/10]

Reed received millions from Jack Abramoff to assist with lobbying efforts. But the first major dent in Reed’s carefully cultivated image came with the disclosure in the summer of 2004 that his public relations and lobbying companies had received at least $4.2 million from Abramoff to mobilize Christian voters to fight Indian casinos competing with Abramoff’s casino clients. [Washington Post, 1/16/06]

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