Sanchez and the Yzaguirre Red Herring
The story about how Perry corrupted the appointment process by doctoring Mr. Yzaguirre's appointment application to the PUC is getting old. Tony Sanchez keeps bringing up this ridiculous matter and floating it as Red Herring to draw attention away from his infinite corruption. No doubt that Perry is corrupt but whereas Perry is somewhere in the middle of the corruption "pork barrel", Tony Sanchez is definitely part of the crud that rest at the bottom of the "pork barrel".
I do not know if there has ever been a more corrupt and morally degenerate sociopath with an open record of corruption who has run for governor other than Tony Sanchez. I do not know that I can remember a time when the press refused to confront that corruption by even asking the most basic questions to a candidate. And I do not know if a political Party has ever tried to foist such a worthless human being and such an absolutely morally bankrupt individual as Tony Sanchez on the electorate; and consequently held this person up as a role model for our children.
The global and Texas societies are at a cross roads and the people must make a decision in March and in November of 2002 whether they are going to endorse the corruption that is an integral part of Perry Sanchez or whether they are going to demand an end to the degenerating corruption that undeniably permeates the Texas political system.
The following are the questions that the press should be asking Sanchez point blank. If they do not ask these questions, then the public needs to consider that the press is either corrupt or irrelevant and go to the alternative sources of information on the internet. 2002 will be a year in which the press will be weighed and measured. A new age has now begun and the people of Texas will go to the polls next year and vote their future; Perry Sanchez or WorldPeace - corruption as usual or a new beginning where the ideals of our constitution become a reality at last.
Some of the more important questions the press has to date refused to ask of Tony Sanchez.
1) Have you ever used illegal drugs?
2) Have you ever hired illegal aliens?
3) Are you going to release your supporting schedules for your federal income tax returns? and if not, why not?
4) Are you going to release your mother's $1.5 billion trust tax return and supporting schedules (the trust which you control and of which you are a major beneficiary)? And if not, why not?
5) Why did the Mexicans not drill from their side of the Falcon Reservoir to get at the oil and gas under the Reservoir even as you drilled from the Texas side and made millions of dollars?
6) How much Enron stock have you bought and sold (including stock options) personally and through your mother's trust from 1996 to the present inclusive?
7) Are you going to make the Henry Cuellar "death threat" letter public? And if not, why not?
8) Is it not a fact that you and Ken Lay of Enron and Wayne Berman who like yourself was investigated for money laundering are all members of the exclusive 115 Bush "Pioneers" who each directed over $100,000 to George Bush?
9) What excuse do you have for not attending the "Rally for School Prayer" in Palestine on December 17, 2001? What exactly is you stand on school prayer?
10) Considering that you are worth $2 billion (inclusive of your personal interests in your mother's trust) explain why you should not pay back the taxpayers the $161 million that resulted from your mismanagement of Tesoro S & L?
11) How is it that you could not manage a little savings and loan and yet think you can manage the state budget?
12) Do you intend to put your entire $600 million of personal wealth and your $1.5 billion of trust wealth into a blind trust if you are elected governor? Considering the size of your wealth is it possible that any legislation could be proposed that you did not have some bias toward? If you are not going to use a blind trust, why not?
The next governor of Texas
December 29, 2001
Post Script regarding Mr. Yzaquirre.
As a kid and as a young man I have been duck and goose hunting innumerable times. My grandfather had a farm close to El Campo and I lived for two years on a farm within a couple of miles of Lake Limestone. I am very familiar with bird hunting. Ducks fly very fast and are very small compared to geese and geese are small and fly relatively fast compared to Whooping Cranes which look and fly similar to slow moving Sandhill Cranes. In my opinion, it would be virtually impossible to mistake a Whooping Crane for a duck, even for the most stupid of hunters. I would like to know the details of Mr. Yzaguirre's killing of the Whooping Crane. And I would like to know why Rick Perry did not investigate this killing in great detail. I would also like to know what Mr. Yzaguirre has done to make sure that others do not kill irreplaceable Whooping Cranes by accident or otherwise.
Dec. 29, 2001, 12:54AM
PUC controversy heats up again
Candidate says Perry was nervous about appointee's ties with Enron
By ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN -- Documents released Friday by Gov. Rick Perry's office showed the staff was concerned Max Yzaguirre's connections to Enron could derail his appointment to the Public Utility Commission.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez said the documents -- a series of e-mails and handwritten notes regarding the appointment -- show Perry's legal staff was instructed to find a way to appoint Yzaguirre and avoid conflict of interest charges.
The governor's office called the charge ridiculous and said that the previously withheld documents showed the diligence the governor's staff exhibited in ensuring no conflict existed.
The documents in question primarily were e-mails sent between Dealey Herndon, the governor's then-director of appointments, Bob Pemberton, the governor's assistant legal counsel, and Barry McBee, a former executive assistant in the governor's office. They were released Friday in response to an open records request from the Sanchez campaign.
In an e-mail sent May 7, Herndon instructs Pemberton to look at the conflict of interest angle as a "how can we make this work" issue. In the same e-mail, Herndon wrote that Yzaguirre's employment with Enron poses a "perception problem" and was prepared to cancel an upcoming interview with Yzaguirre if lawyers determined Enron competed with utility companies in Texas. The lawyers determined Enron did not compete with utility companies because it supplied the companies with energy and did not distribute energy directly.
"It doesn't look like they were asking for an objective report on the law, it looks like they were looking for a legal loophole. Find us a way to work around the law so we could get his appointment through," said Glenn Smith, Sanchez's campaign manager.
Smith said he believed Perry tried to withhold the documents from public scrutiny to protect his connection to Enron.
"Why did they want to find a way around the law so badly? It appears because of Perry's very close relationship with Ken Lay and the substantial contributions he's received from Lay over the years," Smith said.
Perry received a $25,000 political contribution from Lay on June 14, the day after he appointed Yzaguirre as chairman of the PUC, the agency responsible for regulating utilities in Texas.
Herndon offered a much different interpretation of the e-mails. She said they reflect the careful, deliberate evaluation involved in the process of ensuring an appointee was qualified and free of conflicts.
"A perception problem is not a factual problem," she said. "I wanted Barry to consider this appointment on that higher level since Enron was so visible and deregulation so immediate."
"We looked for ways to appoint strong people and to appoint individuals who the governor believed would serve Texas well. With that goal in mind, we proactively asked for legal reviews of conflict issues and, at the same time, asked that they be done with a focus on how to make the appointments work," she added.
Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said the Sanchez campaign is attempting to deflect attention from Sanchez's failure to fully disclose on a 1996 University of Texas Board of Regents appointment application a $1 million settlement involving a savings and loan he owned. The money was paid to settle a proposed lawsuit over the management of the savings and loan that eventually failed.
"It's ridiculous," said Sullivan in response to the charge from the Sanchez campaign. "It is crystal clear that the governor's office thoroughly and meticulously vetted Mr. Yzaguirre's appointment.
"We thoroughly analyzed his work experience with Enron and determined based on our review, based on the law and based on discussions with the PUC attorneys that Mr. Yzaguirre was qualified for the job.
"If there was evidence of a conflict or other disqualifying information, the process would have stopped right there," Sullivan said.
The governor's staff investigated whether Yzaguirre's role as vice president of the Mexican division of Enron North America, also known as Enron de Mexico, posed a conflict of interest that prevented him from serving as PUC chairman.
State law prohibits a person from serving on the PUC if that person was employed by a public utility, an affiliate or a direct competitor during the preceding two years.
Perry initially withheld the documents from the Sanchez campaign, citing attorney-client privilege. His office later decided to release them.
Yzaguirre's appointment also has been criticized because he initially failed to disclose all of his connections with Enron-related companies and because portions of his appointment application relating to his arrest and conviction record were deleted from copies released to the Sanchez campaign. Yzaguirre had two minor driving incidents and was convicted in 1989 for killing an endangered whooping crane while on a duck hunting trip.