EXAMPLE 1 – WHAT DOES THIS SPECIAL INTEREST CASH BUY FROM LIEBERMAN?
In 2002, the Associated Press reported that Enron lobbyist Michael Lewan, Lieberman’s former chief of staff, met with Lieberman’s staff during the Enron scandal that Lieberman’s committee was supposed to be aggressively investigating. Lieberman’s office acknowledged that “The senator was aware that Lewan added Enron as a client” and yet his office still met with him anyway while the investigation was unfolding. AP specifically noted that at the same time these meetings were ocurring, “Lieberman cautioned colleagues not to jump to conclusions about Enron’s political connections with the Bush administration or Congress.” The Washington Monthly later reported that Lieberman “balked” when it came time to aggressively push the Enron investigation, slow-walking the proceedings so as to drag them out and divert attention from them. In 2006, Lewan himself bragged to reporters about using his connections to lobby members of specific committees that were regulating his clients. Lewan “gives to lawmakers who serve on key committees” – lawmakers like Lieberman who was supposed to be aggressively investigating Enron on the committee he chaired. [Sources: Associated Press, 1/17/02; Washington Monthly, 1/03]