Here’s a complicated but interesting article in Roll Call about Enron and a group of long-time Tom DeLay operatives.
The article, frankly, is a bit hard to make heads or tails of. But I think this is less a matter of the quality of the reporting (which is first-rate) than the inherent complexity or even intentional opacity of what the reporters were looking at.
Briefly, three long-time Tom DeLay advisor/ operatives — Ed Buckham, Karl Gallant, and John Hoy — got themselves hired by Enron to put together an astroturf activism campaign in favor of electricity deregulation. This was all done with the assistance, of some sort, of DeLay.
In any case, who’s really interesting here is Karl Gallant.
Gallant has been buzzing around the Majority Whip’s political operation for the last several years — most conspicuously as head of the Republican Majority Issues Committee. But his activities are much more complex and varied. He is one of the pioneers of astroturf organizing — i.e., phony, ginned-up, grass-roots activism — which he’s employed principally on behalf of the tobacco industry, but also gun-rights advocates, the National Right to Work Committee, various other anti-regulatory and anti-tax efforts, and myriad Republican candidates.
And now Enron.
More on Gallant soon.