Fetch Exclusive – UPDATED with ADDITIONAL INFO: The Texans from ENRON Are Coming!!!
As the Fetch detailed in this exclusive report, under penalty of perjury San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed signed a required state document titled, “Behested Payment Report,” disclosing that he solicited a $200,000 dollar “charitable” contribution from an organization named Action Now Initiative for “Policy analysis for statewide pension reform.”
Frying Pan News first reported that Chuck Reed is the poster boy for a group of right-wing, wall street fanatics hell bent on changing California’s constitution to break decades long promises of retirement security for nurses, cops, firefighters and teachers. According to the report by David Sirota titled, The Plot Against Pensions, the leader of this effort is a former Enron executive named John Arnold who “invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked during a deposition if he manipulated markets at Enron”.
John Arnold was an executive with Enron and made his fortune from hedge funds trading natural gas. Californians remember Enron, that’s the Texas Corporation that lacked scruples, ethics, or decency that plunged our state into a massive energy crisis.
Sirota’s Plot Against Pensions goes on to find that according to Institutional Investor, Arnold “was a key target” of a federal sting operation aimed at the firm’s possible insider trading”. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that he was one of the top Enron executives “who scooped up more than $72 million in hastily arranged bonuses within days of the company’s bankruptcy filing.” AP noted that Arnold’s $8 million bonus, in fact, was the largest ever given to a single Enron employee and came “about two weeks before Enron filed for bankruptcy on after six weeks of revelations of hidden debt, inflated profits and shady accounting.”
Sirota’s also reports that…”In a ruling Mondaq Businesswire called “not a close call,” a bankruptcy judge sided with the plaintiffs who sued Arnold and other Enron executives for looting the company”.
A Fetch investigation has uncovered that Reed’s benefactor, Action Now Initiative, is a front group that for several years shared the same offices on Post Oak Blvd. in Houston, Texas with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Also, in his 2011 IRS 990 filing, former Enron executive John Arnold describes his foundation’s relationship with Action Now Initiative as having Common Officers/Directors.
Was there a reason why Chuck Reed chose to not disclose the intertwined relationship between Action Now Initiative and the Arnold Foundation?
Maybe this snippet from a recorded telephone poll will shed some light on why Reed may want to stay at arms length from dirty Enron money. Thanks to our spies for providing the entire poll and responses. (Fetch cut out the poll respondent’s replies to protect their identity).
Onward to other happenings…
SV Biz Journal’s Greg “Charles in Charge” Baumann lays into the misguided attempt by the Matt “Magnum PI” Mahood led Chamber of Commerce for trying to determine who leaked information to the FPPC that has led to an investigation of wrongdoing by the ChamberPac. Baumann, our favorite editor, for sure, gives the Fetch credit in his piece that teases several paragraphs before going behind a pay wall. Mr. Baumann, tear down this wall (but thanks for the respek).
John McAfee dazzled ‘em at the C2SV Technology Conference + Music Festival, just like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, so says Tracey Kaplan as she covers McAfee’s roll out of an encryption device that he says will thwart the NSA…Shazam!
Doing her best to earn her 10% wage increase (all other city workers got between 0% and 2%) the “Independent” Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell spent taxpayer dollars on controversial billboards that will adorn buses in San Jose urging residents to drop a dime on cops. SJ Inside tells readers that Acting Chief Esquivel approved these morale-inspiring placards, ahhh, another politically tone deaf move by Esquivel that is already sending rumblings through the ranks.
Mark Gomez reveals a former San Jose family turned upside down by thieves who stole irreplaceable pictures from a moving van. The family was moving to Virginia and San Jose crooks gave them this send off.
In Sunnyvale, the Mercury News says go with Griffith, Hendricks and Larsson for City Council.
A rave gets out of control in Mountain View as 100+ get arrested.
Santa Clara residents wanting to save the Santa Clara Post Office should attend a meeting tonight with the USPS. The shindig goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will be at the Santa Clara Council Chambers. Sounds about as exciting as clipping our nails.
The SV Biz Journal is reporting that Twitter could announce its IPO this week!
The Merc’s IA writers let us know that Carly Fiorina has been appointed to lead the American Conservative Union’s education arm. We are sure ACU is hoping Carly brings her experience as HP’s former Grande dame and as a US Senate candidate to their organization. Oh, snap, we forgot, sorry. We are sure ACU is hoping Carly does not bring her experience from either HP or her losing senate candidacy. Good luck Carly and the ACU.