The Smoking Gun has taken those letters, scanned them, and posted them on their Web site. These 40 pages of handwritten memos and letters touch on such personal topics as Christmas tree ornaments, birthdays, and knee surgery, mixed in with concerns about business and energy legislation. In one letter, Bush jokes about Lay’s 55th birthday: “Wow! That is really old. Thank goodness you have such a young, beautiful wife.” In another, Lay reminds Bush that Enron is negotiating a $2 billion joint venture in Uzbekistan — and that Bush should remember that when the ambassador to Uzbekistan visits Texas.
The correspondence between Bush and Lay, along with the political contributions Enron made to Bush (his biggest career political contributor), makes it clear that Lay was more than a just a Bush “supporter.” Lay was Bush’s friend, and the correspondence, says The Smoking Gun, paints “a far cozier picture of their relationship.”
Campaign Contributions and Recipients in the Enron Scandal, Opensecrets.org
And for a chilling view of the Bush energy policy at work, check out Terry Tempest Williams’ report on oil prospecting in the delicate redrock desert of southern Utah: Chewing Up a Fragile Land, The New York Times. FYI: You’ll have to sign in, however the article is still free.