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Westar scandal

The Washington Post has an article today by Tom Edsall and Juliet Eilperin on the Westar provision that did not make it into the code:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) have said they backed a 2002 legislative provision sought by a Kansas energy company because it fit their deregulatory, free-market philosophy. Good policy, not politics, was their chief concern, they said, and the company's contributions to several Republican committees did not influence their actions. But the head of a Kansas regulatory agency said the Republican-backed provision was more likely to help the energy company's top executives than its thousands of customers.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) joins Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in disclaiming any knowledge of Westar, its intentions, or its money, according to the Kansas City Star.

Many paper are carrying this Knight-Ridder story tying the Westar story together with the actions of Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who tried to slip "into legislation a last-minute provision benefiting Philip Morris USA, a major donor that also employs his son and a close friend."

Surely, everyone is mistaken in seeing chicanery in all this. As Rep. Tom DeLay says in the Post article, "It never ceases to amaze me that people are so cynical they want to tie money to issues, money to bills, money to amendments."

Color me cynical.