So sayeth Kenny Boy.
Former Enron Chairman Ken Lay pleaded not guilty today to charges he committed fraud and lied to his employees and others.
Afterward, he called a news conference and told reporters, "It has been a tragic day for me and my family.''
"An indictment came down that should not have occurred,'' he said.
While taking responsibility for Enron's collapse as its leader, "that does not mean I know everything that went on at Enron.'' He said that while "there may be some superman somewhere" who knows every single thing that happens at his company, that's an unrealistic expectation.
"I continue to grieve as does my family over the loss of the company, my failure to be able to save it,'' Lay said. "But failure does not equate to a crime.
"I firmly reject any notion that I engaged in any wrongful or criminal activity,'' he said. "Not only are we ready to go to trial, but we are anxious to prove my innocence.''
Meanwhile, the White House is saying Kenny Boy Who?
The White House is trying to put at least an arm's length between President Bush and indicted Enron executive Kenneth Lay, a campaign benefactor Bush nicknamed "Kenny Boy" when the two were up-and-comers in Texas.
It has been "quite some time" since Bush and Lay talked with each other, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said today, brushing off questions about whether the two were friends.
"He was a supporter in the past and he's someone that I would also point out has certainly supported Democrats and Republicans in the past," McClellan said.
Lay clearly favored the GOP. He and his wife, Linda, donated $882,580 to federal candidates from 1989-2001, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. All but $86,470 went to Republicans.
Lay's relationship with the Bush family dates from at least 1990 when he was co-chairman of former President Bush's economic summit for industrialized nations, which was held in Houston. Lay also was co-chairman of the host committee for the Republican National Convention when it was held in Houston in 1992.
The Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said the Lays had given $139,500 to George W. Bush's political campaigns over the years.
Those donations were part of $602,000 that Enron employees gave to Bush's various campaigns, making Enron the leading political patron for Bush at the time of the company's bankruptcy in 2001.
In addition to Lay's political campaign donations, he and his wife contributed $100,000 to Bush's 2001 inauguration. Lay also was a fund-raiser for Bush, bringing in at least $100,000 for the president's 2002 campaign. That put Lay in "Pioneer" status as one of the president's top money-raisers.
On a lighter note, check out this Gadflyer piece which highlights a few similarities between Kenny Boy and his former pal the President.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 08, 2004 to Enronarama | TrackBack