The Price of Power

Corporate fat cats throw their weight around in the 1988 campaign

When George Bush and Michael Dukakis breezed into Houston during the same week this fall for $1,000-a-plate fund raisers, Enron, a Texas oil-and-gas firm, had both sides covered. The company's Republican chairman, Kenneth Lay, was co-host for the Bush event, while Democratic president John Seidl attended the Dukakis affair. The hedged positioning made sense: with a victory in November, either presidential candidate, along with the new Congress, could have a profound impact on the energy industry.

The logic applies to almost any other industry, as corporate executives well know. Business people are funneling contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike, in fact...

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