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Cooking the Books: Cheney, Halliburton and Criminal Accountant Arthur Andersen

Dick Cheney appeared in a 1996 promotional video in which he praised the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for giving "good advice." A few years later, Andersen was convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding documents in the federal government's Enron investigation. See the video here!

A former accountant with Andersen, David Lesar, is now CEO of Halliburton (notice Mr. Lesar's biography on Halliburton's website does not reveal his former employment with Arthur Andersen). Mr. Lesar was Halliburton's second-ranking officer when Cheney was CEO.

In the promotional video for Arthur Andersen, Cheney said, "I get good advice, if you will, from their [Andersen's] people, based upon how we are doing business and how we are operating, over and above the normal, by-the-books auditing arrangement."

So, it's no surprise that Andersen subsequently donated $145,650 to the Bush/Cheney 2000 presidential campaign, making it the 5th-largest contributor.

In addition, Arthur Andersen prepared Cheney's 2001 personal financial disclosure report to the Federal Elections Commission. Did the convicted felon, Arthur Andersen, accurately and honestly prepare Cheney's financial disclosure report? We may never know.

The other convicted felon, Enron, which donated $113,800 to Bush/Cheney 2000, was the 12th-largest contributor to the campaign. So, in 2001, it was fitting that Mr. Cheney chose Enron's former CEO, Ken Lay, to handpick the new members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is the federal agency in charge of ensuring fair and competitive energy prices, but Ken Lay's appointed members of FERC failed to stop skyrocketing and scandalous energy prices that ripped off California's utility rate payers in 2001.

Click here to download the 4-minute video where Cheney extols the virtues of convicted felon Arthur Andersen. Note: Cheney appears toward the end of the video.