http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/052506.html .... By the 2000 presidential campaign, Lay was a Pioneer for Bush, raising $100,000. Enron also gave the Republicans $250,000 for the convention in Philadelphia and contributed $1.1 million in soft money to the Republican Party. Not only was Lay a top fund-raiser for the campaign, but he helped out during the recount battle in Florida in November 2000. Lay and his wife donated $10,000 to BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Florida recount fund that helped pay for Republican lawyers and other expenses. Lay even let Bush operatives use EnronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s corporate jet to fly in reinforcements. After Bush secured his victory, another $300,000 poured in from Enron circles Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including $100,000 from Lay and $100,000 from Skilling Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for the Bush-Cheney Inaugural Fund. Yet, after the Enron scandal broke, Bush acted as if he barely knew Lay. On Jan. 11, 2002, Bush told reporters that Lay Ã¢â‚¬Å“was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994Ã¢â‚¬ for Texas governor, implying that he had gotten to know Lay as Gov. RichardsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ holdover appointee to a Texas business council. The administration also claimed that it turned down EnronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bail-out pleas in late October 2001 when Lay sounded out senior Bush officials about overt financial help. By then, however, EnronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s troubles were too advanced Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and the public spotlight too intense Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for the administration to launch a full-scale rescue mission out in the open. .... .