Spencer Abraham on Government Reform

Former Secretary of Energy & Former Republican Senator (MI)


Defend constitutional thinking of America's founders

In 2009, the Bradley Foundation awarded the Bradley Prize to the Federalist Society's founding members and leaders. The honorees included founder Spencer Abraham.

The Federalist Society has been the focus of some political controversy over the years. [But] intellectual figures across the political spectrum have praised the Federalist Society. The ACLU president, for example, said that the Society has made a "marvelous contribution" to "free speech, free debate, and most importantly public understanding of, awareness of, and appreciation of the Constitution."

Spencer Abraham [helped] form The Federalist Society while a law student back in 1982. This "intellectually pugnacious organization" that defends the constitutional thinking of America's founding fathers has helped shift the atmosphere of academic institutions responsible for shaping the minds of future leaders.

Source: ActivistCash.com and Newsbusters.org , Jun 11, 2009

Oversaw Enron’s role in California energy crisis

Enron’s bankruptcy, the largest in history, exposes the decay of corporate accountability. Every supposed check on executive plunder and piracy has been shredded. Enron transformed itself from a gas pipeline company to an unregulated financial investment house willing and able to buy and sell anything.

Enron’s lobbyists played a large role in California deregulation--setting the state up for a hit. Most experts believe that Enron, controlling about a quarter of wholesale trading in electricity with no regulatory oversight, was central to the market gaming that led to last year’s “energy crisis,” which cost Californians about $50 billion. For six months the FERC refused to impose price controls. The White House ridiculed the very notion. In those six months, Enron posted increased revenues of nearly $70 billion. When the price controls were finally enacted, the “crisis” disappeared. Spencer Abraham, Bush’s clueless Energy Secretary, now informs us that this is a triumph of deregulation.

Source: The Nation, Editorial, “Enron Conservatives,” p. 4-5 , Feb 4, 2002

Voted YES on funding for National Endowment for the Arts.

This table motion would end debate on an amendment aimed at funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for the motion to table is a vote for NEA funding. [YES to table means supporting the NEA; NO means defunding the NEA].
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)80; N)16; NV)4
Reference: Motion to table Smith Amdt #1569; Bill H.R. 2466 ; vote number 1999-260 on Aug 5, 1999

Voted NO on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance.

Support of the campaign finance bill proposed by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Feingold (D-WI).
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)53; N)47
Reference: Campaign Finance Reform Bill; Bill S. 25 ; vote number 1997-267 on Oct 7, 1997

Voted YES on Approving the presidential line-item veto.

Approval of the presidential line-item veto authority.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)69; N)31
Reference: Conference Report on S. 4; Bill S. 4 ; vote number 1996-56 on Mar 27, 1996

Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts.

To exclude certain items from the Congressional Gift Ban.
Status: Amdt Failed Y)39; N)60; NV)1
Reference: Murkowski Amdt to S. 1061; Bill S. 1061 ; vote number 1995-339 on Jul 28, 1995

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Page last updated: Jan 14, 2017