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If you remember the electricity crisis and want to read something that will make your blood boil, check out the excerpts from taped phone conversations by Enron traders that were obtained this week by CBS News. You can find the story at:

The remarks, laced with vulgar language, make it plain that not only did power traders manipulate the California market but they also took perverse pleasure in the havoc they were wreaking as they lined their pockets with their victims' cash.

The tapes are so powerful that today both proponents and opponents of electricity reform legislation cited them as evidence for their position. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez said they make the case for a more stable market that he says his reform legislation will engender. Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights says the tape makes clear that anything short of reregulation of electricity markets will again make Californians vulnerable to such pathetic manipulation.

The tapes do underscore that former Gov. Gray Davis was right all along in asserting that federal regulators were turning a blind eye to the most egregious kind of market manipulation that only the feds were empowered to stop.

95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at