Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
followed by more TU info on our discussion forum
by Toni Thayer
"I found one of my Trout Unlimited articles still online, written, I believe, in the summer of 2005."
Trout Unlimited (TU) was originally started in 1959 near Grayling, Mich. by 16 fishermen who were disgusted "with the state's practice of stocking its waters with 'cookie cutter trout' — catchable-sized hatchery fish." The fishermen were "convinced that Michigan's trout streams could turn out a far superior fish if left to their own devices." But, my, oh my, just look how the group has changed today.
Located in the nation's eastern powerhouse center, TU is based out of Arlington, Va. and has offices in at least 37 states. The people running the show and the decision makers are some of the world's richest people involved in the Trilateral Commission, the Federal Reserve, global markets of energy, real estate, investments, computers and Burger King.
The group's scope has expanded to include managing all of America's physical resources and land uses - rivers, fish, grazing, agriculture, logging, mines, roads, electricity, coastal waters and every square inch of the U.S. since it all drains into a watershed somewhere.
TU's Chairman of the Executive Committee for the board of trustees (the corporate officers and true movers and shakers of the group) is none other than Blackstone Group Vice Chairman Hamilton E. "Tony" James (left) of New York City (note this location over and over again). The Blackstone Group is shown as a member of the Trilateral Commission for 2003.
Hoover's online says, "The Blackstone Group has its fingers in a lot of pies. Founded in 1985 by chairman Peter Peterson and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone is one of the top U.S. private investment firms." Former clients listed are Enron, Global Crossing, and Xerox. They currently have stakes in Allied Waste, Graham Packaging, Celanese, Nalco, Houghton Mifflin, Premcor, American Axle, Prime Hospitality and Universal Studies Florida. Blackstone's total committed capital is "now around $25 billion."
According to Forbes, James is also a director of Costco Wholesale, Corp. and, "Until October 2002, Mr. James served as an executive board member and Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity for Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation." James is a Harvard graduate and has a masters' degree from the Harvard Business School.
Treasurer of TU, another critical spot of the group's management, is Joseph W. Henderson of Alder Branch Management, a Washington, D.C. real estate investments firm. Henderson sold former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton a "five-bedroom, brick Colonial home near the Embassy Row area of Washington for $2.85 million," so says a Dec. 2000 article by the St. Petersburg Times.
TU board trustee member Robert L. Clarke (right) is a Senior Partner with Bracewell & Giuliani, a Houston, Tex. law firm, "known for representing heavy-hitting energy companies," says Grist Magazine. The company, previously known as Bracewell & Patterson, changed their name in April 2005 when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined the team.
Some of their clients have been Enron, Coral Energy, FPL Energy, GE, Pacific Gas and Electric, Tampa Electric/Peoples Gas and Valero Energy Corporation, according to the news site The Portland Phoenix. Giuliani's consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, has also worked for energy giants, including Entergy Nuclear Northeast, TransCanada and Shell.
Global investment banking and securities firm Goldman, Sachs & Co. is represented on the TU board through Sanjeev K. Mehra, a partner in the firm. Founded in 1869 Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest U.S. investment companies, and "many former partners of Goldman Sachs have gone on to hold prominent public positions", including Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin, U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, and New York Stock Exchange CEO John Thain, according to Wikipedia. Forbes says their assets in 2004 totaled $531.38 billion.
In March 2005, Energy Bulletin labeled Goldman Sachs as the "biggest trader of energy derivatives. At that time Goldman's Global Investment Research released a report predicting a "super-spike" in oil markets with surges "as high as $105 a barrel".
Another interesting note on Goldman Sachs is their recent purchase of Burger King, along with David Bonderman who sits on the Grand Canyon Trust board and runs Texas Pacific Group professionally, and Bain Capital. Mehra is also a board member of Burger King.
James Range (left) of Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell is a TU board trustee. Baker, Donelson is "one of the 10 fastest growing law firms in the U.S. . . and one of the 100 largest law firms in the country." Many of the company's current and former employees have served in high governmental capacities - Chief of Staff to the President, Senate Majority Leader, Secretary of State, members of Congress, Federal Aviation Administrator, Director under the Dept. of Treasury, Supreme Court Chief of Staff, and on and on and on.
This company is also a major Washington D.C. lobbying firm, working for the best interests of PacifiCorp, "one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States." PacificCorp operates in Utah and Idaho as Utah Power and in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and California as Pacific Power. In 1999, it merged with ScottishPower.
Other Baker, Donelson clients are the U.K. global warfare company, BAE Systems (electronic warfare systems, jets, tanks, ships and much, much more), Boeing Co. (manufacturer of commercial airplanes, integrated defense systems and provider of other aviation and realty services), New York City's L3 Communications (leading provider of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and microwave systems and products to Dept. of Defense, Homeland Security, and other governments), Loral Space & Communications Ltd (a Bermuda satellite communications corporation), and several national airlines, tobacco and food service companies.
TU board trustee George Jeffrey Records is tied to the Federal Reserve through his appointment to their Thrift Institutions Advisory Council for credit unions, savings and loan institutions, and mutual savings banks. Records is Chairman and CEO of Midland Financial Co. of Oklahoma City. "Midland is the holding company for MidFirst bank, one of the largest privately owned banks in the U.S. with assets of $9.5 billion," said a Feb. 2005 article of McGraw Hill Construction Network.
The article theorizes that Records could be "one key player" in the upcoming New York City construction and development scene "with Ground Zero rebuilding under way, plans for a new football stadium that could generate redevelopment of Manhattan's West Side and zoning changes in Brooklyn and Queens that could spark significant housing construction" and "a local bid for 2012 Olympics."
Another big investment company on the TU board of trustees is Apax Partners also of New York City with their rep George Jenkins. Apax provides investment fund management and services in Europe, Israel, and the U.S. They own America Online (AOL) and provided startup funds for Apple Computer and Office Depot. Other "global sectors" that they fund are "high-tech, retail, and communications companies."
The "softer side of private equity" is represented on the TU board with Paul Thompson III of Kelso & Co., again, from New York City. It "specializes in supporting management buyouts," so says Yahoo Finance. Several of their subsidiaries are in the pharmaceutical and drug markets.
A tantalizing connection to fish is TU board member Patsy Ishiyama of the Ishiyama Corporation in San Francisco, Calif., owner of Unicold Corp., a Hawaii cold storage and distributor of frozen and refrigerated foods.
Then TU has a smattering of environmental, activist, attorney and education representatives on the board, along with the National Geographic to get their message out. Two private foundations known for their environmental giving are there too -- Lewis W. Coleman with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Sherry Brainerd, Vice President of the Brainerd Foundation.
Gordon Moore's money comes from his Intel company, the "world's largest chipmaker, now thriving in server and wireless equipment markets," according to Forbes. And the Brainerd money is a result of Paul Brainerd's Pagemaker creation, the first desktop publishing software.
On the operation side of TU, Kenneth Mendez, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, comes from The Walt Disney Co., Harvard, the Asia Pacific Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and Credit Suisse First Boston. His father was an ambassador who was Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from the Philippines, and his grandfather was an ambassador to Japan and served as that country's Secretary of Foreign Affairs, according to the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging.
On their 2003 annual IRS Form 990 (equivalent to a for-profit corporate tax return), TU says their "government affairs department worked to stop elements in the Energy Bill that will be harmful to trout and salmon, [and] on key public land issues". With their board of trustees stacked full of energy and investment giants, I wonder whether IRS might not consider their leadership representatives' professional lives in conflict with the group's governmental actions.
Continuation from Toni Thayer on discussion forum
The message is the same as with the Grand Canyon Trust,
(although they have a new board of directors today, the
group's still following their agenda).
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