Treasury Nominee Eizenstat Connected to Hurwitz
Could Influence Ongoing S&L Trial if Confirmed
Immediate Release. Contact: Darryl Cherney 707/923-4949 (ESP News Service)
While the nomination of Lawrence Summers to replace Robert Rubin as
Secretary of the Treasury has generated little controversy, the nomination
of Stuart Eizenstat for the position of Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
may not be received as smoothly. Environmentalists are outraged because
Eizenstat was an attorney for savings and loan swindler and redwood raider
Charles Hurwitz of MAXXAM and is now poised to assume the number two spot
of a the very agency that oversees MAXXAM's ongoing savings and loan trial.
The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), overseen by the Department of the
Treasury, is currently holding an administrative law trial to determine
whether Charles Hurwitz, Chairman of MAXXAM Corp. of Houston, Texas
defrauded the taxpayers of $1.6 billion in the failure and subsequent
bailout of United Savings Association of Texas. "It would be a national
embarrassment if a man who represented tax cheats like Hurwitz became the
number two man at Treasury," said Headwaters Forest activist Darryl
Cherney, who has contacted members of the Senate Finance Committee to try
to stop the confirmation.
Environmentalists have taken a strong interest in the ongoing S&L trial in
Houston because they believe that depositors' funds were illegally funneled
out of the S&L by Hurwitz and broker Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham
Lambert in order to take over both Pacific Lumber (PL) and Kaiser Aluminum.
Kaiser workers, members of the United Steelworkers of America, went on
strike last September and were locked out at the beginning of this year
over a number of worker issues. Environmentalists have allied with the
United Steelworkers to take on MAXXAM together on a number of fronts.
In California, Hurwitz has been liquidating PL's redwood forest ever since.
Some activists have suggested that Hurwitz trade his $1.6 billion S & L
"debt for nature" to preserve precious ancient forests in Northern
Eizenstat represented Hurwitz in 1987 Congressional hearings held by Rep.
Dingel (D-Mich) investigating stock parking and insider trading leading up
to the hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber, the world's largest private
holder of ancient redwoods. Eizenstat has also worked closely in a number
of ventures with super-lobbyist Tommy Boggs, who works for MAXXAM, as well.
Hurwitz received $380 million for a small portion of California's
Headwaters Forest this March. Hidden in the Headwaters deal was a clause
which allowed for massive tax breaks to be given to MAXXAM and Hurwitz,
potentially in the hundred of millions of dollars. " Putting Eizenstat in
the Treasury Department is like putting the fox's lobbyist in charge of the
chicken coop," said Cherney.
Environmentally Sound Promotions
PO Box 2254
Redway, CA 95560
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