House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (search), R-La., and subcommittee chairman Joe Barton (search), R-Texas, held eight "Tex-Cajun cookout" fund-raising events for eight congressional Republicans from April 23, 2002, through July 10, 2002. Executives of Westar Energy (search) later contributed to the campaigns of seven of the candidates. The Tauzin-Barton events and the timing of the Westar executives' donations:
— Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, April 23. On June 20, Shimkus' campaign recorded a $1,000 donation from Westar executive Doug Lake.
— Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, April 24. On June 28, Graves' campaign recorded a $1,000 donation from now-indicted Westar CEO David Wittig. Graves was one of the most vocal supporters of Westar's legislative goal of an exemption from regulatory oversight.
— Rep. Anne Northup of Kentucky, May 14. On June 10, Northup's campaign recorded $850 in donations from two Westar executives.
— Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, May 15. The Capito campaign received two donations totaling $1,000 from two Westar executives.
— Rep. Rob Simmons of Connecticut, June 5. On Oct. 25 and Oct. 30, Simmons' campaign recorded two donations from Westar executives totaling $1,000.
— Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa, July 9. On Oct. 29, two Westar executives contributed $1,000 to Latham's campaign.
— Rep. Robin Hayes of North Carolina, July 10. On Oct. 28 and Oct. 29, Westar executives donated $1,000 to Hayes' campaign.