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Saturday, November 02, 2002


Forbes has this cuttingly ironic piece from Dan Ackman (might as well have been from Dan Ackroyd). So this is how we're goin to clear things up:

Dan Ackman, 11.01.02, 8:54 AM ET

NEW YORK - The news that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt has been forced into an investigation of himself is the stuff that inspires poets. In fact, it already has.

Walt Whitman must have had Pitt in mind when he wrote "Song of Myself."

"Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
(Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)"

Calls for Pitt's resignation--extant even before the latest revelations--are mounting. Pitt says he is going nowhere. Again, Whitman asks the pertinent question: "Who wishes to walk with me?" Webster, for one, seems willing. At least he says his fate is for others to decide.

As of this moment it is not precisely clear who told whom what. But there is a larger question: What was Judge Webster--as he is still known--doing on the board of U.S. Technologies?

The company has its roots in hiring prisoners to assemble electronics and manufacture furniture. But in the late 1990s, it discovered the Internet and became that most dubious of all enterprises: an Internet incubator. The company's description of itself reads like a satire of the genre: "The transformation of U.S. Technologies was initiated with the acquisition of E2Enet, an incubator for early-stage Internet-related companies. Founded in 1998, E2Enet had been funded principally by an individual investor and Northwood Ventures...E2Enet sought out promising early-stage ventures directed toward e-commerce in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) areas." Webster was not alone in this mess. Former Senator George Mitchell was a director. So was Beth Dozoretz, former finance chair of the Democratic National Committee. Dozoretz is the wife of Ron Dozoretz, chairman of FHC Health Systems, and she has been in the news before as one of the people who lobbied President Bill Clinton to pardon Marc Rich. Jonathan Ledecky, a prominent Washington, D.C. businessman and former owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team, was also on board.
Source: Forbes

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