Willamette Week – Power Failure, by Nigel Jaquiss


How the PGE deal collapsed.


Published March 15, 2005 Updated January 24

On Thursday, the PUC unanimously rejected Texas Pacific’s proposal to buy PGE, sounding what is probably the death knell for the deal and also helping to break the grip Neil Goldschmidt has had on this state for 30 years.

Almost immediately, however, problems developed. Local financial adviser Bill Parish, who keeps a close eye on the Oregon Investment Council and the nearly $60 billion in public funds it manages, alerted the press that Texas Pacific’s largest investor was none other than the OIC.

Parish also noted that Goldschmidt’s wife, Diana, was one of the four appointed board members who controlled the OIC’s billions. Just days before Texas Pacific announced its bid for PGE, the investment council had voted to invest $300 million in a new Texas Pacific fund. That vote raised the possibility that Diana knowingly directed money to a group employing her husband-which could violate state law.

“Texas Pacific’s decision to hire Goldschmidt without resolving the potential conflict shows arrogance, incompetence or both,” Parish says. “Whatever the truth was, it gave the appearance of a cozy deal that could enrich a few at the expense of public pensioners.”

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