Attorney General John Ashcroft is being accused of avoiding an investigation of Westar Energy because of his close ties to one of its executives – a relationship that goes back to a time when Ashcroft was Attorney General of Missouri. The head of the Democratic National Committee and a top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee in Washington want the Justice Department to investigate reports Westar tried to make political donations to Reublican Congressmen, hoping to get a law passed keeping states from regulating Westar’s operations. One of those involved is Westar’s former chief adminstrative officer Carl Koupal, who ran Ashcroft’s campaign for State Attorney General in 1976 and his campaign for Governor in 1984. He was the State Director of Economic Development while Ashcroft was Governor. Ashcroft refuses to talk about calling an investigation or about requests he recuse himself form any investigation because he took donations during his 2000 race for the U.S. Senate from Koupall and another man tied to Westar.
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