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Just Another Bush?

Why would anyone think that Jeb Bush would be any different from his family? Not just his father and his brother, but also his grandfather, who profited from the rise of Nazi Germany.

It bad enough that Jeb Bush has said that he still supports the invasion of Iraq and that he might use torture in order to keep the country safe. But talk is cheap. It is his behavior that gives away how corrupt he really is.

When John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was governor of Florida, he started moving large amounts of the state’s investment funds into Lehmman Brothers. In 2005, he moved $250 million of pension funds for Florida police, teachers, and firefighters, earning Lehman more than $5 million in fees.

Then, in 2007 when he left office, Bush took a job with Lehman as a consultant, even though he had no experience in banking or finance, making around $1.3 million a year. That’s pretty good payback, but it didn’t stop there.

Soon after Bush started working for Lehman, his former colleagues on the Florida State board that makes decisions about pension funds gave Lehman additional business, moving an additional $420 million into the same fund that Bush used, and a whopping $842 million into Lehman’s mortgage-backed securities.

What’s suspicious about this is that warnings about financial troubles at Lehman Brothers had already begun to emerge. You know, the troubles that led to the collapse of mortgage-based securities and the “Great Recession”. A comprehensive study of the collapse of Lehman Brothers said that “signs of financial distress” were there starting in 2005, the year that Bush started throwing money at Lehman.

It only took a few months before the whole thing came crashing down. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in 2008. Florida sustained losses of up to $1 billion, destroying pensions of public workers. And Jeb Bush took a job with another bank, which he gave up only when he decided to run for president. Another revolving door.

According to an ethics group, “This is a breathtaking conflict of interest.” And a Senator who served on the panel that investigated the bank crisis of 2008 said that what Bush was able to do “shows once again that there is utterly zero deterrence preventing public officials from being on the receiving end of pay to play when they leave office.”

People are entitled to say that we should not judge Jeb Bush by the absolutely disastrous presidency of his brother. But how can we forget the horribly corrupt but perfectly legal things done by Jeb Bush himself, which enriched him while costing Florida close to a billion dollars.



  1. jwhat wrote:

    Of course, I agree with you but couldn’t the same be said about most of our politicians. We have outsourced our self-governance to “professional” politicians at the big city, state and federal levels. As with all professions, they are simply seeking to maximize the profits of their endeavors. The original idea was to elect highly thought of citizens to serve for short periods of time and then to go back home and let someone else serve for a short period. We’re a long way from that ideal and I don’t see an easy road back.

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  2. Ralph wrote:

    Hindsight is always 20/20, but it would appear we were shortsighted when the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution didn’t also include term limits for Congress as well as the Presidency. Then again, who could have foreseen the emergence of super-PACs and Citizens United back in the day?

    Then again, perhaps Congressional term limits would only result in the revolving door spinning that much faster. Sigh.

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    A revolving door is one thing, but this borders on fraud. At the very least, why would anyone consider him suitable to be president?

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  4. Ralph wrote:

    So true IK, and it’s astonishing that crooks like JEB! and others on the pay-to-play circuit are not being more aggressively and publicly outed by the press in greater numbers, with their names and misdeeds burned into the general consciousness. It’s practically business as usual here in PA too. To the crooks advantage, however, the press has been digitally fragmented and emasculated in the internet age, and even before since the marriage of network news and entertainment divisions (the 1976 movie “Network” is eerily prescient in hindsight). As the late author, Gore Vidal, once quipped, “We live in The United States of Amnesia. Nobody remembers anything before last Monday.”

    Of course, Dick Cheney was the master of this charade, moving deftly between his earlier cabinet positions to Halliburton/KBR and back again as VP. We basically elected a defense contractor/oil exec as VP (some would say as a proxy Prez). All he ever needed was half a reason to start a shiny new war in an oil-rich region ripe for the taking, and of course 9/11 gave him all that and much more. Like the old saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. But I digress.

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    So maybe Jeb’s slogan should be “compared to his brother, smart enough to be his own crook president”. 🙁

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  6. Ralph wrote:

    “JEB! It’s like Dubya and Dick Nixon all rolled into one. A twofer!”

    Monday, August 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink