October 21st, 2015 • iizthatiiz
Back in July of this year, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush gave a speech in Tallahassee urging reforms that would prevent government officials from profiting off of the connections that they made while in office.
Jeb suggested that elected officials upon leaving their office be subject to a six year “cooling off period”, that would prevent them from obtaining cushy K Street lobbying jobs that would allow them to profit from the political connections that they made while holding public office.
It is now apparent that John Ellis Bush (Jeb) was certainly well informed of the inherent propensity those elected officials have available to themselves that allow them to cash in after those years of ‘public service’.
A new book reveals that half of the $37 million dollars that Jeb Bush has earned since leaving the Governor’s Mansion was obtained from three companies that had business deals with the state government in Florida while Jeb sat in the Chief Executive chair.
A sizable chunk of his earnings is attributable to Mr. Bush’s work with three companies — Tenet Healthcare, Lehman Brothers (later Barclays) and Rayonier Inc. — that had business interests with the state while he was governor.
In April 2007, four months after leaving office, Mr. Bush was named to the board of Tenet, which paid him more than $2 million in cash and stock over the next eight years, according to the company’s public filings. Florida was among Tenet’s biggest markets.
Tenet said in public filings that it “benefited greatly from Mr. Bush’s extensive background in government service, his perspectives on public policy and social issues and his experience as a business leader.” (NY Times)
The new book is ‘Bush Bucks: How Public Service and Corporations Helped Make Jeb Rich‘, scheduled for publication on Monday, October 26th by investigative author Peter Schweizer.
Schweizer released early copies of his finding to the New York Times and Bloomberg News among other outlets in order for them to corroborate, verify, and further investigate the allegations of corruption.
The Times reports during his time at Lehman’s (now Barclays), that Bush was “paid about $2 million a year for his services, which at one time included sitting on the board of their private equity unit.”
Schweizer writes that Bush was a member of the firm’s senior relationship management and helped the company determine whether the Federal Trade Commission would approve pending mergers and acquisitions. (Bloomberg)
Schweizer also details how Lehman Brothers sold Florida $1.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities at about the same time Bush was hired. That deal, as first reported by Bloomberg, cost the state $1 billion when the risky investments went bad
All told, Jeb profited nearly $18 million dollars from just Tenet, Lehman’s, and Rayonier. While ‘Bush Bucks’ author Schweizer was able to pin down half of Jeb’s earning to just those three companies, much of his earnings remain hidden ..
.. the sources of millions in Bush’s earnings remain secret. Those are the earnings reported on his tax returns as income from Jeb Bush & Associates, the consulting firm he incorporated eight weeks after leaving office. Bush has refused to name those clients, saying confidentiality agreements prohibit disclosure. The firm is now under the control of Bush’s son, Jeb Bush Jr. (Bloomberg)
In lieu of Jeb’s eager willingness to corrupt his public service as now reported by Peter Schweizer and confirmed by the New York Times and Bloomberg News, Jeb’s speech last July holds a special kind of irony:
“Then there’s the pattern of so many outgoing members of Congress who quickly become lobbyists themselves, as if merely moving on to the business end of the same enterprise. We need to help politicians to rediscover life outside of Washington, which – who knows? – might even be a pleasant surprise for them. If I am elected president, I will use all of my influence to enact into law an immediate, unequivocal six-year ban on lobbying – a full Senate term – for ex-members of the House and Senate.” – Jeb Bush (July 21st, 2015)
It’s quite revealing that Jeb didn’t feel fit to add former governor’s to the list of those he was condemning in his speech. But that is highly understandable, as he would have been putting himself in the same boat he was placing others.
Apparently in the world according to Jeb, only former legislator’s should be held to a higher level of accountability. Former Chief Executives must remain above all that type of nonsense.