Behind every Bush there's a scandal
February 21, 2004
So, Kevin Phillips’ thesis in his new book American Dynasty, is that the Bush family are long-standing war profiteers, Machiavellians and a WASP clan of financial hustlers. To be fair to the Bush family and to test Phillips’ thesis, the Free Press decided to investigate what a lesser-known Bush brother was up to recently. Neil Bush was our choice, since we figured he would be repentant after his embarrassing involvement as a director of the defunct Silverado Savings and Loan in Denver during the 1980s.
Recall that Neil, as a bank director, had a conflict of interest problem after voting to approve loans totaling $132 million from Silverado to his business partners. His partners, in turn, loaned him hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he only had to pay back if he made a profit. His punishment was banishment from investment banking for life. Of course, he did have that little problem after Silverado. According to the Dayton Daily News, he got a $2 million loan from the Small Business Association and “walked on it.”
Still, how bad could Neil be? He wasn’t orchestrating coups in Florida like brother Jeb; he didn’t lie to the whole world and wage a criminally aggressive wars to steal oil like George W.; and he didn’t benefit from the U.S. Patriot Act like brother Marvin P. Bush, who became a cofounder in Winston Partners, a firm investing in outsourcing offshore information technology (surveillance and spying, for short).
Perhaps Phillips had a point that the family is prone to nepotism, when it turned out that Neil was targeting schools in Florida to buy software from his company, Ignite. First, Florida Governor Jeb Bush made education testing a key component of his administration’s educational policy. Then the Associated Press (AP) exposed that Neil was peddling his test preparation software at $30 per Florida student. Who knows Neil’s motives? He might have just been trying to help deprived inner city children prepare for racially and culturally biased standardized exams.
Shocking revelations about Neil’s business and sex life made headlines last November. According to Neil’s own testimony in his divorce proceedings, he was in a semiconductor manufacturing business deal with the son of former Communist Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Their company, Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation promised to pay Neil $2 million in stock over five years for his work as a consultant and director. Neil admits he didn’t do much consulting or directing, but anonymous women kept coming to his hotel room in Taiwan and Hong Kong, knocking on his door and then having sex with him.
When his wife’s attorney asked him under oath: “Mr. Bush, you have to admit it’s a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door, and open it, and have a woman standing there and have sex with her.” Neil displayed that legendary Bush honesty by admitting, “It was very unusual.”
Neil also admitted that it was “correct” to conclude that he had “. . . absolutely no educational background in semiconductors. . .”
In January, the AP reported that Neil made at least $171,370 in one day by exercising stock options in a small U.S. high-tech firm. Neil claims that “my timing on this transaction was very fortunate” in reference to a July 19, 1999 purchase and quick sale of stock in Kopin Corp. of Taunton, Massachusetts. The sale, coincidentally, came on a day that the company’s stock priced soared after the company announced it had acquired a new Asian client.
Cashing in on a same morning quick stock buy and sell before the market crash is just another example of that blind Bush luck. No insider information here, like that nasty Martha Stewart. Just good old-fashioned Wall Street casino gambling, Texas-style. Bush was mum about whether his stock option came with sex from anonymous women. After all, he’s a family values guy.
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