Newspaper article

Jeb Bush Made Money the Old Fashioned Way: From Those Seeking Political Access

Newspaper article

Jeb Bush Made Money the Old Fashioned Way: From Those Seeking Political Access

Article excerpt

My buddy Tom Hamburger and his Washington Post colleague Robert O'Harrow published over the weekend the results of a deep dive into the business career of Jeb Bush. One of the main findings would be troubling if it weren't so obvious:

Jeb, who was born rich and has become richer, often received lucrative opportunities from businessmen who hoped to gain access to and help from the federal government when either Jeb's father or his brother were president. "It was a big deal," one of his former colleagues from one of those ventures told the Post. "He could open doors we couldn't." It also seemed to have worked well for some of those who sought to benefit from associating with a member of the president's family.

That should trouble us, but it's a little late in the game to say that it should surprise us. And I don't mean that comment to be about Bushes. It's about how Washington really works.

The other finding is a bit more troubling. Jeb kept going into business with crooks. Jeb Bush "repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk," the Post team wrote. But that is euphemistic compared to the blunt statement:

"Five of his business associates have been convicted of crimes; one remains an international fugitive on fraud charges. In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and said some of the people he met as a businessman in Florida took advantage of his naivete."

When the Post reporters sought comment from one of Bush's spokesters, here is the highly illuminating statement they received:

"Jeb Bush had a successful career in commercial real estate and business before serving as Florida's governor," said Kristy Campbell, a Bush spokeswoman. "He has always operated with the highest level of integrity throughout his business career."

The Clintons' tale

A Republican loyalist reading the above might think it's typical of the liberal media to go after Bush and ignore the similar issues that surround the tale of how Bill and Hillary Clinton rose from "dead broke" when they left the White House to the fabulously wealthy plutocrats they are today. …

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