<![CDATA[Got to wonder about the sanctimony of George W. Bush, who said he was going to bring honor back to the White House. His daughters have acted abysmally and now it turns out his brother is a sex tourist who thinks nothing of having women knock on his hotel door for free sexual encounters when he’s in Thailand. Not to mention his crony business deals with the son of Jiang Zemin, former president of China.
If it is okay for Neil Bush to sell influence–his price is $2 million or, in another case, $15,000 a quarter to answer the phone–and Bush pere can deal influence for the Carlysle Group, why should the people of the United States not suspect cronyism in President Bush’s dealings with Halliburton and Enron and that startlingly industry friendly energy bill, Medicare bill and “compromise” on media ownership? In the last case, the White House “compromised” with House Republicans who wanted more control over media ownership than the President without any consultation with Democrats or the public, who have voice outrage over the FCC’s decision to expand media ownership.
Check out Neil on the stand:
According to legal documents disclosed today, Sharon Bush’s lawyers questioned Neil Bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.
Marshall Davis Brown, lawyer for Sharon Bush, expressed bewilderment at why Grace would want Bush and at such a high price since he knew little about the semiconductor business.
“You have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors do you?” asked Brown in the March 4 deposition, which was seen by Reuters.
“That’s correct,” Bush, 48, responded.
“And you have absolutely over the last 10, 15, 20 years not a lot of demonstrable business experience that would bring about a company investing $2 million in you?”
“I personally would object to the assumption that they’re investing $2 million in me,” said Bush, who went on to explain that he knew a lot about business and had been working in Asia for years.
Bush, who inked the Grace deal in August 2002, said he had not yet received any stock from the company, which built a plant in Shanghai that began production in September. He is supposed to consult for the company and be on the board of directors, he said.
He said he joined the Grace board at the request of Winston Wong, a co-founder of the company and the son of Wang Yung-ching, the chairman of Taiwan’s largest business group, Formosa Plastics Corp. Bush never mentioned Jiang Mianheng in the deposition.
Wong, he said, also is an investor in his latest venture, Ignite!, an Austin, Texas, educational software firm.
Brown questioned Bush about numerous other business ventures that paid him well to be a consultant and fundraiser, and, in at least one case, for little work.
Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, but worked only an average of three to four hours a week. For that, he received $15,000 every three months.
Bush said he provided Crest “miscellaneous consulting services.”
“Such as?” asked Brown.
“Such as answering phone calls when Jamail Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice,” Bush said.
“Well, you’re not an economist are you?”
“Part of my degree is in international economics, but I wouldn’t consider myself an economist, no,” Bush told him.
Yes, the Bush family is an inspiration indeed.]]>