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If you’re a presidential aspirant and you have to tell people you are a person of integrity – chances are you’re not.
Those odds get worse if you have to hire someone to attest to your honor. How intriguing, then, that a spokeswoman for the Bush campaign was recently trotted out to tell us that, “Jeb’s record… is one of integrity.” Her testimonial was necessitated by the still-evolving news story that, after leaving the Florida governorship in 2007, he immediately cashed in on his name and state government contacts. Bush III became a richly paid legislative consultant and board member to major corporations that had received lucrative benefits from Florida’s government while he was at the helm of it.
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With cynical chutzpa, Jeb The Presidential Wannabe now campaigns as an ethics reformer, piously preaching against the corrupt coziness between moneyed interests and government officials. But in the last eight years, Preacher Bush has pocketed at least $18 million in personal payment from his own quiet spins through the revolving door of government-corporate corruption. Only four months out of office, for example, Jeb got a nice sinecure as a board member of the insurance giant, Tenet Healthcare, which ran several of Florida’s private hospitals under the state Medicare program. In 2006, Tenet was found to have cheated patients and taxpayers with more than a billion dollars in overcharges. To settle this malfeasance, the corporation paid only $7 million.
Meanwhile, Tenet recently gushed that it has benefited greatly from Mr. Bush’s “extensive background in government service… [and] his perspectives on public policy and social issues.” In heartfelt gratitude, during the past eight years, this one corporation alone has put more than $2 million in Bush’s pocket.
Can the guy even spell integrity?
“Report Traces Bush’s Ties to Companies That Had Business With Florida,” The New York Times, October 21, 2015.