Now that Jenna and Barbara can legally drink, Neil Bush has resumed his mantle as the Bush most likely to embarrass the White House. Neil, whose
disastrous directorship of the Silverado S&L cost American taxpayers $1 billion during his
father’s administration, admitted during recent divorce proceedings not only to bizarre encounters
with Thai prostitutes, but also to cashing in on his family name with lucrative “consulting” contracts.

In August 2002, Bush inked a $2 million contract to provide “expertized advices”
to a semiconductor firm owned by the son of Jiang Zemin. Bush admitted in court he had no experience
in the industry but offered, “I’ve been working in Asia quite a long time.” More recently, Bush scored
a $60,000-a-year consulting deal from a top adviser to New Bridge Strategies, the firm set up by
George W.’s ex-campaign manager to “take advantage of business opportunities” in postwar Iraq.
His job description: taking calls for three hours a week.

This isn’t the first time Bush has been caught up in the pay-to-play world
of corporate cronyism. In December 2002, Bush used a trip to Saudi Arabia—where his family
has many friends—to raise venture capital for his educational-software company, Ignite!
The firm’s products, which help prepare kids for state assessment tests, are already being used
in Governor Jeb’s Florida.

To be fair, being a Bush brother without a public office can’t be easy.
As Neil Bush once asked his critics, “What am I supposed to do—nothing in life?”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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