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June 10, 2005

Coingate - Not the First Time

-- by Dave Johnson

The news that top Ohio Republicans turned over the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation fund to Republican Party donors shouldn't be a surprise. There are accusations that both George and Jeb Bush did the same thing in their own states.

In Texas, Governor George Bush was accused of turning over $9 billion of University of Texas assets to campaign donors. Paul Krugman wrote about this in George W. Bush's steps to wealth,

The University of Texas, though a state institution, has a large endowment. As governor, Mr. Bush changed the rules governing that endowment, eliminating the requirements to disclose "all details concerning the investments made and income realized," and to have "a well-recognized performance measurement service" assess investment results. That is, government officials no longer had to tell the public what they were doing with public money, or allow an independent performance assessment. Then Mr. Bush "privatized" (his term) $9 billion in university assets, transferring them to a nonprofit corporation known as UTIMCO that could make investment decisions behind closed doors.

In effect, the money was put under the control of Utimco's chairman: Tom Hicks. Under his direction, at least $450 million was invested in private funds managed by Mr. Hicks's business associates and major Republican Party donors. The managers of such funds earn big fees. Due to Mr. Bush's change in the rules, these investments were hidden from public view; an employee of Utimco who alerted university auditors was summarily fired. Even now, it's hard to find out how these investments turned out, though they seem to have done quite badly.

More on this from Joe Conason and here.

In Florida the accusation is that Governor Jeb Bush tried to shore up Enron's plummeting stock with millions from the state's pension system. See AFSCME Investigation Reveals Mismanagement by Florida Trustees Led to State Pension System's $335 Million Loss on Enron, Florida's Last-Minute Enron Stock Buys Probed and Public Citizen -- Letter to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. More here.

If you live in a state where Republicans run things, this might be a good time to see if the money is still there.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 10, 2005 3:12 PM

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Tracked on June 14, 2005 9:16 AM


Comments

I am amazed that any thinking person takes what Mr. Paul "almost always wrong" Krugman says, as he has been proven wrong in so many predictions and has, justifiably, earned a record of selectively using facts and numbers (or just making them up) to suit his hard-core, arch-leftis ideology.

Posted by: Pericles at June 10, 2005 4:07 PM

Pericles attacks Paul Krugman the same way the former public editor at the Tiimes did, without speciics. If Krugman has "been proven wrong" so many times, name one of them. If he "selectively uses facts" or "makes them up" give an example.
This failure to support your personal attack is nothing more than name calling.

Posted by: Phil at June 11, 2005 4:29 AM

I was amazed at pericles comments. It has to be a joke right? Bit of humor! Calling Molly Ivins. Molly along with every paper in Texas has shown the truth in Mr. Krugman's statement about poor ole George W. Bush.

Posted by: Nancy at June 11, 2005 6:49 AM

Pericles is obviously one of those godamned willingly blind fucks who simply refuses to acknowledge the truth about the giggling war criminal's path to power and wealth. A path easily tracked and proven. Reminds me of those three little monkeys.

Posted by: Vinnie at June 11, 2005 10:54 AM

Trolls!

Barbeque sauce or horseradish?

Yumm!

Posted by: grannyinsanity at June 11, 2005 12:18 PM

Krugman's article confirms a Harper's article on UTIMCO about 10 years ago. Also, Tom Hicks built a radio empire that later merged with Clear Channel and made Old Tom a bundle.

Posted by: Ted Smith at June 11, 2005 5:43 PM

They have exported UTIMCO part'n parcel to Univ Ca. Benefits fund management. There is a running 5yr archive here maintained by UCB physics professor Charles Schwartz.

Briefly, long time fund manager Patricia A. Small was pushed out by UC regents (eg. Ward Connerly/Hicks) in '99. Another UC Regent... On the list of Pioneers, "George W. Bush's $100,000 Club" as identified by Texans for Public Justice, I also found the name of former UC Regent Howard H. Leach - he ranked 14th out of 212 Pioneers in the amount of contributions to the Bush presidential campaign. Leach, a private investment banker in San Francisco, was highly regarded on the UC Board and was deeply involved with the UCSF-Stanford hospital merger; he served many years on the Regents Committee on Investments and also on the special committee to select the new UC Treasurer this past year. His term as a regent expired in March; and he has been named by our new President to be Ambassador to France.

Small had an exemplary record. The claim by Regents in replacing Small: she was "too conservative" and under invested in tech. (note date).

The non-disclosure rules made in Texas were expanded in Hick's UC deal. see: Lessons for Secrecy for details.

AFAIC, ALL this stuff should be put front/center by dems in debate of privatization, whether it be Soc Security of large body of other services GWB's farmed out to his big $$ buddies. I'm glad you tied this all together.

Posted by: JDM at June 11, 2005 6:57 PM

Tom Hicks! Owner of Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars Hockey?

Posted by: Yankee in exile at June 12, 2005 6:41 AM

Speaking of life patterns, a question still open is whether Osama will snag an invite to Crawford for hand holding.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,359831,00.html
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,359690,00.html
Osama's violent career has been made possible in part by the generosity of his family -- and by his contacts with the Saudi royals.

Posted by: Woodie at June 12, 2005 11:05 AM

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