THE UNOFFICIAL WEBSITE
It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
Trillionaire Bushes' family of criminals - what dowdy Republican Maureen Dowd calls Skull & Boners, the "WASP Corleones"
GEORGE BUSH JR.
VEEP DICK CHENEY
"There's a report out tonight that 24-years ago I was apprehended in Kennebunkport, Maine, for a DUI. That's an accurate story. I'm not proud of that. I oftentimes said that years ago I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much and I did on that night. I was pulled over. I admitted to the policeman that I had been drinking. I paid a fine. And I regret that it happened. But it did. I've learned my lesson."
2001 TENNESSEE DRIVER LICENSE HANDBOOK: "Strictly speaking, a driver can be convicted of drunk driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.00%. Having a blood-alcohol below the 'presumed level of intoxication' does not clear a driver of drunk drivng."
QUESTION: "Does the current government emphasis on waging a drunk-driving and a 'drink-driving' war divert attention from the real causes of injury and death, such as uncrashworthy vehicles?"
PS: Vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney confessed to two DWIs arrests and imprisonments as a college student, when he was hired by Bush Sr. as Secretary of Defense in 1989. Presumably, he "Classified" those arrests from his GOP voters while a US Congressman.
These are the individuals arrogantly enforcing laws of zero tolerance against both adult "underage" and adult over-age college students, as prosecuted on University of Tennessee campus with a 1600% increase of alcohol arrests in 1999, according to UT's Campus Crime Reports.
"Now we know what the Dubya stands for: D-Dubya-I"
"George DWI Bush"
"George Bush said he didn't reveal the drunk driving charge because of what his daughters might think of him. He had preferred that they think of him as a man with numerous failed business ventures who now executes people." [Saturday Night Live]
"He's not stupid, he's just drunk." [Chris Rock]
"It turning point in my life: I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror and decided then and there to quit (drinking) in 10 years." [George "W. Farrell" Bush, Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live]
WAYNE SLATER, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1998: "Have you ever been arrested since 1968, when you were twice arrested in college?"
FIVE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT
The folowing is from Michael Moore, director of TV's Awful Truth and director of Roger and Me with Bush's nephew Kevin, about the economic devastation of NAFTA and WTO export of high-tech and mid-tech American jobs from Detroit. [The same thing has already started to happen in Knoxville thanks to annexation and its doubled taxes.] Moore also is partially disabled from a crash with a drunk driver.
Sir George Bush Sr
Knight of the British Empire
dined with CIA family of John Hinkley Jr
the day he shot President Reagan
in coup d'etat for trillionaire Bush crime family
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Second First "Lady" Bush
EMAIL POST ON COUNTER COUP
MSNBC - Headliners & Legends - Laura Welch Bush
Matt Lauer: Laura's life is happy and orderly. Until... 2 days after her 17th birthday. Coming up, Laura's involvement in a fatal accident.
Bush biographer: His car and her car collided out on a West Texas highway.
Matt Lauer: In 1963, 17-year-old Laura Welch, the young lady who will grow up to be Fisrt Lady Laura Bush, is a high school senior, living a sheltered life in Midland, Texas. Then, on November 6th, just 2 days after she turned 17, Laura's world is shattered.
Friend: When we were seniors in high school, Laura was involved in a car accident.
It took a long time to sort of unravel what had happened.
Matt Lauer: It was a clear night, just after 8 PM. Laura, with a girlfriend in the passenger seat, is driving just outside of Midland, near the local Lover's Lane. Laura runs a STOP sign and drives into the intersection of State Highway 349 and Farm Road 868. Her car slams into a southbound Corvair, driven by her "close friend", 17-year-old Michael Douglas. The impact is fatal.
Friend: Laura and Mike Douglas were "very close friends". And that's what made this even harder.
Friend: And it was as if two of Midland's "favorites" had been involved in an, an unthinkable act of "Fate".
Matt Lauer: The girls are taken to the local hospital. Laura is being treated for minor injuries when she learns that Mike is dead. He was killed "almost" instantly of a broken neck.... It is a terrible burden for the "sensitive" 17-year-old to bear. Laura does not return to school for weeks.... According to the police report, Laura is "not respnsible" for the accident. No charges are pressed.... At the end of the school year, Mike is memorialized with a poem in the yearbook:
George "The Texascutioner" Bush
Prepared by Burrelle's Information Services, which takes sole responsibility for accuracy of transcription.
ANNOUNCER November 2nd, 2000.
TED KOPPEL, ABCNEWS In the final days, with the race a dead heat, both campaigns try to avoid last-minute surprises.
GOVERNOR GEORGE W BUSH Well, thank you all...
TED KOPPEL Surprises like this.
GEORGE W BUSH There's a report out tonight that 24 years ago, I was apprehended in Kennebunkport, Maine, for a DUI. That's an accurate story. Years ago, I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much and I did on that night. I paid a fine, and I regret that it happened. I think that's an interesting question, why now, four days before an election? I got—I got my suspicions.
TED KOPPEL Tonight...
GEORGE W BUSH Good night. Thank you all. I got my suspicions.
TED KOPPEL ...can a 24-year-old story have an impact on the election?
GEORGE W BUSH Thank you very much.
ANNOUNCER From ABCNEWS, this is Nightline. Reporting from Washington, Ted Koppel.
TED KOPPEL It's a campaign's worst nightmare. The presidential race is so tight that almost anything unexpected could tip the balance. The time remaining until Election Day is so short that it may be difficult to fix the damage and regain momentum. At the very least, with only four days left to this presidential campaign, a story that seemed to come out of nowhere throws the Bush camp off stride and soaks up a critical day's worth of headlines. The story broke in Kennebunkport, Maine, where the Bush family still owns a vacation compound. A reporter from a local television station learned that George W. Bush had been arrested 24 years ago for driving while under the influence. Karen Hughes, the governor's communications director appeared earlier this evening to answer reporters' questions.
KAREN HUGHES, BUSH COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Twenty-four years ago, in September of 1976, in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he was visiting his parents, Governor Bush was stopped after leaving a bar where he had had several beers, and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He pled guilty. He was found guilty of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, paid a $150 fine, and had his driving privileges suspended in Maine for a period of time. Governor Bush has always acknowledged that he made mistakes in the past, years ago, when he was drinking. This was a mistake. This is something he is not proud of. Drinking and driving is wrong. And it's—this is, again, is a mistake that he made in the past and he is not proud of—of this.
1ST REPORTER Karen, is this—Karen, is this the only time this has happened?
2ND REPORTER Did he ever drive while he was suspended? Did he ever drive while he was suspended?
KAREN HUGHES His driving privileges were suspended in Maine. And no, he did not—he did not drive during that period.
1ST REPORTER Karen, are there—there any other arrests of—of this nature of any other kind?
KAREN HUGHES As we—as we have previously disclosed, Governor Bush was arrested in college for a fraternity prank involving a Christmas wreath, where he and—and some of his friends took a Christmas wreath from a hotel. He also was asked to leave a football game where he and some friends had been rowdy. But this—these are the only arrests, plus this one...
3RD REPORTER Was any accident involved in this?
KAREN HUGHES ...are the only—are the only arrests that Governor Bush has ever been involved in.
1ST REPORTER Did he appear in court on this charge?
KAREN HUGHES I do not know the answer to that. He did plead guilty. He was released on a person recognizance bond as is—he...
4TH REPORTER Did he spend the night in jail, Karen?
KAREN HUGHES I do not believe so. He was released on a personal...
3RD REPORTER There was no accident involved with this?
KAREN HUGHES No. Not to my knowledge.
3RD REPORTER Anyone else in the vehicle when he was driving?
KAREN HUGHES Yes. John Newcomb and his wife, and the governor's sister, Dorothy, and he believes one other friend may have been with him.
3RD REPORTER Should this matter to anybody?
5TH REPORTER Karen...
6TH REPORTER Have there—have there been any other un...
KAREN HUGHES Well, Ken, I—I think that—I think that—I hope that a mistake that the governor made 24 years ago would—would not have an impact in the final days of this election.
7TH REPORTER Has the governor had any problem with any other substances?
KAREN HUGHES The governor has acknowledged in the past that he has made mistakes.
TED KOPPEL Then, a short time later, Governor Bush, himself, faced reporters.
GEORGE W BUSH You speaking?
GEORGE W BUSH Well, thank you, all. A re—obviously, there's a report out tonight that 24 years ago, I was apprehended in Kennebunkport, Maine, for a DUI. That's an accurate story. I'm not proud of that. I oftentimes said that years ago I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much and I did on that night. I was pulled over. I admitted to the policeman that I had been drinking. I paid a fine. And I regret that it happened, but it did. I've learned my lesson. As I mentioned, I—many of you know that I quit drinking alcohol in 1986. And it was the right decision for me to make then. I'll be glad to answer a few questions.
8TH REPORTER Governor, why did it wait until now? Why did it wait until now?
9TH REPORTER Governor, why didn't—Governor, why didn't—Governor!
GEORGE W BUSH Well, it came out now because a news—TV station in Maine broke the story. But I made the decision that, as a dad, I didn't want my girls doing the kinds of things I did. And I told them not to drink and drive. It was a decision I made. Been very up front with the people of the state of Texas that, you know, that I had been drinking in the past, that I had made mistakes, and the story broke.
10TH REPORTER Governor, don't you...
11TH REPORTER Governor, who should...
GEORGE W BUSH I think that's an interesting question, 'Why now?' four days before an election.
12TH REPORTER Did the girls know before tonight?
13TH REPORTER Governor—Governor, did you...
GEORGE W BUSH No, the girls did not know until tonight. I talked to them.
13TH REPORTER Could you tell us more about the—the night? Did you spend some time in jail? Did you...
GEORGE W BUSH No, I did not spend any night in jail there.
13TH REPORTER (Unintelligible).
GEORGE W BUSH I did not spend time in jail.
14TH REPORTER Governor, do you believe this is relevant to your candidacy in any fashion?
GEORGE W BUSH No, I think the people knew that I had been straightforward, that I had made mistakes in the past. This happened 24 years ago. I do find it interesting that it's come out four or five days before an election. I—but I've—I've been straightforward with the people, saying that I used to drink too much in the past. I'm straightforward with people saying that I don't drink now.
15TH REPORTER But were you completely truthful, Governor...
GEORGE W BUSH Yeah.
15TH REPORTER ...all the times that you were asked...
GEORGE W BUSH Yes, I was.
15TH REPORTER ...about past records?
GEORGE W BUSH Yes, I was. I was.
15TH REPORTER Is there anything else—is there anything else that you...
16TH REPORTER How did you think you could get away with...(unintelligible)?
GEORGE W BUSH I didn't—I'm not trying to get away with anything.
15TH REPORTER Is there any others?
17TH REPORTER Why—why didn't you try and get this out sooner?
GEORGE W BUSH I—I...
15TH REPORTER Is there any other...
17TH REPORTER Why didn't you get this out?
GEORGE W BUSH I just explained why I wanted to make—I didn't want to talk about this in front of my daughters. I told my daughters they shouldn't be drinking and driving. It's a decision I made.
17TH REPORTER Well, do you think this was a good decision?
18TH REPORTER Governor, are you concerned that—that this issue will renew questions of whether you've been entirely candid about your past?
GEORGE W BUSH I've been very candid about my past. I've said I made mistakes in the past. People know that. They thought about that. They made their dec—they're making their minds up now. They've seen me as the governor of the state of Texas. I've upheld the honor and integrity of my office. And it's a regrettable incident that I find interesting that four or five days before the election it's coming to the surface. And only thing I can tell you is that I told the people of my state I used to drink. I quit drinking. I'm not going to drink. And I haven't had a drink in 14 years.
19TH REPORTER Governor, are you worried about this?
20TH REPORTER Is there anything else you might be embarrassed about, Governor?
GEORGE W BUSH Pardon me?
20TH REPORTER Is there any action you or your family had after that...
GEORGE W BUSH No, there's not. I mean—none.
20TH REPORTER That could make it hard to find...
GEORGE W BUSH No. None at all. None whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I—you know, I tried. And I—and I—listen, I told the guy I had been drinking. And what do I need to do? And he said here's the fine. I paid the fine and did my duty.
21ST REPORTER Do you recall what you were doing that night that led you to drink so much?
GEORGE W BUSH I was drinking beer, yeah, with John Newcomb.
22ND REPORTER How much did you have?
GEORGE W BUSH How many beers?
22ND REPORTER Yeah.
GEORGE W BUSH Enough to have been in violation of the—of the law. I can't remember how many beers. It was 24 years ago. And I think the people of—people of America will understand that. I think the interesting thing is is that why five days before an election, all of a sudden it par...
23RD REPORTER Why do you think it's come out now?
GEORGE W BUSH That's—that's—that's your job. I got—I got my suspicions.
24TH REPORTER Governor, do you believe—do you believe the Gore campaign is behind this?
GEORGE W BUSH Thank you all. I've got my suspicions. I don't know.
25TH REPORTER Governor, will you answer questions again before the election?
GEORGE W BUSH Thank you very much.
TED KOPPEL When Vice President Gore's campaign plane landed in El Paso, Texas, tonight, Gore spokesman Clis Leha—Chris Lehane flatly denied that the Gore campaign had anything to do with the release of the story and kept refusing to comment on it. But we'll have more when we come back.
CHRIS LEHANE, GORE CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY ...about, and that's just something that we don't feel it's appropriate for us to be commenting about.
26TH REPORTER Is driving while intoxicated a serious offense?
CHRIS LEHANE You know, I'll leave that to others to determine. And again, this is just an issue we're not going to comment on. I know you guys have to ask these questions, and I really do appreciate that.
27TH REPORTER Any—any suggestion, though, that the Gore campaign have anything to do with this close to the election? What's your reaction to that?
CHRIS LEHANE This is just not something the Gore campaign is involved with in any shape, way, or form.
28TH REPORTER You can say that authoritatively? How? Because you don't know much about the issue??
CHRIS LEHANE Because I just know that's not something that the Gore campaign would engage in.
TED KOPPEL When we come back, we will talk to one person who does know where the story originated. She's the reporter who broke it.
ANNOUNCER This is ABCNEWS: Nightline, brought to you by...
TED KOPPEL And joining us now from Kennebunkport, reporter Erin Fehlau from station WPXT. Obviously, what—what everybody wants to know is why now and who gave you the story? And—and maybe you can just begin by telling us how you even became aware of the story.
ERIN FEHLAU, WPXT-TV REPORTER Well, this morning I was down at the Cumberland County—Cumberland County Courthouse covering another trial. It was an arson trial. And while we were waiting for the verdict, a police officer, a female police officer that I see on a couple of different stories came up to me and said that she had overheard a lawyer and a judge in the courthouse talking about the fact that George W. had an OUI conviction here in Maine. She said that she really didn't know where it was, she said Bath—she—she didn't know where it was. She actually thought it was a line, she thought it was a joke. She didn't really believe it. But she said it to me, saying, 'Do you know about this? Is this—is this true?' And, of course, that raised, you know—I—I was, obviously, interested in the story.
TED KOPPEL So how did you follow it up?
ERIN FEHLAU So, I followed it up. She had meant—I asked her what lawyers or who was talking about it. She had told me who was talking about it. At that point, I couldn't get in touch with either one of these people. They were in court at the time. We were waiting for the verdict for the other story. And I was calling, trying to find out anything I could from the local courthouses. I wasn't getting very far. The verdict came in for that case. We were outside, waiting for reaction. The next thing I know, the lawyer who she had mentioned, was walking out of the courthouse. And I just ran over to him and said, 'What's going on? Do you know anything about this?' At which point he said, 'Yes. I have a copy of a docket. It's in my office. I'm going to walk—go get it and bring it back.'
TED KOPPEL Now, do you have any idea how and why he would have that docket 24 years later?
ERIN FEHLAU The way it was explained to me was that it was a rumor that he and a judge in the courthouse were made aware of—or actually, that this judge had been made aware of. And that he actually went forward and was able to obtain this document—this document from '76.
TED KOPPEL Now, is this—do you happen to know, are judges up there, are they appointed or are they elected? And if he's elected, do you know what his party is?
ERIN FEHLAU Sorry. Don't. But I will tell you, that the man—the lawyer that I did talk to, he was a delegate to the Democratic Convention. But I want to make it clear, that he did not hand this to me. It was something that this police officer overheard, talked to me about it, and I just ran and asked him about it.
TED KOPPEL You know, I mean, the way you tell the story, it certainly sounds as though you just stumbled into something and were smart enough to follow up on it. But you also heard Governor Bush say several times, you know, he's got his suspicions about why this just came out four or five days before the election. You're pretty confident that you weren't set up here, right?
ERIN FEHLAU That's the way it happened for me. I'm confident that I wasn't set up. I feel like if I was being set up, he would probably have just handed me the information right off the bat.
TED KOPPEL And you actually had to go to the courthouse and dig some of this stuff up yourself?
ERIN FEHLAU I was able to—through getting the copy of the docket, I was able to call the courthouse, give them the docket number, give them the name, give his birth date. They were able to verify that it did, indeed, happen. At that point, I was able to call the secretary of state's office, get a copy of his driving record faxed to our station. And after that, I was able to get in touch with the officer who actually made the arrest.
TED KOPPEL All right. Well, Erin, thank you very much. I really appreciate your driving over to Genne—Kennebunkport so that we could talk to you tonight.
ERIN FEHLAU No problem.
TED KOPPEL When we come back, we'll talk with ABC's Dean Reynolds who's covering the Bush campaign.
TED KOPPEL ABC's Dean Reynolds has been covering the Bush campaign for a very long time. He joins us now from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How long has it been, now, Dean? Over a year, right?
DEAN REYNOLDS, ABCNEWS Eighteen months.
TED KOPPEL Eighteen months. And—and it seems as though about 16, 15 months ago, that that's all we were hearing about were these rumors of drinking, the possibility of drug use, and he couldn't seem to shake it. And then it was gone until tonight. How much of an impact is it having on the campaign?
DEAN REYNOLDS Well, the most immediate impact, Ted, is what you're seeing right now. You and I talking about his past drinking, whether he spent the night in jail, how many beers he drank, instead of discussing the things that he said today in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, or the speech that he made in Milwaukee. This kind of thing is political poison for the campaign. And I should point out that tonight, in the Milwaukee area, every single local TV newscast led with the story about the governor's past.
TED KOPPEL I don't know if you've had a chance to talk to anybody privately on the campaign, but is there a feeling that this is a 24-hour virus, that it'll go away quickly?
DEAN REYNOLDS Well, I don't know that they know, frankly. I mean, I'm—certainly, they hope that this thing will—will die down. But in as much as they are trying to deal with it right now, you heard the governor say five times in five minutes that he questioned the timing of this. That seems to be their most immediate response to all of this now, that this is somehow suspicious. They are not providing any particular proof behind that suspicion. But it's sort of a benign way of saying they think it stinks.
TED KOPPEL And they clearly think that someone associated with the Gore campaign has something to do with it. Is that—is that the implication?
DEAN REYNOLDS I think they're going to let that sit out there. I mean, they're using the word 'It's interesting.' And, of course, I think that that would be the next logical step for the viewer, after they hear that, to think, 'Well, who would have done such a thing?'
TED KOPPEL Hang in for a moment, Dean. We're—we're joined now by ABCNEWS political analyst George Stephanopoulos. He joins us from New York. And Bill Kristol, the editor and publisher of the Weekly Standard. Mr. Kristol served as the chief of staff for Vice President Dan Quayle many, many moons ago. And let me start with you, Bill. You know, four days to go and—and here we are spending a precious day talking about this. I'm—I'm talking about the precious day, in terms of what's left for campaigning. What kind of an impact does that have?
WILLIAM KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD An awful lot. I don't know that we've ever had a story like this break this late in the campaign. And I think it probably determines the—the fate of Governor Bush's campaign. If he comes out of this convincing the American people that he has been honest, that this was a long ago mistake that he put way behind him, he stopped drinking, and perhaps that he's been unfairly smeared by—by—if not by the Gore campaign, at least by a Gore delegate to the Democratic Convention, then I think he gets elected president. If, on the other hand, this brings back the sense that—of—of a reckless individual who didn't come clean with the American people about something—that's not insignificant, you know, an actual misdemeanor for which he was arrested, then I think he—he may lose. So I—I think this is awfully important.
TED KOPPEL Well, let me ask—let me ask all three of you, actually—and George Stephanopoulos, I'll ask you first, you heard the—my short debriefing there of the young woman who broke the story, and the way she describes it. Well, let—let me—let me ask you what your reaction is to the way she described it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABCNEWS POLITICAL ANALYST I had a very complicated reaction, you know? On the one hand, you listen to her and you say there's this very complicated chain of events that gets her the docket. On the other hand, there is a lawyer in the courtroom who's a delegate to the Democratic Convention who has a copy of this document. How did he get it? What is he doing with it? How did she find out about it? All of those are legitimate questions to be asked. At the same time, it is talking about an incident that did actually occur. And people will focus on that, as well. I—I tend to agree with Bill. I don't think we know yet what the impact will be. People tend to be forgiving about incidents in someone's private life a long time ago. But the question is, does—will this crystalize doubts about whether Bush is weighty enough to be president? Has he disclosed everything about his past? And has ever—has he fully told the truth about this incident in the past?
TED KOPPEL Dean, let me just get from you your reaction to the way the story was told and how it's going to come out. Do you think that's going to have—you think it'll convince anyone on the Bush campaign that—that this was not planted by the Gore campaign or someone who is at least a supporter of Vice President Gore?
DEAN REYNOLDS Well, I think we may see some spinning in that direction tomorrow. But I—I think, Ted, that in many ways, this is a bed that the—the Bush campaign made for themselves by these less-than-direct responses over the years to what the governor has repeatedly referred to as 'young and irresponsible behavior.' I mean, you heard it again tonight from Karen Hughes when she was asked, 'Is there something else?' And—and she said, 'Well, he's admitted to making mistakes in his past.' It's a problem. I don't know that it will wash now in light of what's just come out tonight.
TED KOPPEL George, I—I want to come back to you one more time. Because Lord knows in your—in your early, indiscreet, youthful days, when you served the then-governor of Arkansas, there were some pretty bad moments during the primaries when—when you guys had to go behind closed doors and say, 'Now what do we do?' How bad—how bad is this at this moment for a candidate?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Well, this is real bad, because I've never been in a situation where it happened this close to an election. I think, as Bill stated, this is, I think, the first November surprise, or one of the first in—in American history. What surprised me tonight, the first question I asked the Bush campaign tonight when I talked to them was, 'Did you guys know about this? Did you on the staff know about this?' And the person I talked to said that several people on the staff did know about this incident in the past. And I think this goes to something Dean said. Why didn't they figure out a way to disclose it earlier if they believe the people don't care about an incident that happened a long time ago in the governor's past?
TED KOPPEL All right. We've got to take a short break. Back with Bill and George in just a moment.
TED KOPPEL And we're back once again with George Stephanopoulos and Bill Kristol. We'll find out in the next couple of days what kind of impact this has on the voting public. But let me put to both of you—you first, Bill—the kind of impact that it has on the campaign staff. They were exhausted, they hadn't slept in days, they—they—they were trying to focus on the last few days and what they're going to do to—to bring it home, and now this.
WILLIAM KRISTOL I talked to one very thoughtful person on the Bush staff who, a half an hour ago, had already been through three stages of reaction. First, intense anger, partisan anger at this dirty trick, rallying to Bush's defense. 'This was 24 years ago. Nothing—he didn't endanger anyone,' etc, etc. Second wave, 'Oh, maybe this is a little worse that we thought. He didn't—why didn't he come clean?' kind of sinking feeling in his stomach that—that everything could be going down the tubes. And now, with the revelation that this was a Democratic—Gore delegate to the Democratic Convention who seems to have had, somehow, a copy of this police record, I think a revival of the partisanship and the sense that 'My guy's being done here with a dirty—by a dirty trick.' They need to —they'll have to pull together. And they will—I really think this—this becomes the decisive moment in the campaign. I mean, really, what—what do the American people, 72 hours from now, what is their judgment of this? You know, was this—is Bush the—the—the victim or is he someone who didn't come clean with the American people?
TED KOPPEL Again, George, the impact on the campaign itself.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS You know, when I—the person I talked to tonight had kind of a scared tone of voice between a very sober recitation of the facts. But I tend to agree with Bill's last point. I think when you—what you're going to be hearing coming out of the campaign is focusing on this Democratic delegate who—who said—who had this docket. And I think that will rally the troops inside the campaign over the next couple days. In fact, one Bush campaign staffer tonight played me a voice mail message they got from a supporter in San Francisco saying, 'We're going to go to the streets and—and prove the press wrong on this. We're going to fight even harder.' I do think, however, though, Ted, that—that Governor Bush himself will have to come out tomorrow and address this in—in a—in a more forthright fashion, assure people...
TED KOPPEL George, I...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS ...nothing else has happened.
TED KOPPEL I hate to cut you off. We're out of time. That is our report for tonight. I'm Ted Koppel in Washington. Good night.
BUSH GIRLS GONE WILD
ONE OF THE toughest domestic issues George W. Bush faces in the next few years is how to control his hard-drinking daughter.
Jenna Bush, 19, has a reputation at the University of Texas at Austin as a wild party girl who flirts openly with fraternity hunks.
What's more, fellow students say, freshman Jenna is a chip off the old block. George W. was a two-fisted drinker in his youth and Jenna is picking up where he left off. She follows the policy: "I drink. I fall down. No problem."
"Jenna's a wild one, all right," said a pal. "She's partying up a storm."
"I've seen her three times in bars and she's never looked sober," agreed another student source.
Just a week before the presidential election, Jenna whooped it up at a fraternity bash at Austin's Buffalo Club, a student watering hole a few blocks from the governor's mansion where her mom and dad live.
The bar's featured drink is a potent brew called Long Island ice tea.
"Jenna was really out of hand, yelling at the top of her lungs," said the source. "At one point she was dancing with another girl at the back of the bar while guys drinking ice teas were ogling them. Then Jenna fell over on top of her friend and the two of them tumbled to the ground. All the guys let out a big cheer."
A few weeks later, Jenna was spotted out on the town once more, this time at a popular bar called Fat Tuesday. Again she was partying hearty.
"She looked drunk to me," said a fellow student. "She was getting really flirtatious with guys, sitting on their laps and rubbing her bottom on their knees."
Jenna has been known for her wild ways since she and her fraternal twin sister, Barbara, attended Stephen F. Austin High School together. As a senior she was at the center of an incident that had to be hushed up in the Texas state capital, The ENQUIRER has learned. Last spring, Jenna agreed to model dresses at a charity fashion show at Austin's Club De Ville. Unfortunately, she got a little smashed at the show, an insider says -- and tripped and fell off the runway.
"Then she failed to show up back at the governor's mansion," the insider revealed. "Gov. Bush was worried sick and sent out cops to look for her. They found her in the club after hours fooling around with some guy."
While sister Barbara, a serious student, went on to prestigious Yale University, Jenna chose UT - - a famous party school. And even though college was only a few blocks away from home, she left the governor's mansion and moved into a freshman dorm.
"Jenna didn't want to be under the thumb of her parents," said the source. "She wanted freedom."
Many UT students agree that the captions under Barbara and Jenna's names in their high school yearbook describe perfectly the difference between the twins.
Barbara is labeled the girl "most likely to appear on the cover of Vogue." Jenna is "most likely to trip on prom night."
Published on: December 21, 2000
THE SMOKING GUN
Just two weeks after copping to an underage drinking charge, the 19-year-old party girl has been rapped (along with twin sister Barbara) for another Texas booze incident. The Austin Police Department today (May 31) issued Jenna a misdemeanor citation for using someone else's driver's license in a failed bid to order a drink at a Mexican restaurant on May 29 (sister Barbara got nailed for successfully obtaining booze that same evening). The new citation is Jenna's second scrape with the law in recent weeks. On May 16, as these Municipal Court records show, Jenna pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol (the legal drinking age in Texas is 21).
Here's the 911 call placed to Texas cops by the Austin restaurant manager who blew the whistle on the margarita-lovin' Bush twins. Mia Lawrence, who runs Chuy's, told a police operator on May 29 that she was dropping the dime because, "I just don't want our restaurant to get in trouble." Lawrence, who misidentifed Jenna Bush as "Laura Bush," said that while the underage drinking was "not a major emergency, it would be police, though." Lawrence noted that she first tried to call the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), but that the liquor licensing agency was not open after hours (she dialed 911 around 10 pm). Lawrence added that Jenna's twin sister Barbara was also in the Mexican restaurant, "but because she wasn't in the paper recently, none of us recognized her..."
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Fourteen months before underage booze antics made headlines, Barbara Bush, then 18, was questioned by Massachusetts cops responding to a manager's complaint that a raucous February 2000 party at a hotel on Harvard Square involved "several minors in a room consuming alcohol," The Smoking Gun has learned.
According to a Harvard University Police Department log, the manager of the university-owned The Inn at Harvard called cops on February 19 at 11:18 PM complaining about the booze blast. The log notes that, "Officers sent to assist him in removing them." Cops prepared an incident report detailing what happened upon their arrival, but Harvard refused last week to release the document following a TSG request, contending that the Massachusetts Open Records Law does not apply to the school's police force.
But we've been able to piece together this account of the incident through interviews and information from the Harvard police log:
While her father was gearing up for a Super Tuesday (March 7) showdown with John McCain, Barbara Bush spent her President's Day weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts visiting Harvard University. Along with Yale and Stanford, the teenager had been accepted at Harvard.
We revisited the Harvard tip last week in light of Bush's no contest plea for the Chuy's bust and the disclosure that Barbara, a Yale freshman, had a phony ID confiscated in October when she tried to use it at a New Haven bar. This time, when we called the Harvard cops they turned over (on June 8) log pages recording the hotel party involving "several minors."
06/18/2001 - Updated 05:29 PM ET
USA TODAY - FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A college student claiming to be the boyfriend of President Bush's daughter Jenna was arrested at a fraternity party and released several hours later to a man whom deputies believed to be a Secret Service agent, a sheriff said Thursday.
White House officials and Secret Service spokesman Tony Ball refused to comment. "We're not making any comments about this incident," said Noelia Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush in Washington.
William Ashe Bridges, an 18-year-old Texas Christian University freshman, was jailed early Sunday after law officers arrested him at a house near the Fort Worth campus, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said.
Held at the county jail, Bridges was intoxicated and loudly insisted that he was dating Bush's daughter, Anderson said his deputies told him. When Bridges was allowed to make a phone call, he talked a few minutes and then handed the phone to a jail sergeant, who said a young woman on the line identified herself as Jenna Bush, Anderson said.
"She just asked when he could be released," Anderson said. "No one asked for any special favors whatsoever."
Bridges, who was cited for public intoxication and underage possession of alcohol, was released after four hours' detention. A black Chrevolet Suburban with Virginia license plates arrived outside, and a man came inside to pick up Bridges, Anderson said.
"The deputies didn't really believe Bridges until the black Suburban pulled up and a man came inside," said Anderson.
Jail personnel believed the man was a Secret Service agent. A deputy saw a woman in the vehicle but was not sure if it was Ms. Bush, said Anderson.
Ms. Bush, 19, is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin.
CNN NEWS, NEW YORK -- Oscar winner Julia Roberts says if she were a daughter of President Bush, she'd drink, too.
The comments stem from the late-May run-in with the law by Barbara and Jenna Bush, the president's 19-year-old twin daughters, whom police say were trying to buy alcohol with someone else's identification in Austin, Texas.
In an interview with Time magazine, Roberts says the pressures of being daughter to the president could lead anyone to drink.
"We all need to take a deep breath and think about being a Bush daughter and having that cross to bear. I'd go out and have a couple of drinks too," Roberts says.
Roberts will soon be seen on the big screen in "America's Sweethearts," which releases on July 20.
If we had all just voted for Josiah Bartlett last Tuesday (Martin Sheen's presidential character on NBC's "West Wing") we wouldn't be in this awful political mess.
But just because Sheen only plays a fictional politician doesn't mean he doesn't have a few things to say about the current state of the Union. More specifically, he thinks presidential hopeful George W. Bush is a "white-knuckle drunk."
Sheen said during a speech Saturday that Bush should have received counseling after his drunk-driving arrest in 1976.
"He's still in denial about it," said Sheen. "You have got to be in a program. I did not make up the rules about that."
Sheen, who has admitted to facing his own battles with substance abuse in the past, wants Bush to acknowledge the severity of drug and alcohol dependence.
Published on: November 11, 2000
An angry and tearful Laura Bush wants to come down hard on the 19-year-old twins after they were nabbed by Austin, Tex., cops on May 29 and charged with underage drinking violations. But George W. Bush doesn't want to discipline his girls, sources told The ENQUIRER.
"Laura Bush is fit to be tied about George's attitude," said a Bush family source. "But the girls have their father wrapped around their fingers. The President doesn't think the girls need reigning in. He and Laura are at loggerheads."
Sources told The ENQUIRER the First Lady wants her girls to get counseling for their drinking problems. And she wants Jenna -- a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin who had another alcohol citation a few weeks earlier -- to drop out of school, move into the White House and enroll in a college nearby. The Enquirer has uncovered more details of Jenna's shocking booze-fueled behavior.
On at least two occasions, she engaged in passionate "make-out sessions" with another girl as friends watched. And the Texas State Police caught a drunk and partially clothed Jenna in a psssionate embrace with a boyfrined, sources reveal.
Jenna's first make-out session with a girl came at a high-school senior party last year in Texas, a fellow student told the Enquirer.
"We were all pretty drunk and the guys kept egging Jenna on to make out with her 'good friend.' The two of them sat on a couch and started to kiss. The guys were cheering. But as I watched them, they really got into it. They were tongue-kissing and it went on for quite awhile."
"I chalked it up to the drinking, but a few months later, a bunch of us were at the beach together. Again, everybody was drinking and the guys urged Jenna and her 'friend' to get it on."
"They did, kissing and wrapping their arms around each other."
Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara, graduated from the public Stephen F. Austin High School last spring, where classmates voted Jenna "most likely to trip on prom night."
Published on: June 8, 2001
The Republican Convention
While gay America watches, the GOP's second family closets its lesbian daughter.
By Dave Cullen and Daryl Lindsey
Aug. 3, 2000 | PHILADELPHIA -- All across gay America Wednesday night, activists were playing an impromptu kind of parlor game, watching the Republican Convention to see if vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, would attend with her partner.
Television cameras captured Mary Cheney, her sister, Elizabeth, and brother-in-law, Phil Perry, laughing and applauding during Cheney's acceptance speech. But the tight camera angle shut out others in their box. For a while, an unidentified woman in a red dress playing with the Cheney grandchildren, sitting to the left of Perry, raised hopes that Cheney's girlfriend had attended the convention, as rumored.
"You see the woman holding the baby?" Human Rights Campaign spokesman David Smith asked. Phone calls were buzzing in from around the country wondering if that could possibly be her. Activists had one photo of the couple to work from, and the woman's hair seemed way too light, but it was hard to rule her out categorically.
So Smith borrowed a seating chart from a reporter, to make sure. And everyone in the box was accounted for; the woman was clearly identified as another member of the family delegation.
Smith was sorely disappointed at the absence of Cheney's life partner from the event.
"It's a shame that Mary's relationship is politically inconvenient, and obviously in the eyes of the Bush campaign, not ready for prime time," Smith said. "It completely unmasks the veil of inclusion put forth by the Bush campaign that everyone is included and welcome. Obviously Mary Cheney's family is not welcome in the box. Elizabeth's family is on display for everyone to see."
Smith noted that in years past, the vice presidential nominee's whole family joined him on stage at the end of the speech, but after Cheney's speech, only his wife, Lynne, came up.
"Every convention I can remember, Democrat or Republican, the vice presidential nominee has had their entire family on stage: You see cousins and aunts and uncles -- the only explanation is because of Mary.
"Isn't this an obvious exclusion? They're going through tremendous contortions to hide it. Because this family is not palatable to the conservative right. That's a huge departure."
Bush defenders denied the campaign had objections to Mary Cheney's sexual orientation. "Governor Bush wouldn't have selected Dick Cheney as his running mate if he had a problem with it," Pat Harrison, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, told Salon.
But even as Mary Cheney's life partner was being kept off stage at the Republican Convention, USA Today posted her name on its Web site Wednesday night. At least a few other news organizations, including Salon, have withheld the widely available name as well as a photo of the couple, because it could not be ascertained how open Cheney's girlfriend is about her sexual orientation and her relationship with the vice presidential nominee's daughter. Friends say the woman is out at work, but no one could confirm she is out to her family.
The Mary Cheney story may be the most overreported yet undercovered story in political history. Friends of Cheney say they've been contacted by numerous reporters, and some have even stopped giving interviews. Yet only a handful of publications have written about the issue of the former defense secretary's lesbian daughter.
Writing in the New Republic, Andrew Sullivan blasted the double standard that has kept the media, and the Republican Party, quiet on the story.
"How does Cheney square [his anti-gay voting record] with his belief that his gay daughter, Mary, is 'wonderful,' 'decent,' and 'hard-working'? I don't know, because the media, which evidently still doesn't regard gay rights as central to our politics, has barely asked ... The New York Times, for all its pretensions to have left homophobia behind, has barely touched the subject. The Washington Post buried it."
Smith also questioned the media's reluctance to delve into the Mary Cheney story. "They have to my knowledge been out and open and part of the Denver gay/lesbian community. This is not a family that has pulled back behind the veil of privacy until Secretary Cheney was nominated as vice president. This is privacy based on convenience. It's politically inconvenient for Mary Cheney to be in a relationship with a woman."
On the convention floor, every Republican interviewed in the delegations for Texas and Colorado -- where Cheney lives with her girlfriend, in Conifer, 25 miles from Denver -- tried to express their tolerance for Cheney's daughter's "lifestyle," even if they didn't approve.
Even delegates from Texas -- which drew attention Tuesday when delegation members bowed their heads in prayer as openly gay Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., gave a speech on trade -- were reluctant to criticize Mary Cheney or the selection of Dick Cheney as Bush's running mate.
Dianne Edmondson of Denton, Texas, says she, too, prayed during Kolbe's speech Tuesday, though she was "not necessarily protesting. I asked that God show him the straight and narrow way."
On the subject of Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Edmondson said: "There's a big difference between an elected official being gay and someone's child -- we don't even know if she wanted to go public with it. I believe you love the sinner and hate the sin.
"There are lots of people within the party who I don't agree with," Edmondson continued. "In the end, we all want the same thing -- the election of George W. Bush."
"If she were speaking about these matters on stage, I'd be highly offended," said Bobby Eberle of Houston. "The GOP doesn't support that kind of activity. But Bush picked Dick Cheney because of his long history of public service." Eberle said he sat "silently and respectfully" through Kolbe's speech.
Sharon Johnson, a Colorado delegate from Denver, said "I admire the Cheneys. I had no idea they had a lesbian daughter. I would hate to have homosexuals come into the schools and teach homosexuality, but if she chooses to be a lesbian, that's her business. If she would go into schools and try to tell my grandchildren or sanction it," that wouldn't be acceptable.
But Nancy Beddingfield of Jewett, Texas, who owns a 2,500 acre farm with over 600 cows and calves and describes herself as being "as Texan as anyone on this delegation," believes the revelation that Cheney's daughter is gay will "show the diversity of the party. If that had been a problem for Bush, he never would have considered it. They may have discussed it, they may not have. If they [gays] contribute to the country, then it's fine."
salon.com | Aug. 3, 2000
About the writer - Dave Cullen is a Denver writer working on a book on the Columbine killings.
Daryl Lindsey is associate editor of Salon News.
All in the family - Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, is expected to stump for the GOP ticket. As the gay corporate relations manager forCoors, she knows all about the hard sell. By Dave Cullen - 07/29/00
Gays blast Lynne Cheney's denial about her daughter - Friends say Mary Cheney has publicly declared she's gay. Does mom's discomfort mean Mary will campaign from the GOP's closet? By Dave Cullen and Daryl Lindsey - 08/01/00
Mary Cheney to take a leading role in dad's campaign - But will her life partner join her on the podium Wednesday night? Stay tuned. By Dave Cullen - 08/02/00
THE PARTY NEVER ends for Jenna Bush! Unlike other teenagers, the President's daughter has no problems getting served alcohol illegally and recently went on another bender drinking wine and knocking back Bloody Marys during a wild party weekend with friends, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.
And just days later the 19-year-old was seen drinking again at a Beverly Hills party — this time with her twin sister Barbara — when a fight broke out and the presidential pair had to flee in panic with Secret Service agents! It's the latest booze-fueled high jinks for the daughters of President Bush.
And even as the President and First Lady have tried to divert attention from their daughters' behavior, Jenna continues to break the law, drinking alcohol in public while surrounded by the Secret Service!
Jenna — who's doing a summer internship with an L.A. television production company — has been cited for underage drinking twice in the past three months and is on a form of probation. Barbara pleaded no contest to underage possession of alcohol stemming from the visit to a restaurant.
And only two weeks after exclusive ENQUIRER photos showed Jenna partying at an over-21 Los Angeles nightclub, she continued her wild behavior at The Grande Colonial hotel in La Jolla, Calif., where she shared a $429-a-night suite with six pals.
On Saturday, July 28, Jenna and her six friends were drinking poolside at the hotel, said a source.
"The barman was bringing them drink after drink.
"I saw Jenna knock back at least two Bloody Marys. As the sun was going down Jenna and her pals ordered a bottle of wine from the bar and took it to their room.
"And in the evening as they left for more partying, one of the girls in the group signed for another bottle of wine. They opened it, requested plastic glasses — and walked out into the street pouring as they strolled.
"Jenna was illegally drinking wine on Prospect Street, the town's main drag!"
New ENQUIRER photos show Jenna looking a bit worse for wear the next morning after checking out of the hotel. "It was noon and Jenna was just getting up," an eyewitness told The ENQUIRER. "She looked hungover."
A few days later on August 1, Jenna turned up at a swank Beverly Hills party, this time with twin Barbara.
"Jenna was drinking and so was Barbara," photographer Raul Roa told The ENQUIRER.
"Celebrities were there including Pete Sampras, The Rock, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Ashton Kutcher of 'That '70s Show.' I had been officially invited to take pictures.
"When Snoop Doggy Dogg came on and sang, Jenna and her pals were dancing. After that a fight broke out between a group of guys and quickly escalated to about 10 men.
"Security guys were jumping in. Punches and kicks were thrown, glasses and drinks went flying, tables and chairs were flung.
"Secret Service guys quickly ushered Jenna's party to a stairway to an upstairs room. The girls got out unhurt but shaken."
Lieutenant David Ferrero of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission told The ENQUIRER: "If Jenna's drinking under the age of 21 in California, that's an offense and she will be punished out there if she gets charged."
— ALAN SMITH and DAVID WRIGHT
Published on: August 14, 2001
Students at the University of Texas are claiming that they have a home video of a drunk Jenna Bush at a wild party -- and are threatening to release it to the public.
According to one source, "It was a wild night, and she was feeling no pain."
Another source, who chooses to remain anonymous, said, "If the tape finds its way into the wrong hands, the White House is going to turn every shade of red. Jenna should get the message, and get it fast, there are a few troublemakers on campus who are rooting for her to fall on her face. She is making it too easy for them."
Meanwhile, Jenna and her twin sister Barbara have been charged with misdemeanors for violating liquor laws in Texas. Jenna was charged with using a fake I.D. to try to buy alcohol, and Barbara, a student at Yale, was charged with underage possession of alcohol.
This is the second offense for Jenna and the first for Barbara.
Published on: June 1, 2001
PREZ's DAUGHTER IN SPRING BREAK BOOZE BINGE
Oh, those Bush girls!
President Bush's daughter Barbara flew to a Mexican resort for a spring break vacation -- that nearly turned into a tragedy.
Beer. Hunky guys. The hot Mexican sun. Tequila shots -- lots of them. It was a recipe for disaster for the 19-year-old Yale University freshman.
The ENQUIRER issue that hits stands on Friday reveals all the details of Barbara's Mexican misadventure -- which came just weeks after her twin sister Jenna narrowly escaped arrest for underage drinking at a wild fraternity party! PARTY-HEARTY: Barbara passed out on a Mexican beach filled with spring breakers. [photo]
Saturday, 28 April, 2001, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
BBC NEWS, LONDON - Jenna's father has put his drinking days behind him President George Bush's daughter, Jenna, has been caught engaged in illegal drinking by Texas police .
Nineteen-year-old Jenna Bush was drinking beer in a popular area of the Texas capital, Austin, when she was spotted by a police patrol.
Texas law forbids the drinking of alcohol for those under 21-years-old.
Jenna Bush, who was with a friend at the time, was issued with a citation, which means she will have to perform community service or pay a fine.
The offence happened in the early hours of Friday morning. Assistant Police Chief Mike McDonald of the Texas police said Jenna Bush did not appear to be drunk.
Two secret service agents protecting her were reported to be stationed outside the bar at the time.
"Both girls were very cooperative, as were the Secret Service,", Officer McDonald said. "[The agents] didn't interfere in any way."
President Bush's staff refused to talk about the incident, with White House spokesman Scott McLellan commenting, "It's a family matter".
Ms Bush and her twin sister Barbara graduated from high school last May. Jenna is now a student at the University of Texas in Austin.
She is due to appear in court on 2 May. Under the terms of the citation, she will either pay a $200 fine or perform community service.
Jenna's father had a reputation as a hard drinking party-goer during his university days when he was a member of a fraternity known as the Skull and Bones.
But in 1986 Mr Bush appeared to go through a religious awakening at the time of his 40th birthday.
Waking with a hangover, he decided to quit drinking, found God and transformed himself into a man seeking high office.
Shortly before last November's presidential election it was revealed that Mr Bush was arrested for drink-driving 25 years ago after drinking several beers in a bar.
He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge, paid a $150 fine and had his driving licence suspended.
PARTY GAMES - Which Bush Twin was arrested for underage drinking this week? Chances are it was Jenna! Now, you, too, can join in on the fun by playing the always-surprising game of "WWJD?" No, it isn't "What Would Jesus Do?" - it's "What Would Jenna Drink?"
The media has been silent about the National Enquirer's recent allegation that the first daughter is a marijuana user. Is the press giving the drug war's commander in chief a break?
By James Pinkerton
March 23, 2001 | Should Jenna Bush, the 19-year-old daughter of the president, be in jail? Or at least be arrested? That's a conclusion to be drawn from a recent report in the National Enquirer that asserts she smokes marijuana. After all, some 600,000 Americans are arrested every year for marijuana possession -- including about 13,000 teenage girls. Some would say, of course, that Jenna Bush shouldn't be hassled for allegedly smoking pot, but then maybe nobody else should either.
The charge that Jenna smokes marijuana is found in the Enquirer's March 20 issue; the tabloid quotes two unidentified fellow students, one of whom says, "Jenna came over one night and we all did some doobies together. I wouldn't say she's a major pothead but she likes to toke up when it's around." Can unnamed sources be trusted? The answer to that question usually depends on the reputation of the publication.
Starting from a low base, the Enquirer's rep has been rising in recent years. It had so many scoops on the O.J. Simpson case that even the New York Times had to acknowledge its journalism; in the Ennis Cosby murder, the reward it offered broke the case. And just in the past few weeks, it scooped the establishment media on Jesse Jackson's "love child" and Hugh Rodham's receipt of $400,000 to influence his brother-in-law on presidential pardons.
One reason the Enquirer gets scoops like these is that it hunts for them, while other publications are leery of "scandal-mongering." But as media critic William Powers observed recently in the distinctly unsensationalistic National Journal, sometimes the real news is scandal: "Despite their well-known flaws, the tabs are now serious players because they know that great journalism isn't just about bloodless policy and issue debates. It's about ethical foibles and hypocrisies of the powerful."
Speaking of the powerful, George W. Bush, who refused to answer questions about his own drug use during the campaign, now finds himself as commander in chief of the worldwide drug war, being fought all over the Third World as well as on Mean Streets, USA. But if the Enquirer's pot-puffing allegation is to be believed, Bush's own daughter is nevertheless safe and sound, actively protected by the U.S. Secret Service -- this in the Lone Star State, where conviction on possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana leads to a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
The White House dismisses the Enquirer report as not being worthy of comment. Noelia Rodriguez, press secretary to the first lady, said only this much on the record: "Our position on the daughters is that they're private citizens."
Fair enough, although that position doesn't shield others from being hassled over their activities as private citizens. As the drug war escalates, Uncle Sam's reach extends further. In 1998, Congress amended the Higher Education Act in an effort to exclude students with past drug convictions from receiving financial aid. According to Students for Sensible Drug Policy, some 8,600 college kids have lost some or all of their benefits during the current school year after revealing a drug conviction on their application form. Another 278,000 refused to answer the question; Congress is poised to tighten restrictions further to de-fund those students, too.
In other words, between drug busts and aid cuts, young people and pot is a big story. So why has there been utter silence -- a database search finds not a single reference to the Enquirer story in the two weeks since its publication -- on the Jenna Bush allegation?
Three explanations present themselves. First, reporters have found no evidence to corroborate the Enquirer's allegation. Fred Zipp, managing editor of the Austin American-Statesman, said in an interview, "From time to time we have pursued tips about the behavior of the Bush daughters" -- that is, Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara -- "but we didn't find anything newsworthy."
A second possibility, of course, is that the major media aren't much interested in marijuana-crime stories. Why not? Maybe because reporters, who may have had countercultural-pharmaceutical-type experiences in their own pasts, tend to empathize with marijuana dabbling. And so journos might not think that dope smoking is a crime worth getting revved up about. According to a Pew Center poll released this week, 38 percent of Americans admit they've experimented with marijuana. Extrapolated to the entire U.S. population, that's over 100 million experimenters. So maybe the media deserve credit for realizing that marijuana use is no big deal -- even when, allegedly, the "criminal" in question is a president's daughter.
A third possibility is that the non-tabloid pressies are simply afraid to follow the truth if they think it will lead them into trouble. Jane Hall, professor of journalism at the American University in Washington, observed in an interview, "It's not going to win reporters any points with the public to go after this story." But what about the law, which goes after plenty of pot users? Hall answered by noting the current split between popular culture and the legal culture: "The American public is forgiving; the penal system is not forgiving."
Needless to say, President Bush and the entire White House apparat would probably not feel forgiving toward the media entity that pursued a story about drug use in his family. That means no state dinner invitations for Enquirer editor Steve Coz. But it also might leave people wondering what revelations are being squelched by the reporters and editors who do show up at presidential fetes.
Who could blame Bush for feeling unforgiving and unfriendly toward those who would violate his family's privacy? But who could blame any other father for feeling similarly -- but perhaps unavailingly -- protective toward his own children as they are drug-busted?
This much is certain: The law is not nearly as forgiving to the nonwhite and the non-protected. According to the Sentencing Project, African-Americans account for 13 percent of the drug-using population, but a disproportionate 55 percent of those convicted of drug offenses.
Jenna Bush, of course, has been convicted of nothing. But the legal system her father now oversees looks increasingly guilty of discrimination against the weak and hypocrisy in favor of the strong.
And that should be a big story.
About the writer - James P. Pinkerton is a columnist for Newsday and a contributor to the Fox News Channel. He worked as a domestic policy aide in the White House for President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush.
Jenna Bush may be facing not only her father's wrath, but a jail sentence under a zero-tolerance law he signed.
By Alicia Montgomery
June 2, 2001 | WASHINGTON -- Jenna Bush appears to be in bigger trouble than was originally thought, and could potentially even face a short jail term. Her botched Tuesday night attempt to buy booze at Chuy's, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin, earned her a charge from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for misrepresenting her age in order to get liquor.
Barbara, Jenna's twin sister, ordered and was served a drink during the incident. She was charged with alcohol possession by a minor, and would be sentenced as a first-time offender if convicted.
But this wasn't Jenna's first time. She pleaded no contest to a charge of alcohol possession by a minor on May 16, making the Chuy's charge her second in less than a month. Now one Texas newspaper is reporting that this is the third time Jenna has run afoul of the law over alcohol, and could potentially put her in line for the slammer, thanks to the tough-on-booze policies her dad signed as governor.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has a record of another alcohol-related incident involving Bush, dated Dec. 31, 1997. Since the incident occurred when Jenna was 16, the TABC would not reveal a full report on it, and according to the Chronicle, "commission officials would not say whether Jenna Bush's name appears for a citation, a warning or an administrative action." However, says D'Ann Johnson, executive director of the Texas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, it could be factored into the sentencing procedure if Bush is convicted in this most recent incident.
As governor, Bush signed "zero tolerance" into law in June of 1997, six months before his daughter's alleged first brush with the TABC, and the law went into force in September of that year. Under the provision, a third underage alcohol offense carries a possible 180-day jail sentence and a fine of between $250 and $2,000. For a second offense, there's a fine of up to $500, 20 to 40 hours of community service and a 60-day driver's license suspension, while first-time offenders faced the same fine, with eight to 12 hours of community service, a 30-day driver's license suspension and an alcohol education course. Before "zero tolerance," an underage drinker faced a $25 to $200 fine for any and all offenses, and that was it.
The state had a financial incentive to adopt the newer, tougher laws in 1997. Federal authorities were threatening to withhold $77 million in highway funds for the state unless Texas developed a stricter code for underage drunken drivers. Before zero tolerance, an under-21 driver could have up to a .07 blood alcohol level before being cited for a violation of law. That was tougher than the .10 level required for an adult to be charged, but it still let younger drivers get away with ignoring the state's legal drinking age of 21.
So Texas reacted in a big way. The new legislation made it possible for teen drivers to be arrested if they were found behind the wheel with only a trace of alcohol in their systems. Police weren't even required to give a blood-alcohol test before issuing a citation; an officer's word that a minor's breath smelled of alcohol was enough for a charge.
Despite the severity of the penalties and the thin requirements for evidence, the law passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and little noticeable protest. Bush signed the law after Texas state Sen. Royce West, a Democrat, shepherded the bill through the Legislature where it was unanimously approved by both houses.
Johnson said that, at the time, there was no upside for legislators to question or resist Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the primary advocates of get-tough-on-alcohol policies. "The criminal defense lawyers always tried to speak out on [those] issues," Johnson said, though they usually met deaf ears among lawmakers. "Legislators don't say 'I really want to know what criminal defense lawyers think.'"
Especially not in 1997, when the Texas Legislature was getting tough with young lawbreakers of all kinds. Along with the new drinking laws, Texas imposed stiff fines for minors found in possession of tobacco and made teens caught putting graffiti on buildings subject to jail time. But Johnson claims that Bush's crime-and-punishment agenda made it difficult for the most dogged activist to spend much energy on standing up for the juveniles affected by such laws.
"The voice of reason was a quiet whine," Johnson said. Those who wanted to fight to make the Texas criminal justice system more fair under Bush, she said, were much more focused on monitoring the relaxation of rules covering bail bondsmen and correcting the inequities of the death penalty system.
Because the civil libertarians were frying bigger fish in 1997, the president's daughter could be headed to jail after her next trip to court, if, say, that first incident listed by the TABC was an actual conviction of illegal possession. But Lou Bright, general counsel of the TABC, points out the listing of the 1997 incident "could mean any of 10,000 different things."
Under any circumstances, Bright said, a judge would have wide latitude in considering the juvenile TABC record of an underage drinker. From the sentence Bush received after pleading no contest to an alcohol possession citation in May, it seems to indicate that the 1997 incident either was not on the Texas justice system's radar screen, or did not merit any mention from the judge. At that time, Bush was required to pay a $51.25 fine, attend an alcohol education course and serve eight hours of community service, a sentence consistent with a first offense.
And the police on Tuesday also appeared willing to go easy on the first daughters. "[The cop] suggested that I turn the other cheek," Chuy's manager Mia Lawrence told the Austin American-Statesman. "I said I felt the police should do what they normally do."
But the most severe penalty may come this weekend, when the twins face their father at Camp David. At least Jenna could offer him a suggestion that would keep her on the right side of Texas law while still getting the occasional margarita: In Texas, it's legal for minors to drink in restaurants, as long as their parents are present and buy their drinks. And in her case, drinking with Daddy would also come with an added safety feature: Since he swore off the stuff years ago, she'd always have a designated driver.
About the writer - Alicia Montgomery is an associate editor in Salon's Washington bureau.
What justice does Jenna Bush face under her dad's tough-minded Texas laws?
By Salon staff
May 31, 2001 Twin watch
Jenna Bush is in trouble again. According to local police, she and her twin sister, Barbara, tried to order drinks from Chuy's, an Austin, Texas, restaurant on Tuesday night. Jenna allegedly used someone else's official identification to get the booze. If charges are filed and convictions won, Barbara will be a first-time offender. But Jenna, having allegedly crossed the line on Texas' alcohol laws for the second time in as many months, will be in for a tougher road.
Does that mean the president will be visiting her in one of the prisons he so lovingly maintained during his time as governor? Probably not.
If the current police investigation leads to charges being filed against Bush, then she could be in for a serious slap on the wrist, according to David Ball, a captain in the enforcement division of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. A second alcohol-related offense by a minor carries a possible punishment of a 60-day suspension of his or her driver's license, 20 to 40 hours of community service and a fine of up to $500. And if the incident results in a conviction, Bush should just forget about expunging her record after she turns 21; that option is available only to one-time offenders.
The president demands severe punishment for drug and alcohol offenders -- unless they're members of the Bush clan.
By Joe Conason
June 05, 2001 07:51:00 PM
Knocking the wind out of a self-righteous windbag is always healthy fun, especially when the windbag happens to be an authority figure like the president of the United States. Sometimes, however, the impulse to deflate also injures innocent bystanders such as Jenna and Barbara Bush -- whose moralizing pappy must be mortified by their recent booze busts.
Unfortunately for the Bushes, their fellow citizens have a right to know that the first family will be held to the same rules imposed on the rest of us. The necessity for a single standard is greater still when those rules were imposed by the president himself.
Yet conservative commentators, in a sudden display of tender concern for victims of tabloid journalism, are urging reporters to stop picking on the Bush twins. They point out that almost all American kids start drinking before they reach legal age, that underage guzzling is usually a private problem for families to resolve, and that neither of the girls has harmed anyone else.
The pleas for mercy sound perfectly reasonable, even though several of the same pundits couldn't resist attacking Chelsea Clinton in the most cruel and boorish way. But except for a few lonely civil libertarians, almost nobody made those permissive arguments when George W. Bush (and a bipartisan majority of the Texas Legislature) enacted the "three strikes" penalties that could lead to Jenna Bush's imprisonment if she is arrested with alcohol once more.
In the situational ethics that now define conservatism, cracking down on kids who drink was a great national imperative, until that policy meant political trouble for a Republican in the White House.
No doubt the public humiliation of Jenna and Barbara Bush has been inevitable since 1997, when their father approved a set of Draconian revisions to the Texas laws governing consumption of alcohol by minors. Like most teenagers, they eventually were bound to run afoul of those statutes, which he had trumpeted as symbols of his own rectitude and his determination to crush youthful vice and criminality. Due to their high visibility, they were likely to be caught, too.
In fact, as reported in the Houston Chronicle, Jenna Bush's first alcohol offense occurred within six months after the then-governor signed the harsh new standards into law. (Were it not for a loophole that excludes her first offense because she was only 16 at the time, she would now be facing up to six months in jail as well as a $2,000 fine.) By the time he approved that bill, Bush had already fashioned a political career out of his propensity for cracking down, for "tough love" and for treating juvenile offenders with "zero tolerance." Those were the principal themes of his first campaign for governor, when much more was said about his opponent's history of substance abuse than about his own excessive drunkenness. During that 1994 race, he went so far as to cite his daughters as evidence of his fitness to punish other kids. "I've raised two children that respect discipline," he said proudly (and somewhat optimistically).
Within weeks after he signed the laws that now haunt his family, Bush triumphantly addressed a Midwestern GOP conference. "One of my main responsibilities as governor -- and I believe one of the responsibilities as Republicans -- is to set the tone for change," he remarked. "Whether that change involves schools, or the juvenile justice system, or whether that change involves solving the No. 1 problem facing America -- the culture of our time -- a culture that says if it feels good, do it, and if you have a problem, blame somebody else."
When he embarked on his campaign for the presidency, Bush continued to emphasize the nation's supposed moral decline while proclaiming a "new era of personal responsibility." As the long-concealed facts about his own past finally emerged, however, it became difficult not to wonder whether he assumed that his preachments are for ordinary citizens only, not members of the Bush clan. With his insistent avoidance of honest discussion about his own indulgences and indiscretions, including his drunk-driving arrest, he made that contradiction all too obvious.
Lying behind Bush's personal double standard are issues not only of abusive authority but of class and race. The imagery he exploited in his crusade against juvenile offenders always focused on black, Latino and white working-class youth, not the sons and daughters of the fancy Dallas and Houston suburbs. That nasty habit hasn't changed with his elevation to the White House. The latest penalty to be imposed on young people arrested for possession of marijuana -- permanent ineligibility for federal student loans -- is heavily class-biased. Young scholars with backgrounds similar to that of Bush girls, each of whom is the beneficiary of a half-million-dollar trust fund, don't need federal loans.
So for many Americans, the Bush booze bust represents a question of elementary fairness as well as an opportunity for a few laughs. It isn't that the president's daughters deserve to be mocked or humiliated. They don't. It is simply that they must be accorded the same tough treatment mandated by him toward other young people, whose chances and privileges are otherwise far smaller than theirs. The only insurance of such equal justice (or injustice) is appropriate media coverage of their illegal conduct and its consequences.
In short, on Father's Day they will have only one man to blame for their present predicament.
And speaking of Daddy Dubya, perhaps his daughters' distress will encourage him to reconsider his punitive attitude toward those who make the same mistakes he once did. Had he been subjected to such a strict and unforgiving code, after all, this paragon of sobriety would be in no position to inflict his hypocrisies on the rest of us today.
Joe Conason writes about political issues for Salon News and other publications. For more columns by Conason, visit his column archive.
Martin Sheen gets to play an idealized Clinton on NBC's "The West Wing." Now Timothy Bottoms will play current POTUS George W. Bush for Comedy Central. "That's My Bush!" the upcoming live action comedy created by "South Park" auteurs Trey Parker and Matt Stone, debuts on April 4 with Bottoms in the lead role.
"Bottoms is a great get," says Tony Fox, spokesman for Comedy Central. The actor costarred in director Peter Bogdanovich's classic film "The Last Picture Show" and the legal drama "The Paper Chase." He hasn't been on Hollywood's hot list much since the '70s, and his most recent credits include the 1999 release "The Prince and the Surfer." He also has a recurring role on ABC's medical drama "Gideon's Crossing."
The show has already had its share of controversy. When reports surfaced in January that Bush's twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, would be depicted as lesbian lovers in the program, Comedy Central was reportedly warned by corporate parent Viacom to back off. Though the Bush twins won't be part of the show after all, Fox said that the decision to drop them was a creative choice -- not a political one -- that Parker and Stone had made before any pressure was applied. "They had sort of moved off the girls in any event," Fox says.
-- Alicia Montgomery [12:15 p.m. PST, Feb. 13, 2001]
President Bush downplayed his own drinking problem and hid a DUI. Now his daughters are making news for underage drinking. Is there a connection?
By Joan Walsh
May 31, 2001 | I don't envy Jenna and Barbara Bush, going off to college under the watchful eye of the Secret Service and the international media. But the sudden flurry of headlines about the first twins' alcohol-related mishaps raises new questions about the way their father handled his own "young and irresponsible" past.
I always thought it was a bad decision for Bush, as a politician, to refuse to acknowledge his wild youth -- which, by his own account, lasted until he was 40. But now it seems it was a bad choice for Bush as a father. After his 1976 drunken-driving arrest was revealed last year, Bush said he didn't admit it when he decided to run for president because he didn't want his daughters to know about it. That was a mistake, and the twins' recent run of bad behavior seems designed to let him know that.
There's no evidence either twin has a drinking problem, but the string of news items involving their partying and scrapes with the law in the last few months can't be ignored. First came the tale of Secret Service agents ferrying home Jenna's boyfriend after he was arrested for public drunkenness. Then there were randy National Enquirer photos of Jenna, a University of Texas freshman, and a beer-drinking pal, and a story about her alleged marijuana use. Yale freshman Barbara, supposedly the studious twin, had a false I.D. confiscated at a New Haven, Conn., bar. In April, the Enquirer featured a lurid tale of Barbara's drunken spring-break binge in Mexico, and by the end of the month all major newspapers were carrying a story about Jenna being cited by police at an Austin bar for underage drinking, while Secret Service agents waited outside.
Now, barely a week after a court appearance to deal with that alcohol citation, Jenna has been caught again using a false I.D. to buy alcohol at an Austin restaurant, with sister Barbara at her side.
Of course, many of us would have provided lively tabloid fodder in college if we'd been subjected to the scrutiny Barbara and Jenna Bush must endure. And their college drinking doesn't mean they'll turn into alcoholics as adults. Most teenage party girls become responsible citizens, eventually. Still, their recklessness in the first months of their father's presidency suggests their parents screwed up by downplaying and even denying President Bush's own drinking problem.
Bush's he-man decision to quit drinking cold turkey is the stuff of legend. The morning after a boozy 40th birthday party in 1986, he woke up at Colorado's tony Broadmoor Resort and decided, on his own, to get sober. Alcohol had begun to "compete for my affections," Bush said later. Certainly he didn't need Alcoholics Anonymous, he told the Washington Post: "I don't think I was clinically an alcoholic; I didn't have the genuine addiction. I don't know why I drank. I liked to drink, I guess."
But his close friends tell a slightly different story: "Once he got started, he couldn't, didn't shut it off," Bush's buddy Don Evans, now commerce secretary, told the Washington Post last year. "He didn't have the discipline." That sounds a lot like an addiction, though only Bush himself knows for sure.
He refused to discuss details of his drinking or rumored drug use throughout his political campaigns, relying on the stock excuse, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible." His parents have also repeatedly denied he had a drinking problem, even after several family crises involving his drinking came to light: an ugly Christmas confrontation with his father in 1972, after Bush drove drunk with his brother Marvin, crashed into a neighbor's garbage cans and offered to fight "mano a mano" with his father; and the 1976 DUI incident near the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, with his then-teenage sister Dorothy in the car.
We know Bush's problem drinking, including the DUI, was a family secret. The night a reporter broke the DUI story, Laura Bush called both daughters, in Austin and New Haven, to break the news to them. "I made the decision that as a dad I didn't want my girls doing the kinds of things I did, and I told them not to drink and drive," Bush told reporters. But he didn't tell them about his own arrest.
The secrecy, of course, was a mistake. Anyone who works with alcoholics and their families knows honesty is crucial: The drinking parent needs to come clean about his or her problems, and kids need to understand the family dynamics that were established around the drinking. And as teenagers, they need to know that alcoholism is a disease -- whether because of psychology or physiology or some combination of the two -- that is remarkably hereditary, and think about their own drinking in that context.
"We know for a fact that [Jenna's] father had a long history of alcohol use and abuse," Lynn Ponton, a psychiatrist who studies teenage risk-taking, told Salon. "And this is an opportunity for the Bushes ... to talk honestly with their children about risk-taking and really provide guidance and increase communication. And I would wonder what type of communication is actually taking place."
I wonder, too. I'd bet there hasn't been enough communication in the WASP-y Texas Bush family, and it looks as if the first twins are acting out as a result. Even with a Secret Service detail, there are ways for young women to party, if they're discreet. Clearly, the first twins aren't. Their blatant risk-taking and public partying (the Secret Service waits outside the bars where they drink illegally?) seem designed to force a family reckoning that their father's drinking never triggered.
I'm reluctant to play family therapist for a family I've never met, but I'd say that Bush may have gotten past voters with evasiveness about his drinking problem, but he hasn't satisfied his daughters. And if he sticks to the sanitized, up-from-Broadmoor version of the story, he may someday find he won the White House at the cost of an honest relationship with his daughters.
An earlier version of this story appeared in Bushed! last month.
About the writer - Joan Walsh is the editor of Salon News.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush's son Jebbie arrested for "sexual misconduct", ie, nekkid and fucking in public--get a room!
[photo of police report]
Florida gov's other brat, George P. reported by police for violent home invasion of ex-girlfriend.
[photo of police report]
By Toby Harnden in Washington
PRESIDENT BUSH'S niece was arrested yesterday and charged with prescription fraud after she allegedly tried to obtain pharmaceutical drugs to feed her addiction.
Noelle Bush, 24, the only daughter of Jeb Bush, the Florida governor, is accused of trying to use a forged prescription for Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, at a drive-through chemist in Tallahassee.
Governor Bush said in a statement with his wife: "Columba and I are deeply saddened over an incident that occurred last night involving our daughter Noelle.
"This is a very serious problem. Unfortunately, substance abuse is an issue confronting many families across our nation."
He asked the media to "respect our family's privacy during this difficult time".
Miss Bush, the second of three children, graduated from Tallahassee Community College in 2000 and briefly attended Florida State University.
Her mother has worked on behalf of Informed Families of Florida, a non-profit group involved in educating families about drug abuse.
President Bush's 20-year-old twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, have both previously performed community service and been fined for underage drinking.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002
BUSH'S WIN: IT'S ALL IN HIS ROYAL BLOOD!
GEORGE W. BUSH reigns at the White House -- because he has more royal blood than Al Gore.
And because of his noble heritage, Burke's Peerage, the bible of British aristocracy, correctly predicted Bush's victory before Election Day.
"Governor Bush is related to more imperial royal and noble houses than any previous President," said Burke's Peerage publishing director Harold Brooks-Baker.
FAST FACT! - George W. Bush, his mother and father, and Al Gore are distant royal cousins.
"He's closely related to every European monarch on and off the throne, including a close kinship with all members of the British House of Windsor, making him a distant cousin of the Queen and Prince Charles."
Published on: December 28, 2000
Adultery: Like father - like son! (It's better than incest!)
GEORGE W. BUSH SMEARED IN ADULTERY SCANDAL
A STUNNING PLAYBOY MODEL has unleashed the opening salvo in a vicious smear campaign against George W. Bush -- claiming she had a torrid 18-month affair with the presidential candidate that ended last June.
Political experts say her sordid tale is just the beginning of a dirty tricks campaign that will be aimed at the front-runner during his quest for the White House. And it raises the question of who put her up to trying to destroy Bush's campaign.
"He's going to be vulnerable all the way up to the election," Dr. Larry Sabato, professor of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia, told The ENQUIRER.
"Dirty tricks will be a staple of the campaign."
Former Watergate conspirator and radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy agreed. "You look for a candidate's vulnerabilities -- and Gov. Bush has made statements like, 'I was young and foolish' that give credibility to a story of sexual promiscuity."
Already the Internet is awash with rumors about Bush's personal life, including allegations of womanizing.
However, the Republican contender is a genuine family man, say insiders. He married his wife Laura in November 1977, and in November 1981, she gave birth to twin girls, who were named for their grandmothers, Jenna and Barbara.
But with less than a year to go to the 2000 election, the first big sexual broadside has been fired at the Bush bandwagon by 35-year-old Tammy Phillips, a partner in a gym in Carrollton, Tex.
As an ENQUIRER team looked into her bombshell claims, we learned that Tammy is a former stripper, who began dancing in clubs when she was only 14. She claims she was introduced to Gov. Bush by her uncle, a prominent Republican, in early December 1997 during a political function at a hotel in Midland, Tex.
"I was wearing a tiny miniskirt -- and it was instant combustion," she told The ENQUIRER.
Tammy alleges that she and Gov. Bush made passionate love that very day before leaving the hotel.
FAST FACT! - George W. Bush and his wife Laura tied the knot after knowing each other only three months.
And her story becomes even more lurid.
The next day, she says, the Texas Governor called her on her cell phone and made a date for a few days later -- asking her to wear the same red panties she'd worn when they first met.
This time their rendezvous took place in the unlikely setting of the men's room at a Best Western motel in Houston, claims the torrid temptress. After it was over, she says, they went their separate ways -- with Gov. Bush allegedly taking her red panties with him.
Six other similarly clandestine liaisons took place before their final one in San Diego last June, asserts Tammy.
She stops short of claiming a great romance with the governor. "It was simply sex," she says. "It was the cheapest relationship you can imagine."
Tammy -- who posed for Playboy lingerie and swimsuit issues between 1989 and 1992 -- told The ENQUIRER she was holding the "smoking gun" proof of the relationship: a handwritten note from Gov. Bush in which he mentions the red panties.
The ENQUIRER repeatedly asked to see the so-called note -- but she couldn't produce it [she probably wanted to be paid a large amount of money to reveal it].
Tammy is armed with days, dates and locations where George W. in fact appeared, and where she claims she had sex with him. It gives her story the air of credibility. But our investigation discovered that while her story may have the appearance of truth, it's false -- although Tammy vehemently defends it.
This plot to link George W. to adultery cleverly combines facts that on the surface appear to give it the ring of truth.
For example, the Republican bigwig uncle who, she says, introduced her to Gov. Bush is indeed a prominent 47-year-old Atlanta lobbyist.
But the uncle -- who requests anonymity -- has records that show he was nowhere near Midland, Tex., on the date Tammy gives in December 1997.
Contacted by The ENQUIRER, the lobbyist's younger brother declared, "She's lying if she says he introduced her to anybody."
Not even her own family members know who might have put Tammy up to trying to derail Bush's presidential campaign.
"I don't know if she was put up to it by someone else," said the lobbyist's brother.
But the expert we contacted has a pretty good idea of what's going on. "This is a classic dirty trick," declared Dr. Sabato, whose book "Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics," focuses on political dirty tricks.
"Most allegations like this don't have any truth to them, but what a candidate has to fear is that the people who are lying will appear credible at least for a while."
Tammy now says she's considering giving her story to Hustler magazine, which earlier this year published a special edition exposing sexual scandals of politicians.
When The ENQUIRER confronted her with the findings of our investigation, Tammy quickly became tongue-tied and refused to comment. She also would not discuss who might have put her up to attacking the governor.
Warned G. Gordon Liddy: "George W. can expect more spurious allegations like this before the campaign is over."
by DAVID WRIGHT
Published on: September 1, 2000
It's safe to say that Jenna Bush is never going to be a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD lobbied furiously in the 1980s to raise the legal drinking age from 18 or 19 in most states to 21, making most typical American college students imbibing outlaws for the first three years of college. Now that dump-the-beer dragnet has caught the president's daughter for the second time this year.
The Clintons probably enjoyed seeing the scandal shoe on the other foot as the story was introduced, with a grand national debate over whether it should merit national news attention. NBC went to town on the story, leading off the "Today" show with it and offering a full "Close Up" news report and two interview segments about the problem. ABC's "Good Morning America" also aired an interview segment. Even "Entertainment Tonight" picked up the story. The cable networks really enjoyed it, with a full accounting on CNN's "Talk Back Live" and segments with presidential historians on MSNBC.
You could almost imagine the cable news writers asking, "Is this story any of our business? We'll be asking that question for the next three days straight."
Ironically, the Clintons drew an easier press on these matters than the Bushes. Perhaps because Chelsea entered the White House at the beginning of her teenage years, she was spared any negative coverage, and if she did have an underage drink anywhere, no restaurant owner with a grudge called 911 imploring the cops to book 'em. In fact, Chelsea's privacy and innocence were zealously guarded by those who felt the young lady deserved to be spared from the media's unforgiving spotlight. When "Saturday Night Live" joked they were "rooting" for Chelsea to get prettier, it was excised from all future reruns.
It is surprising to no one that the media elite are denying a double standard.
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, the poster child for liberal media bias, declared on MSNBC that any improperly obtained margaritas by Chelsea Clinton would have been a big story. "Any time somebody in the public spotlight, even if they don't intend to be there, has some connection with law enforcement, you can bet that it will be a news story."
Well, that's not true. Exhibit A: Al Gore's kids.
In October 1995, 16-year-old Sarah Gore was caught by Maryland police with an open can of beer. "She broke our rules, and she broke the law. She's extremely miserable and unhappy," Tipper Gore told the local Fox affiliate. The Washington Post's coverage focused on Sarah, the star athlete and great student. The networks, broadcast and cable, said absolutely nothing.
In 1996, only the vaguest whispers surfaced that Al Gore III, then just 13, was suspended from school for possession of marijuana. British newspapers sniffed that the vice president effectively had cried to editors for restraint. Fast forward four years, and Al III has an obvious brush with the law in August of 2000, driving 97 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone in North Carolina. Who was a greater danger to the public? Jenna Bush snatching margaritas with her fake ID, or a 17-year-old kid doing 97 on the highway? But the networks didn't breathe a word of that story in the middle of an election year.
You could even make a retroactive argument for Karenna Gore, since an August 2000 Time magazine profile noted, "By the time she hit the teen years, her spirited nature veered into open rebellion. Karenna lectured her parents on how their rules infringed on her First Amendment rights. She was big on 'adventuring,' climbing out of her window to shimmy down a manhole into the D.C. subway system for after-hours partying." I suspect they were probably not Kool-Aid parties.
How then do the media justify the avalanche of stories on Jenna? As ABC's Elizabeth Vargas felt the need to point out, "it has become an issue because President Bush himself has admitted that he had a drinking problem as a man, quit drinking when he was 40, was in fact arrested for driving under the influence." But no one hit the soapbox to ask if Al Gore III's alleged marijuana handling was learned from Dear Old Dad. No one asked what kind of "adventuring" influences the Gores instilled in their daughter.
Was the Jenna Bush scandal a credible story? Yes. But no one should pretend that the media have applied a consistent standard based on the involvement of law enforcement. Bush's girls will have to live up to a higher standard. Republicans always do.
Brent Bozell is President of Media Research Center, a TownHall.com member group.
©2001 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
CHADS OR NO CHADS, HERE'S ONE THING YOU CAN COUNT ON...
A VICIOUS motorcycle gang treated Al Gore to a night of booze, drugs and a bedroom meeting with a sexy biker chick when he was a young -- and newly married -- newspaper reporter in Tennessee, an ex-gang member reveals.
"We treated him good," former "Death Angels" biker Ray Hudson told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview.
"We even let Al shoot off a gun in our clubhouse. He got a kick out of it. But we really were just a bunch of thugs who wanted him to write good things about us."
And it worked, says Hudson, now an ordained minister in Nashville.
The article, which ran in The Tennessean in November 1971, paints the Death Angels as a "one-for-all, all-for-one" group who rejected violence.
Hogwash, says Hudson. "Among our members were burglars, drug dealers, armed robbers and killers who never got convicted.
"But you don't read about that in the article."
Hudson said when he showed up at the gang's clubhouse in Nashville on the day of the interview, Gore was already there.
"He was this dork trying to fit in," said Hudson. Hudson, known as "Buzzard," said there were a lot of women on hand -- as well as beer, hard liquor and drugs of all kinds.
"There was a gun on a table," said Hudson.
"Someone put it in Al's hand and told him to shoot at a knob over a door. He did, but missed."
Al then joined a group of bikers on living room couches as several marijuana joints were passed around, said Hudson. "Al took his turns -- and he did inhale."
Around midnight, Hudson recalls seeing Al hanging out in a corner of the living room with "Sweezy," the club president.
"They were talking to a girl. Her name was Allison and she was blonde and sexy."
Soon, Allison disappeared into one of the bedrooms and a minute later, Al Gore went in and shut the door, Hudson said.
Hudson left around 3 a.m. and Gore -- married just 18 months to his wife Tipper at the time -- "was still in the room with Allison," he disclosed.
Former gang member Scott Jenette, known as "Bagpipes," confirmed Hudson's story.
Hudson said he "found Christ" in the late 1970s and now tends to the religious needs of the homeless.
He said he decided to come forward with his story after it was revealed that George W. Bush had an arrest in the mid-1970s for drunk driving.
Said Hudson: "Everybody, including Al Gore, deserves a blast from the past."
-- DON GENTILE
Published on: December 18, 2000
Presidential niece Lauren Bush is doing her part for Middle East relations, just like the rest of her family hangs with the Bin Ladens at Arbusto Oil, Carlyle Group and Universal Studios. The fashion-model daughter of Neil and Sharon Bush is dating a hunky Palestinian-American.
Nineteen-year-old Tammer Qaddumi and the 18-year-old Bush both grew up in Houston. Qaddumi was president of the student body at Memorial High School, co-valedictorian and a member of the varsity basketball team.
This fall, he started at Dubya's alma mater, Yale. Lauren, meanwhile, is down at Princeton. But the two were together Monday night at the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala at the Palace Hotel. Though they shied away from photographers, our spies say they couldn't keep their hands off each other.
"She was stroking his cheek," says one guest. "He was kissing her shoulders."
"She's a wonderful girl," says Tammer's father, Maher Qaddumi, an architectural engineer who grew up in the West Bank and is active in Houston's Arab community. "We love her. She and Tammer are birds of a feather. They're both very motivated."
A rep for Lauren, who just shot Tommy Hilfiger's new campaign, says Tammer was "her date," but that she's "not serious with anyone right now."
Indeed. Also said to be jockeying for her eye is David de Rothschild, London-based son of Satanic Jew Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Knight of the British Empire.
Lauren's parents, for their part, are still trying to hold their marriage together. Neil, who filed for divorce last summer, continues to run his business in Austin. But a friend says that, when he's in Houston, he lives in the family's house there.
Despite Silverado, Voodoo, and Assassination of Ronald Reagan, Fortune Still Smiles on the President's Brother
By Peter Carlson
Ah, it's nice to be Neil Bush.
When you're Neil Bush, rich people from all over the world are eager to invest money in your businesses, even though your businesses have a history of crashing and burning in spectacular fashion.
When you're Neil Bush, you'll be sitting in a hotel room in Thailand or Hong Kong, minding your own business, when suddenly there's a knock at the door. You answer it and a comely woman strolls in and has sex with you.
Life sure is fun when you're Neil Bush, son of one president, brother of another.
Just how much fun was revealed in a deposition taken last March, during Bush's very nasty divorce battle. Asked by his wife's attorney whether he'd had any extramarital affairs, Bush told the story of his Asian hotel room escapades.
"Mr. Bush," said the attorney, Marshall Davis Brown, "you have to admit that it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her."
"It was very unusual," Bush replied.
Actually, it wasn't that unusual. It happened at least three or four times during Bush's business trips to Asia, he said: "I don't remember the exact number."
"Were they prostitutes?" asked Brown.
"I don't -- I don't know," Neil replied.
"Did you pay them?"
Not surprisingly, the revelation made headlines around the world. Equally unsurprisingly, the sex story overshadowed the curious financial revelations that came out in the same deposition.
In 2002, for instance, Bush signed a consulting contract with Grace Semiconductor -- a Shanghai-based company managed in part by the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Bush's contractual duties consist solely of attending board meetings and discussing "business strategies." For this, he is to be paid $2 million in company stock over five years, plus $10,000 for every board meeting he attends.
"Now, you have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors, do you Mr. Bush?" Brown asked.
"That's correct," Bush responded.
Meanwhile, back home in Texas, Bush serves as co-chairman of a company called Crest Investment. Crest, he revealed in the deposition, pays him $60,000 a year to provide "miscellaneous consulting services."
"Such as?" Brown asked.
"Such as answering phone calls when Jamal Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice," Bush replied.
Ah, it's nice to be Neil Bush, who seems to be living the lifestyle immortalized in those famous Dire Straits lyrics: "Money for nothin' and chicks for free."
Unique, Relatively Speaking
Neil Bush is the latest manifestation of a long tradition in American life -- the president's embarrassing relative.
There was Sam Houston Johnson, who used to get drunk and start blabbing to the press until his brother, Lyndon, sicced the Secret Service on him.
And Donald Nixon, who dreamed of founding a fast-food chain called Nixonburgers and who accepted, but never repaid, a $200,000 loan from billionaire Howard Hughes. His brother, Dick, had the Secret Service tap his phone.
And Billy Carter, who drank prodigious quantities of beer, authored a book called "Redneck Power" and took $200,000 from the government of Libya.
And Roger Clinton, a party animal who spent a year in prison for cocaine dealing and who later appeared in a movie called "Pumpkinhead II" playing a pol called Mayor Bubba.
But Neil Bush has surpassed them all. Bush has done something that no other American has ever accomplished: He has become the embarrassing relative of not one but two presidents.
In the late '80s and early '90s, Bush embarrassed his father, George H.W. Bush, with his shady dealings as a board member of the infamous Silverado Savings and Loan, whose collapse cost taxpayers $1 billion.
Now Bush has embarrassed his brother George W. Bush with a made-for-the-tabloids divorce that featured paternity rumors, a defamation suit and, believe it or not, allegations of voodoo.
And Bush's career as an embarrassment may not be over. At 48, he is still relatively young and, judging from his deposition, still virile and vigorous. If his brother Jeb, governor of Florida, is ever elected president, Neil could conceivably embarrass him, too, pulling off an unprecedented hat trick of presidential embarrassment.
Obviously, it's time for a mid-career retrospective on the life and work of Neil Bush.
Or maybe not. His father, mother, brothers and ex-wife all declined to be interviewed. White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan uttered a curt "no comment."
Neil also declined to be interviewed, although he agreed to respond to e-mailed questions, provided they did not pertain to his divorce. He reports that he's too involved with Ignite!, his educational software company, to pay much attention to media coverage of his misadventures.
"Seriously," he writes via e-mail, "I'm too busy being a good father and promoting Ignite! to worry about that kind of thing."
Neil Mallon Bush was born in 1955 and named after his grandfather's Yale buddy Neil Mallon, the corporate CEO who gave George H.W. Bush his first job in the Texas oil business.
The third of the five Bush children, Neil was so thoughtful and helpful that siblings dubbed him "Mr. Perfect."
But Neil had trouble reading, and a counselor at St. Albans prep school in Washington told his mother he might not graduate. His problem was dyslexia, and his mother spent countless weekends taking him to special reading lessons.
It worked. He graduated, then went to Tulane University, where he received a degree in international economics and, in 1979, an MBA. That year, while working on his father's unsuccessful campaign for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, Neil met Sharon Smith, whom his mother later described in her memoirs as "a darling young schoolteacher from New Hampshire."
They married in 1980 and moved to Denver, where Neil got a $30,000 job negotiating mineral leases for Amoco. Denver was an oil-fueled boomtown, and soon the handsome son of the vice president was charming the swells at the soirees of Denver's social set.
In 1982, Neil and two co-workers quit and formed an oil exploration company, JNB Exploration. His partners were geologists; Neil was in charge of raising money.
"Neil knew people because of his name," one partner, Evans Nash, said later.
Among the people Neil knew were two high-powered Denver real estate barons -- Bill Walters and Ken Good. Walters was a flamboyant Rolex-wearing, Rolls-driving mogul known as "the Donald Trump of Denver." Good owned the largest home in Colorado, a $10 million mansion with a special plumbing system that pumped Scotch, gin and vodka throughout the house.
After listening to Bush's sales pitch, Walters invested $150,000 and set up a $1.75 million line of credit for JNB at a bank he owned. Good invested $10,000 and pledged loans worth $1.5 million. Good also lent Bush $100,000 to gamble in the commodities market and said Neil didn't have to pay it back unless he made money.
"It was," Bush later admitted, "an incredibly sweet deal."
He set up an office, decorated it with a bust of his father and paid himself $66,000 a year -- double his Amoco salary. But JNB floundered. In five years, the company drilled 26 wells in four states, but it never found a drop of exploitable oil. JNB would have gone bankrupt if not for the money from Walters and Good.
But Bush was able to help the men who helped him. In 1985 he joined the board of Silverado Savings and Loan, which had already lent millions to Walters and Good. Over the next three years, Silverado lent an additional $106 million to Walters and $35 million to Good, although the two men's real estate empires were collapsing.
Good used some of that money to buy JNB, although it was still losing money. He raised Bush's salary to $120,000 and awarded him a bonus of $22,000. He also hired Bush as a director of one of his companies, at a salary of $100,000.
Neither Good nor Walters ever repaid a nickel of their Silverado loans, and in 1988 Silverado went belly up, leaving U.S. taxpayers holding the bag for $1.3 billion in debts.
Picking through the wreckage, regulators from the federal Office of Thrift Supervision concluded in 1991 that Bush's deals with Good and Walters while serving on Silverado's board constituted "multiple conflicts of interest." Bush became a public symbol of the $500 billion savings and loan scandal. Protesters picketed his home and pasted mock wanted posters around Washington: "Jail Neil Bush."
Bush proclaimed his innocence, declaring at a news conference that "self-serving regulators" were persecuting him because he was the president's son. But when he appeared before the House Banking Committee in 1990, he admitted that some of his deals looked "a little fishy."
Ultimately, Bush paid $50,000 as his part of a federal lawsuit against Silverado and was reprimanded by the OTS. Good and Walters ended up declaring bankruptcy, and JNB, which had never found oil or made money, quietly perished.
Today, Bush maintains that he did nothing wrong.
"I happened to be one of hundreds of other American businessmen and women who served as an outside director on the board of a savings and loan institution that failed during the 1980s," he writes in an e-mail. "I regret that the institution's failure cost taxpayers so much money."
During his high-rolling days in Denver, Neil had told reporters that he was thinking of running for Congress. At home, he spoke with his brothers about running for governor.
"They'd talk about how GW was going to run for governor of Texas and Jeb would run for governor of Florida and Neil would run for governor of Colorado," recalls Douglas Wead, a Bush family friend who served as a special assistant in the first Bush White House. "The family would have bet on Jeb, but if you just observed their personalities, you'd say Neil."
Neil was the most charming of the Bush brothers, Wead says. "He's relaxed, he's funny, he's a better speaker than anybody in the family. . . . He could easily have been a congressman."
The Silverado scandal killed Neil's dream of a political career. But, thanks to his father's friends, it had little effect on his business career.
Thomas "Lud" Ashley, an ex-congressman and bank lobbyist, "came to the rescue," Barbara Bush wrote in her memoirs, and raised money to pay Neil's legal bills.
"I'm a family friend," Ashley explains today, "and he was in real difficulty."
With Silverado and JNB both belly up, Bush started Apex Energy, a methane gas exploration company. He invested $3,000 of his own money and got $2.3 million from two companies run by his father's friend Louis Marx, heir to the Marx toy fortune.
Neil used Marx's money to pay himself a salary of $160,000, and he sold a Wyoming gas lease that he owned to Apex for $150,000. The lease proved worthless -- no methane there. In fact, Apex, like JNB, never found anything worth pumping.
After two years, Apex went broke. Bush had received more than $300,000 in salary but Marx got zip, and the Small Business Administration, which had backed Marx's investments, was left holding the empty bag.
An investigation by the House Small Business Committee found nothing "illegal or improper" but noted that a $2 million federally guaranteed investment to an applicant who risked only $3,000 of his own money seemed like "a very high leveraging of funds."
A few months after Apex crashed in 1991, Bush was rescued by another of his father's rich friends. Bill Daniels, a multimillionaire cable TV baron who raised $330,000 in 1987 for George H.W. Bush's presidential campaign, hired Neil to a $60,000 job at TransMedia Communications.
"Anyone who hires Neil Bush is going to get some heat," Daniels said at the time, "but somebody had to do it."
TransMedia was headquartered in Texas, so Bush sold his $500,000 house in Denver and moved Sharon and their three kids -- Lauren, Pierce and Ashley -- to Houston.
Peter Wehner of Colorado Business magazine called TransMedia to find out exactly what Bush would be doing for the company.
"I'm trying to find a title for him, if you want to know the truth," said Dick Barron, TransMedia's president. "He'll be learning the business, basically."
In April 1993, shortly after leaving the White House, George H.W. Bush flew to Kuwait, accompanied by his wife, his sons Marvin and Neil, and his former secretary of state, James Baker.
The ex-president received a hero's welcome, a medal from the emir and an honorary degree from the university. After he left, Baker and Neil Bush went to work, attempting to win contracts from the Kuwaiti government. Ultimately, Bush's efforts failed to bear fruit. But over the next decade, he frequently traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Asia to negotiate deals and raise capital for various businesses. In 2000 he made $1.3 million, according to his deposition testimony -- $642,500 of it paid as a commission for introducing an Asian investor to the owners of an American high-tech company.
During his travels, he met with several Arab princes and enjoyed a private dinner with Jiang Zemin, then China's president, who serenaded Bush with a military song.
"I probably have access to people who wouldn't meet with a development-stage company," Bush told an Associated Press reporter in 2002, "but I feel I'm held to a higher standard."
For the last several years, Bush's main business interest has been Ignite!, the educational software company he co-founded in 1999. To fund Ignite!, Bush has raised $23 million from U.S. investors (including his parents), as well as businessmen from Taiwan, Japan, Kuwait, the British Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Last year, Ignite! also entered into a partnership with a Mexican company, Grupo Carso Telecom. The partnership enabled Ignite! to lay off half of its 70 employees and outsource their jobs to Mexico.
"That's turned out to be great," says Ignite! President Ken Leonard.
But Ignite!, which pays Bush $180,000 a year, is not his only business interest. Last year, Winston Wong -- a Taiwanese businessman and an investor in Ignite! -- signed Bush to that $2 million consulting deal with Grace Semiconductor, the company that Wong founded in partnership with the Chinese government. Bush has not yet received any compensation because the contract calls for him to be paid after board meetings and, he said by e-mail, "I was unable to attend their one and only board meeting."
A spokesman for Grace declined to comment.
Kevin Phillips, historian and author of the forthcoming book "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush," sees Neil Bush as a man who has made a career of cashing in on his famous name.
"He's incorrigible," Phillips says. "He seems to be crawling through the underbelly of crony capitalism."
Bush vehemently denies that contention. "I have never used my family name to 'cash-in,' " Bush wrote by e-mail. "Unfortunately, such ridiculous charges come with the territory of coming from a famous and public family."
Fire and Disdain
"We create these prisonlike environments," Neil Bush said, "then we take our hunter-warrior types and label them attention-deficit disordered and put them on drugs."
It was the spring of 2002 and Bush was speaking about education at Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., considered one of the best public schools in America. He was touting Ignite!, which was being tested there. In the audience was writer Edward Humes, taking notes for his book on Whitney, "School of Dreams," published last summer.
Ignite! is designed, Bush said, to make learning fun for "hunter-warrior" kids who don't like reading. It's a computer curriculum that uses music, graphics and animation to teach middle school kids.
The program's first course -- eighth-grade American history -- was tested over the last two years in schools in a dozen states. Available commercially for the first time this year, it is being used by about 40,000 students in 120 school districts, mostly in Texas, at a cost of about $30 per pupil.
One school that uses Ignite! is Mendez Middle, a predominantly poor and Hispanic school in Austin. After three years of using the program, says Principal Connie Barr, the number of students who passed the state's eighth-grade history test has risen from 50 percent to 87 percent. "That's incredible," says Barr. "It doesn't replace the teacher or the textbook. What it does is give the teacher another way to deliver the information."
However, Ignite! has been attacked by other educators for dumbing down history. Among its controversial aspects is a lesson that depicts the Seminole Wars in a cartoon football game -- "the Jacksons vs. the Seminoles" -- the animated Indians smashing helmets with animated white settlers. The Constitutional Convention is taught in a rap song:
Ignite! is working well, Bush wrote in an e-mail: "Teachers and students have given anecdotal feedback that confirms the powerful impact our program is having on student achievement, student focus and attitudes, and teacher success in reaching all of their students."
But at Whitney reviews were less laudatory. "The kids felt pretty strongly that what this was about was lowering the bar," says Humes.
Humes wasn't impressed, either. "There was a lot of rhyming and games," he says. "It reminded me of what my son uses -- but he's in kindergarten."
When Bush spoke at Whitney, several students began arguing with him.
"He was very surprised," Humes recalls. "You had to see the look on his face when one young woman got up and said she liked calculus. He said it was useless. This is the branch of mathematics that makes space travel possible, and he said it was useless."
Even before the voodoo story and the paternity rumor and the defamation suit about the paternity rumor, Neil Bush's divorce was a candidate for the Nasty Breakup Hall of Fame.
It all began in 2002, when Bush informed his wife -- via e-mail -- that he no longer loved her and wanted a divorce.
At least that's the way Sharon Bush told the story back when she was still talking to reporters. Neil has never discussed the divorce in public, except in that now-famous deposition, in which he described his marriage as "loveless" with "no affection" and "very little sexual activity over the past 10 or 12 years."
Sharon, 51, claimed she was shocked to learn that her husband of 22 years had taken up with Maria Andrews, 40, a volunteer helping Neil's mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, with her correspondence. Andrews is the ex-wife of a Houston oil executive and the mother of three children.
Andrews is "very pretty -- petite is the best word for her," says John Spalding, a Houston lawyer and a friend of Neil Bush's. "She's just great, and she and Neil are great together."
Sharon Bush did not want a divorce, particularly on her husband's terms, which she considered insufficiently generous. She launched a counterattack by hiring New York PR whiz Lou Colasuonno, a man who knows tabloids, having served as the editor of both the New York Post and the New York Daily News.
Colasuonno's opening gambit was a sure-fire attention-getter: In April 2003, he announced that Sharon was seeking a publisher for a tell-all book about the Bush family.
"This is a woman who has had some wonderful times with the Bushes," Colasuonno told the New York Observer. "But she has seen the dark side, too. And she intends to provide a view of the family that everyone will want to read."
Next, Colasuonno arranged -- and publicized -- a lunch date between Sharon and Kitty Kelley, the celebrity biographer from Hell, who is working on a book on the Bush dynasty.
"I learned a great deal about the Bush family from Sharon," Kelley told The Washington Post after the lunch. "She told me he's only offering $1,000 a month in support -- take it or leave it. . . . She said that when she told Neil she needs more to live on, Neil Bush said, 'Just get remarried.' Sharon was sobbing as she told me, 'Kitty, I just won't sell my body!' "
Whew! After that, Colasuonno says, Neil increased his offer considerably, and the final settlement gave Sharon about $30,000 a year in alimony, plus $750 a month for her two minor children, Pierce, 17, and Ashley, 14. (The couple's oldest child, Lauren -- a Princeton student and a fashion model -- is 19.)
But on the day the divorce was to be finalized -- April 28 -- Sharon told the judge that she wasn't sure she wanted to go through with it. "I believe in working through a marriage," she testified, "and I don't believe in divorce with three children."
Then, under oath, Sharon asked the judge to order "a DNA sampling of Maria Andrews's youngest child," a 2-year-old boy, because she "had cause for believing that it could possibly be his [Neil's] child."
The judge denied the request. The divorce became final that day, but the battle raged on.
In July, Sharon appeared on Houston's KHOU-TV News, telling her tale of woe. Somehow the station obtained a videotape of Neil Bush's deposition and aired juicy bits from his account of his Asian hotel exploits.
That upped the ante in the publicity war. Soon, Neil's friend Spalding was calling reporters with a choice morsel of his own: Sharon had yanked hair out of Neil's head, Spalding said, so she could make a voodoo doll and put a curse on her ex-husband.
"It was bizarre," Spalding says. "She literally pulled his hair and yanked it out of his head. He told me about it."
Sharon admitted doing that and also said she collected some from his hairstylist's floor. But it was not for voodoo, she told the Houston Chronicle. Neil was acting so erratically, she said, that she wanted to test the hair for signs of drug use. The tests were inconclusive, she said.
Neil responded by authorizing his lawyer to say he didn't use drugs.
At that point, it looked like the Bush divorce couldn't get much cheesier. But in September, Robert Andrews, ex-husband of Maria Andrews, sued Sharon Bush for defamation over her claims that Neil is the father of the 2-year-old. She spread the rumor, his lawsuit alleged, to news outlets, friends and "fast food restaurant employees." He demanded $850,000 in damages.
Then Sharon responded by asking the court to order Neil as well as Robert Andrews to provide DNA samples.
Then Andrews's attorney, Dale Jefferson, suggested a novel Texas-style "put-up-or-shut-up" solution: "We'll put up $850,000 and Sharon Bush can put up $850,000," Jefferson said. "And if she's right and Neil Bush is the father of that child, she gets Mr. Andrews's $850,000, and if we're right, we get her $850,000."
Then . . . no, that's enough of this folly. It's time to stop wallowing in the gutter. It's time to take the high road, to raise the sensitive questions worthy of high-minded people.
Like: How is Neil Bush holding up under the relentless onslaught of embarrassing publicity? How is the son of one president and the brother of another doing these days?
Just fine, thank you, his friends say.
"He's very optimistic and he's got very thick skin," says Spalding. "He's a very happy guy and he's in a great relationship, and he says, 'This will all blow over.' "
"He has real pluck about him," says Lud Ashley. "He keeps his chin up."
These days Bush divides his time between Texas -- home of his children and Ignite! -- and Paris, where Maria Andrews is living so her children can learn French.
"Neil is very much in love," says Rex John, a Houston PR man who is the godfather of Bush's daughter Lauren. "As his friend, I just really enjoy seeing him so happy because for so many years he was not happy."
"Neil and Maria are incredibly affectionate with each other and with friends," says Spalding's wife, Laura, who is Maria Andrews's attorney. "It's fun to watch them together because they're so in love."
Somehow, even after all his travails, it's still nice to be Neil Bush.
HOW TO HANDLE A HECKLER WITH SASS
You paranoid nut.... Where in the hell do you get your information from? You don't get it from anywhere, you make it up. Just because your mother was a whore when she was piss drunk, doesn't mean you have to come and take the bottle from the rest of us!
Why don'y you just go give your mom a J Daniels and she'll pass out real fast, so you can give it to here like you have always wanted. And tell your father to stop screwing the dog when hes loaded. We don't need any more bastards like you in this world! Have a nice day,
P.S. Don't mess with a Kennedy! Chappiquiddick was only one time! You have been arrested for more DUIs!
Subject: Re: DUI
But never convicted! That makes me seven times smarter than the president and vice president combined. Bush Jr has 5 arrests, 4 he confessed to including 1 DWI (if you are calling Bush Jr a lying whore, you'd be right). Bush Sr arrested 1 time DWI with his mistress, unless you are calling Nancy Reagan a lying whore (you'd be right about that, too). Cheney confessed to 2 DWI arrests (if you are calling Cheney a lying whore, you'd be right). If you called yourself a lying whore, you'd be right. Why don't you come knocking on my door some night? I've got something for you. Size 12 gage.
Which reminds me. It's rumored that NOxVile's mayor, Victor/Victoria Ashe, whose momma (who took Vic's place when busted for "underage legislating") was arrested for hit-and-run while hiding out at the mayor's house, is suspected of two arrests. One was in Washington DC and the other was in Atlanta, while he was a state legislator. They allegedly involved arrests while picking up homosexual prostitutes in public restrooms while dressed in a dress. Our mayor also was allegedly introduced on live TV as "The gay mayor from Knoxville," at a national mayor's conference in San Francisco. Mayor Ashe is rumored to have refused changing Gay Street's name to something less, er, gay, preferring instead the name "Gay Way." And, of course, as a lying, two-faced politician, he supports George Bush banning gays from military employment (he said while the TV news braodcast alleged the Republican mayor was a Democrat while bragging about about taxing and spending the city into bankruptcy).
The previous email came one day after the mayor's city attorney offered to drop its frivolous and malicious lawsuit against the webmaster for parking on the webmaster's own private property, in exchange for the webmaster dropping his $1-million counterclaim for racketeering and organized crime (RICO) against the Skull & Bones mayor, his police chief, the mayor's court and the mayor's police department, for theft of court funds and violation of right to Free Speech and Free Press for reporting in the Knoxville Journal the approval of a cop killing by the mayor, his police chief, the DA and the Knoxville News-Sentinel. The mayor has a prior conviction for political retaliation. Coincidence?
Discover the censored secrets of responsible adulthood:
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader's lecture
Read Webmaster John Lee's interview in The Southerner with 3rd-place presidential candidate Ralph Nader
"There are no innocent civilians..., so it doesn't bother me so much to be killing innocent bystanders."
"We could develop a Communist Cuba terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Flordia cities and even in Washington. Exploding a few bombs in carefully chosen spots. Hijacking attampts against US civil air and surface craft should be encouraged. It is possible to create an incident which would demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civilian airliner from the United States. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
911 NEWS VIDEO BY INFO WARS RADIO
KNOXVILLE GREEN PARTY CENSORS KNOXVILLE GREEN PARTY
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 05:12:26 -0000
From: "Robert P. Waltz"
Subject: Re: balance of evil
I know that this request has been made before, but I wonder if you couldn't take down the website www.oocities.com/knoxvillegreenparty. I have designed a new website at:
I would be concerned that someone surfing the net would come across your site and think it to promote ideas and values of all of us on this list.
Secondly, you appear to control many other sites through which you espouse views more or less repeated on the knoxville green party site. I wonder if those sites are not sufficient.
Thanks for your consideration,
Hmmm. Question: Why did it take the computer experts at UTK 12 months to set up a free website at Geocities, on Oct 15, 2001, 12 months after Ralph Nader and Al Gore "lost" Selection 2000, and thus skipping 90% of the election campaign for Knoxville's local Selections in 2001? Question: Why did KGP refuse to participate in my offer for a free KGP website, then order my free KGP website censored and banned during its first week of life in November 2000 (before I posted all this fun stuff)? Question: Why does KGP still refuse to link to Nader's speech in Knoxville as posted on this site, or my interview of Nader in 2000? Why does KGP still not mention Nader's visit to NOxVile in its website? Why are the time and location of his visit missing from this post on KGP's forum? Why is there zero info on KGP's "official" website re deadly radiation and pollution in Knoxville, and the city's ranking by the EPA as having the rankest air in 2001, and HQ for the Sicilian Mafia's international garbage cartel (that paid a $450-million settlement to its stockholders this week for insider trading)? Why is KGP composed of employees of that cartel and employees of the Republican bootlegging-governor? Intelligent minds want to know. Oh, now I get it. It's Selection week and thus the masses must be blinded by apathetic bullshit.
WHAT THE POLLS SAY
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