Investors from the United Arab Emirates helped fund the $23 million Neil Bush raised for Ignite!, the learning systems company that holds lucrative No Child Left Behind Act contracts in Florida and Texas. The “Cow” is an Ignite! portable computer designed to work in a classroom, providing interactive instruction aimed at improving students’ scores on standardized tests. If you loved Billy Carter and “Billy Beer,” you’re certain to love Neil Bush and the “Ignite! Cow.”
Neil Bush’s frequent travels to Dubai are documented by Datamatix, a Dubai-based information technology company that has featured Neil Bush as a speaker. The Datamatix website features several prominent photographs of Neil Bush addressing a Dubai conference, identifying Neil Bush as “the brother of U.S. President George Bush.”
Dubai’s Datamatix appears to be bipartisan, as the company’s website also shows Dubai appearances of various Democratic Party luminaries including Al Gore (with and without a beard), Sandy Berger – the National Security Adviser under President Clinton who achieved fame by stuffing classified documents in his socks – and Howard Dean, the current Democratic National Committee chairman. The site also shows photographs of Tipper Gore and John Sununu receiving “Token of Appreciation” awards in Dubai from Datamatix. Anti-Bush Internet websites have been touting the Neil Bush connection with Dubai for months, although the story has been largely shut out of the mainstream media. (See Debbie Schlussel’s Feb. 23, 2006, column, “Something’s Rotten in Dubai.”)
Many times over, Neil Bush has won the distinction of being the “black sheep” of the Bush family. In 1988, Neil Bush was a director of the failed Silverado Savings and Loan, which collapsed in a scandal that ultimately cost taxpayers an estimated $1 billion. For his role in the savings and loan debacle, Neil Bush was personally fined and permanently banned from any further activities in banking. In a messy divorce ending a 23-year marriage with Sharon Bush, the mother of his children, Neil Bush gave a deposition in which he admitted multiple sex romps with Oriental prostitutes during his many “business trips” to Asia.
Reports also document Neil Bush traveling around the ex-Soviet Union to raise money for Ignite! with the notorious Boris Berezovsky, a Russian wheeler-dealer who has sought asylum in London to avoid Russian authorities who want to prosecute him for fraud. Bush has also turned up in the Philippines and Taiwan at the side of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the head of the controversial Unification Church. State Department and White House spokespersons often disavow any comment when pressed to respond to reports of Neil Bush’s business activities. In a separate business venture involving semiconductors, Neil Bush took investment money from Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
Neil Bush is hardly the first to trade on the name of his president brother. We all remember Donald Nixon, who took a $200,000 never-repaid loan from Howard Hughes to establish a failed chain of hamburger joints, known as “Nixonburgers.” Then, there was Billy Carter who took $200,000 from Muammar Gadhafi to lobby Jimmy Carter to release embargoed C-130 airplanes to Libya. Also, Roger Clinton, who spent a year in prison for dealing cocaine, surfaced in “Pardongate” by arguing as Clinton left the White House to get pardons for a rogue’s gallery of his clients, including Rosario Gambino, a jailed New Jersey restaurant owner with ties to organized crime.
As investigative reporters start digging to “follow the money” in what is becoming known as the “Dubai Debacle,” Neil Bush is certain to find center stage once again in what well could be also dubbed the coming “Neil-gate” controversy.