Today’s Miami Herald leads with a big article about Jeb! Bush’s $570,000 haul as a director and consultant with InnoVida. The gig lasted until shortly before the firm’s CEO got arrested and eventually sent away for almost 13 years.
On the one hand, Jeb! clearly was being (over?)paid to lend his name to InnoVida’s credibility and to make introductions. On the other hand, so what? Like lots of former office-holders Jeb! tried to cash in on his connections. It’s not like he went to work for a firm he’d done favors for as Governor, nor is it a classic revolving door story. It does seem from the article that Jeb! made some significant efforts to look into the company’s bona fides before signing on, even visiting its factory in Dubai. And plenty of folks got fooled including Chris Korge, who invested millions. On the Richter scale of sleaze in these corrupted times, this story rates about a 2.9.
Thus, why exactly this story merits top placement on page one and consumes all of page two is slightly baffling. But even more baffling is the second of these two paragraphs which appeared near the start:
Bush, who also served on InnoVida’s board, was never accused of wrongdoing in Osorio’s Ponzi-like swindle that prosecutors said netted him and other co-conspirators about $50 million. But InnoVida occupies noteworthy real estate in the broad landscape of Bush’s business dealings, since it’s the only one to have ended in the kind of full-blown scandal that occurs when a CEO is led away in handcuffs.
InnoVida’s salacious finale is drawing renewed attention as Bush readies for a presidential run. The Republican touting the power of free enterprise in his “Right to Rise” campaign served on a corporate board that presided over a venture fraught with bogus accounting statements and fictional business deals.
Very odd word choice if you ask me.
(Note: “Jeb!” is not a typo. It’s reference to his old bumper stickers when he ran for President in 2008.)