Jeb resigns from all corporate boards; prepping for 2016 run

With a 10 point lead in the most recent polls, Jeb Bush has apparently decided that 2016 is his year. He has now resigned from all corporate boards, clearing the way for his run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Washington Post:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, moving closer to a possible presidential run, has resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including with his own education foundation, his office said late Wednesday night.

He also resigned as a paid adviser to a for-profit education company that sells online courses to public university students in exchange for a share of their tuition payments.

Bush’s New Year’s Eve disclosure, coming in an e-mail from an aide to The Washingotn Post, culminated a string of moves he has made in recent days to shed business interests that have enriched him since leaving office in 2007. The aide said the resignations had been made “effective today.”

The aide said Bush was reviewing other businesses in which he is principal partner or owner, such as Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting firm, and Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation.

Aides said Bush wants to devote his time to exploring a return to politics rather than pursuing his business commitments. But separating himself from those interests now could also be a strategic attempt to prepare for the added scrutiny of a hotly contested campaign for the Republican nomination.

Bush’s financial stake in Academic Partnerships, the online education firm, has been relatively small for a millionaire — a $60,000-a-year fee and ownership of a small amount of stock, said Randy Best, the company’s founder and chief executive. Even so, Bush’s affiliation with the firm — which has contracts with schools in a half-dozen states and several foreign countries and has annual sales of $100 million — could complicate his effort to promote his record as an education reformer.

One writer wondered if Bush has a "Mitt Romney problem." He certainly has his fingers in a lot of pies and you know that Democratic oppo researchers are going to find something to use against him - something those companies did or didn't do.

But this looks like a prime target:

In July, Lou Dubose reported on Bush's role as spokesman for a Miami firm that bilked millions from investors, and whose founder, Claudio Osorio, is now serving time in federal prison. Osorio was a known fraud before Bush came on board, and Bush stayed on board even as Osorio was under investigation. As Dubose wrote in The Washington Spectator, the evidence suggests at least "an ethical blind spot that led Bush to ignore the fact that the book value and returns reported by InnoVida executives were impossible under any reasonable set of financial assumptions. ... Bush endorsed a company that defrauded its shareholders and the government while failing to deliver its product to market."

Bush may have resigned from all those boards, but that they did while he was part of those companies is still fair game for opponents. GOP voters should keep that in mind when the primaries roll around.

With a 10 point lead in the most recent polls, Jeb Bush has apparently decided that 2016 is his year. He has now resigned from all corporate boards, clearing the way for his run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Washington Post:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, moving closer to a possible presidential run, has resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including with his own education foundation, his office said late Wednesday night.

He also resigned as a paid adviser to a for-profit education company that sells online courses to public university students in exchange for a share of their tuition payments.

Bush’s New Year’s Eve disclosure, coming in an e-mail from an aide to The Washingotn Post, culminated a string of moves he has made in recent days to shed business interests that have enriched him since leaving office in 2007. The aide said the resignations had been made “effective today.”

The aide said Bush was reviewing other businesses in which he is principal partner or owner, such as Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting firm, and Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation.

Aides said Bush wants to devote his time to exploring a return to politics rather than pursuing his business commitments. But separating himself from those interests now could also be a strategic attempt to prepare for the added scrutiny of a hotly contested campaign for the Republican nomination.

Bush’s financial stake in Academic Partnerships, the online education firm, has been relatively small for a millionaire — a $60,000-a-year fee and ownership of a small amount of stock, said Randy Best, the company’s founder and chief executive. Even so, Bush’s affiliation with the firm — which has contracts with schools in a half-dozen states and several foreign countries and has annual sales of $100 million — could complicate his effort to promote his record as an education reformer.

One writer wondered if Bush has a "Mitt Romney problem." He certainly has his fingers in a lot of pies and you know that Democratic oppo researchers are going to find something to use against him - something those companies did or didn't do.

But this looks like a prime target:

In July, Lou Dubose reported on Bush's role as spokesman for a Miami firm that bilked millions from investors, and whose founder, Claudio Osorio, is now serving time in federal prison. Osorio was a known fraud before Bush came on board, and Bush stayed on board even as Osorio was under investigation. As Dubose wrote in The Washington Spectator, the evidence suggests at least "an ethical blind spot that led Bush to ignore the fact that the book value and returns reported by InnoVida executives were impossible under any reasonable set of financial assumptions. ... Bush endorsed a company that defrauded its shareholders and the government while failing to deliver its product to market."

Bush may have resigned from all those boards, but that they did while he was part of those companies is still fair game for opponents. GOP voters should keep that in mind when the primaries roll around.