The Austin Chronicle Guide to SXSW 2017

The Hightower Report: Who's Feeding the Bush Puppy?

George P. Bush is considering a (well-financed) run for land commissioner

Guess what? George Bush is back!

Not "Poppy" Bush, as George H.W. was known. Nor the George known simply as "W." Rather, farther down the family tree, a brand new Bush is trying to use his powerful family name and connections to sprout a career in the rich soil of right-wing Texas politics. Meet George P. Bush – already dubbed "Puppy."

Son of former Florida governor Jeb, this 36-year-old has been a corporate lawyer and a private equity hustler, and he's presently in energy investments. But lately, George P. has been working the family Rolodex for his fledgling effort to grab the statewide office of land commissioner.

He has already sacked up about $1.4 million – a wad of start-up cash that would have been impossible to get if his name was George P. Bust. Practically all of this bankroll came from family (including $50,000 from Uncle Dubya) or from special interest donors long tied to the Bush political network, including donations of $10,000 to $65,000 each from seven Texas oil operators and assorted far-right-wing billionaires.

Among his billionaire backers are Bob Perry, a Houston-based housing developer, and Harold Simmons, a Dallas-based waste-disposal baron. Both dumped tens of millions of dollars into the GOP's ferociously negative attack ads against Barack Obama last year. Also, both are infamous pay-to-play corporatists who like to buy into up-and-coming politicians who can be trusted to deliver governmental favors to them over the long haul. So it's not for nothing that they are the two biggest donors nourishing young Bush's run for this little-known Texas office.

George P. has the pure Bush pedigree and is already on the corporate leash. One watchdog group tracing the money interests feeding and training this pup is Texans for Public Justice. Find them at

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit Hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.
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George P. Bush, land commissioner, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Puppy Bush, Jeb Bush, Barack Obama

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