I heard this on Countdown tonight — as reported by Cynthia Garza in the Houston Chronicle —
Former first lady Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund with specific instructions that the money be spent with an educational software company owned by her son Neil.
It’s sweet the way she goes out of her way to help her kids, isn’t it?
Regarding the fact that Bush’s earmarked donation also benefited her son’s company, Becker said, “Mrs. Bush is obviously an enthusiastic supporter of her son. She is genuinely supportive of his program,” and has received many letters from educators who support it. Bush “honestly felt this would be a great way to help the (evacuee) students.”
Barbara and Neil Bush presented the donated programs to Houston-area schools this winter.
“Becker” is Jean Becker, former President Bush’s chief of staff.
There are 40 Ignite programs being used in the Houston area, and 15 in the Houston school district, said Ken Leonard, president of Ignite.
Information about the effectiveness of the program, through district-generated reports, was not readily available Wednesday, according to an HISD spokeswoman.
Two years ago, the school district raised eyebrows when it expanded the program by relying heavily on private donations.
In February 2004, the Houston school board unanimously agreed to accept $115,000 in charitable donations from businesses and individuals who insisted the money be spent on Ignite. The money covered half the bill for the software, which cost $10,000 per school.
The deal raised conflict of interest concerns because Neil Bush and company officials helped solicit the donations for the HISD Foundation, a philanthropic group that raises money for the district.
Can we say “scam,” boys and girls? I think we can.