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Monday, October 11, 2004

Bush's Timber Company?

Her eis an interesting tid-bit about the timber company that Bush owns. I never would have thoght of this one. Thanks to Free Will for this one.
Does Bush own a timber company?
A lot of search traffic is getting directed here on this point, so I want to add something: Factcheck.org says that Bush "forgot" he owned a tree-growing company, arguing that Bush owns 50% of LSTF, LLC, a timber concern, through his trust fund, the Lone Star Trust. They also point out that both Kerry and Factcheck.org were in error to claim the $84 came from LSTF, since the Lone Star Trust did not own it's piece of LSTF in 2001, as Kerry claimed. (This was, though, just an error, not a lie.) However, Factcheck.org forgot something very important and material to the question: The Lone Star Trust is something called a blind trust. Like many politicians, Bush's assets are organized into a blind trust to avoid conflict of interest. In a blind trust, the beneficiary (in this case, Bush) has no idea nor any control over where the funds are invested. Bush's disclosures would be handled by his accountants and the trustees. In other words, Bush was legitimately shocked to hear the notion that he "owns a timber company". At best, he indirectly owns part of a timber company through an organization that operates independently of his control, and Factcheck.org, at best, is being misleading to say Bush "forgot" it. You can't forget something you simply never knew. So there, Googlers, is your answer.

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