Another Bush in the White House? No thanks.
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 Washington 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.
The company receives up to 70 percent of the tuition some students pay to public universities, and some faculty members say it siphons money from the schools while asserting too much control over academic decisions.
Best, a Texas entrepreneur and major political donor, said his firm has increased professors’ access to online students and helped schools attract additional revenue, while Bush aides say the former governor does not have business interests related to K-12 education, which has been his policy focus.
Read more: WashingtonPost.com