Bush League: Tom Schieffer, Crawford and FEMA

A few months ago, I decided that I wasn't really ready to be courted by snowbird Democrat Tom Schieffer. But after reading Burnt Orange Report's starry-eyed writeup on their meeting with him, I decided to Google the guy like a blind date.

Now, the first thing a girl is always after is a good picture of the potential suitor -- one that really sums up the qualities that you might find attractive that you can send to your friends and, giddy, ask "What do you think?"

Well, friends: What do you think?

Democrat running for Texas Governor Tom Schieffer pictured in Crawford with George W. BushGeorge W. Bush and Fmr. Ambassador Tom Schieffer
Taken in January 2004 during Bush's holiday at Crawford ranch. Photo credit: TIME

In all of Schieffer's lengthy bios, there is a brief mention of his time on the board of an innocuous-sounding manufacturing company called Drew Industries from 2000-20001, along with another familiar name, Edward "Rusty" Rose, another one of initial investors in the Texas Rangers. Bush's people sought out both Schieffer and Rose after baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth said their investment team, whose investors were largely from out of state, needed more local ties. Rose continues to own a large portion of Drew Industries shares, and by "large" I mean "several million dollars worth."

Drew Industries, as it happens, makes RV supplies and manufactured homes. Why, you might ask, would a white-collar lawyer like Schieffer care about manufactured homes?

Three words, like everything that touched George W. Bush's presidency: no-bid contracts.

Drew Industries, after voting to split their stock on August 5, 2005, made millions and was able to "outpace the industry" (that's PR speak for "screw over smaller competitors"), off of FEMA orders for manufactured homes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Two years later, the Washington Post wrote about FEMA's inability to offload the trailers (emphasis most emphatically mine):
The Federal Emergency Management Agency hurriedly bought 145,000 trailers and mobile homes just before and after Katrina hit, spending $2.7 billion largely through no-bid contracts. Though FEMA paid on average $18,620 for each of the trailers and mobile homes, during the past year the agency says it has received an average of only $7,367 for the 2,665 it has sold so far.

But forget all that insider stuff and do me this one favor. Scroll up and take a good, long look at that TIME photo from Crawford.

I'll wait.

Is anyone with a vote in 2010 for Texas Governor seeing this photo? Are you seeing Schieffer's comfortable slouch in the presence of a friend? Doesn't he look cozy in this Martha Stewart Does Crawford scene, with some unidentified paper pusher lurking in the background? Do we have to grin and bear it with a candidate -- and, Allah help us, a Governor -- who has more ties to George W. Bush than Afghanistan has caves?

Texas may still be a conservative state, and it might even still be a Republican state. But it sure as hell doesn't need to still be a Bush state.

13 Response to "Bush League: Tom Schieffer, Crawford and FEMA"

  • Alex Brant-Zawadzki Says:

    I love the smell of formaldehyde in the morning.

    It smells like victory.

  • Mean Rachel Says:

    they expect us to let their cities drown AND provide over priced, toxic trailers?


  • FUBAR Says:

    What I don't get is why both of 'em are wearing mom jeans.

  • Libby at Aurora Primavera Says:

    Thanks for bringing this photo to our attention and placing the spectacle of the Bush's "modest ranch house" interior alongside the notion of manufactured housing.

  • Cyrus Says:

    2/3 depreciation doesn't actually sound all that outlandish. The no-bids are more disturbing, along with the deep business ties.

    But he talks like a Democrat...

  • Mack Says:

    He's going to have hell in the primary, even buying his way into and through it, assuming anyone with half a brain and access to a few deep pockets will jump in.

    I don't see myself voting for him, not in the primary anyway, and I'm so disgusted with his Bushie ties it might even cause me to stay home in the general should he get the nod.

    There is a group of Schieffer "early adopters" out there that don't want to hear that sort of talk, but that's just too fucking bad. They're going to have to hear it and they'd be wise to actually listen.

    I've spent fifteen years opposing just about every single policy Bush put forward at both the Governor's Mansion and the White House. Schieffer spent those fifteen years getting as close to Bush as he could.

    He can "talk Democrat" until he's blue in the face, kissing my ass all the while, but he won't be getting any sort of support from me.

    It's not the talk that makes you a Democrat in my book, it's the principles.

  • Mean Rachel Says:

    Good points, all.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Ah, Democrats, the dumbest group of smart(ish) people on the intarweb. Who else would care more about apparent "Democratic Credentials" and distance from the ENEMY [rawr!] than who is actually fit to run a state.

    Mack, who exactly is going to give Schieffer "hell in the primary"? The only people even hinting at a run are the crookedest politician in Austin and a man who is best known, before his pathetic attempts at politics, for a song called "They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore". Seriously, would you really want either of them to run the state? Would either be any more than a joke in a race against EITHER an incumbent governor OR a US Senator with 16 years experience?

    Take a step back, pull your heads out of your asses, and listen to the man. He doesn't, and hasn't ever, espoused "Republican Ideals". He is not "buying his way in" - unlike some previous candidates - people simply assume he is because they assume all candidates do. He is a relatively moderate Democrat - face it, you can't be stupid-liberal and win in this state. You have to face another fact - that being tied to Bush is virtually GUARANTEED of any decent candidate, and by decent I mean one that stands a snowball's chance in Brownsville of actually winning in a statewide race.

    Also, as far as I can tell, he has better Democratic credentials than any of the other candidates, who have at the last time I checked NONE. Or close enough.

    Posts like this, full of half-baked near-conspiricy-theorist crap just proves how worthless the internet can be. Check his actual credentials, see what he actually thinks, and get your heads out of the sand [sic].

  • Mack Says:

    Looks like Mr. Anonymous is one of those Schieffer "early adopters" I mentioned who don't want to hear anyone speak aloud the fact their man was pushing the Bush foreign policy agenda amongst the "coalition of the willing" while the rest of us were back here stateside fighting it.

    Well tough shit. You're going to hear about it and, like I said, too, you'd be wise to listen.

    You'd also be wise to read. As in, read the part where I wrote he'd have hell in the primary "assuming anyone with half a brain and access to a few deep pockets will jump in."

    You guys crack me up. You drop early odds on a candidate just because you think they have the money and organization to win-- not because of anything they've actually done for the state or for the party-- and expect everyone else to just fall in line.

    Well fuck you.

    (And while you're getting yourself good and fucked, how about man'ing up and putting your name to what you write.)

    I've been through enough election cycles to know I can keep working in my little corner getting principled people elected and wait for the right statewide candidate to come along to put my energy behind.

    Maybe this cycle. Maybe next. Maybe the one after that.

    But I know George W. Schieffer's isn't the one.

  • Alex Brant-Zawadzki Says:

    Sounds to me like Anonymous is scared. Scared of the truth; scared of losing; scared of a change in the status quo; and clearly scared of all of you.

    Come on, Anonymous, fess up. Do you work for the campaign? Is it your job to google "J. Thomas Schieffer" every day and respond to allegations?

    You can't participate in this discussion anonymously. It's childish and it's cowardly and it's pathetic. Grow up.

  • Mary O'Grady Says:

    Bravo, Mack! You said it better than I could.

  • Patrick Says:

    WTF is Bush doing with all those books in his house? In fact, WTF is he doing in a ranch house? Fake as a pair of tits from Plano.

  • Mean Rachel Says:

    Ha! Fantastic.