Bush's Stingy Pardon Record

We thought there was more to the story of Bush's pardon of his dying, convicted pal a few weeks ago, and now there is new information . This week there is even more information at LA Weekly .

George Bush does almost no pardons. They’re labor-intensive, entail considerable political risk and provide little political or pecuniary gain. At 12, he’s about to set a record for the modern presidency. That’s only nine more than the number of turkeys he’s pardoned in the annual pre-Thanksgiving ritual.

Remember the S&L collapse. You’re still paying for it. No one knows the final tab, $300 billion to $500 billion in taxpayer-funded bonds to be retired in the future. More than half that was a transfer payment out of the pockets of taxpayers in the other 49 states and into insolvent S&Ls and bloated real estate deals in the Great State. Texas led the nation in failed S&Ls with 237,

But why this S&L executive and not others? Just as Bush went to the head of the line when he enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard, certain people are handed “get out of jail” cards before others. Brian McCall is a Republican state rep from Plano who worked with Bush in the Texas Legislature. His brother is the name partner in a Plano law firm. Florence Shapiro, who called on the White House to ask for the pardon, is a former mayor of Plano who now serves in the Texas Senate. And is a protégé of Bush political adviser Karl Rove.

The real story here is not who gets pardoned, but who doesn’t. Bush is a notorious hard-ass on crime. He defeated Texas Governor Ann Richards in 1994 by promising to crack down on rising crime in Texas at a time crime was declining. His second campaign used adolescents in one of his new tough-love juvenile prisons as props in his TV spots. He presided over the execution of 152 people in one of the most flawed criminal-justice systems in the nation. And in a Talk magazine interview with Tucker Carlson he mocked Karla Fay Tucker’s pleading for clemency (not a pardon) several days before he signed her death warrant. (“‘Please,’ Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, ‘don’t kill me.’”)

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