Excerpted from a longer list by Peter L. Sroufe (not some "liberal", as far as I know), from the spring of 1999. I don't think very many of these have been answered as of yet, at least not with any degree of lucidity; W was apparently against the Harken-Bahrain deal listed below, but I'll have to dig out the reasons for his being essentially the Lone Voice on the board against it. We'll get to subsequent questions raised by his corporate campaign contributors later, perhaps.
  1. In 1984, after your firm, Arbusto Energy, had fallen on hard times, you managed to get a job as the 30-something president of Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, the firm that purchased Arbusto. You also got 14% of the Spectrum's stock. Meanwhile, your 50 investors in Arbusto got paid off at about 20 cents on the dollar. Is this the sort of thing your new economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsey, was thinking of when he said Americans had become too greedy?
  2. Or might he have been thinking of the deal in 1986 when, after Spectrum 7 had lost $400,000 in six months, you sold it to Harken Energy, becoming a major Harken stockholder and receiving a good salary as a director and consultant?
  3. Or was it that time when you sold two-thirds of your Harken stock for a 200% profit on June 22, 1990, just 40 days before the start of the Gulf War and one week before the company announced a $23 million quarterly loss, setting off a 60% drop in share price over the next six months? Why were you so valuable to these companies given your less than impressive business acumen?
  4. When you and your Harken partners ran short of cash and hooked up with investment banker Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas, he got you a $25 million stock purchase by Union Bank of Switzerland. Did you know that Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, who joined your board as a part of the deal, was connected to BCCI? Did you know that the United Bank was connected to BCCI (including its operations in Panama), the Nugan Hand Bank (a notorious CIA-front in Australia), and Ferdinand Marcos?
  5. Did you know that it was Jackson Stephens who introduced the players in what would turn out to be the infamous First American-BCCI deal?
  6. Why do your think the government of Bahrain chose Harken to drill its offshore wells even though it had never dug overseas or in water before? Why do you think it chose Harken, with no relevant experience, over Amoco, with plenty of it? Did you ever discuss with your dad Harken-Bahrain deal? Did any sheiks or other officials ever express any concern over the failure of Harken to find any oil? Do you think they really cared?
  7. Tell us again why you waited almost a year past the legal deadline to file the necessary SEC report on your Harken stock deal.
  8. You borrowed $180,000 from Harken at a low rate. Did you ever pay it back or was it included among that $341,000 Harken listed in SEC documents as loaned to executives and later forgiven?
  9. Your grandfather Prescott was on the board of Brown Harriman which helped provide some of the financing for the Soviet and Nazi regimes. Do you think this was a wise idea? As president would you continue this tradition in our policy towards China?
  10. During World War II your grandfather had property seized under the Trading with Enemy Act. Was he pro-Nazi or just a proto-neo-capitalist ahead of his time?
  11. What is the American voter to make of the fact that two of your brothers, one father, one grandfather, and one uncle have been involved in unseemly scandals of one sort or another? How do you distinguish your ethical code from theirs?
  12. One of your Uncle Prescott's hot deals resulted in an early but major transfer of sensitive technology to the Chinese government. Your father in 1989 lifted sanctions that blocked such ventures. Do you approve of Uncle Prescott and your father's behavior in these matters? As president would you allow such deals to continue?
  13. Do you approve of your uncle and father's role in what has become to be known as the "October Surprise?"
  14. You invested $600,000 in the Texas Rangers and later sold out for $15 million. What did you do for the Rangers in between? How much of this profit reflected your ability to get the city of Arlington to condemn land for a ball park at 1/6 its true worth and then impose a 1/2 cent sales tax to subsidize your business? Is this an example of what you meant in 1993 when you said, "The best way to allocate resources in our society is through the marketplace. Not through a governing elite"?
  15. Why did you have to hire private investigators to find out what dirt private investigators might be able to dig up on you?
  16. Do you think that you have used more or less cocaine than, say, Marion Barry or Bill Clinton?
  17. Discuss this remark by Michael King in the Texas Observer: "Although by his own admission George W. was an indifferent student, he was nevertheless the deserving-by-both beneficiary of the oldest most illegitimate, and most sacrosanct form of affirmative action... It's business as usual."
  18. Since you want to help "instill individual responsibility" and give people a "future of opportunity, instead of dependence on government," why did you and your neighbors at the exclusive Rainbow Club development get a tax break from your government? In what ways do such tax breaks differ from welfare benefits other than that welfare recipients are more needy?