Now that he is finally releasing his tax returns, we know what kind of information Bill White has been hiding from voters. While everyone else was suffering at the hands of Hurricane Rita, Mayor White was laying the groundwork for making a tidy profit.
According to today’s Austin American Statesman, Mr. White used his mayoral office to make sure a company on whose board he once sat got a prime emergency contract as the hurricane was bearing down on Houston in 2005.
Here’s how the Statesman is reporting it:
As the storm was walloping parts of Houston, White helped line up private companies to provide goods and services as part of a massive relief effort. One of those companies was Btec Turbines, where White had served on the board of directors before he was mayor. White said he called the company to help provide power generators to ensure the Houston-area refineries and the adjoining city of Baytown could maintain their water supply during the power outages.
A $1 million investment he made in the company a year later has given the former Houston mayor a half-million profit. Pretty sweet deal.
While we at Empower Texans are all a bunch of market-loving capitalists, there is something unseemly about an elected official giving sweetheart deals to his business buddies in the middle of a hurricane… And then making a nice profit on the side.
As mayor of Houston, Bill White overspent the city coffers and left office before the effects of his hurricane-strength deficit spending could be fully felt. But at least he and his friends made some money along the way…