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Bush Stock Sale: Late Filing Not the Only Issue

July 08, 2002

Re "Bush Filing Given a New Explanation" and "A Small Matter, but Bush's Responsibility, Experts Say," July 4: It seems to me that your articles on President Bush's stock trading in Harken Energy Corp. missed the point. While you focus on the lighter issue of his Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the issue of insider trading is almost ignored. The SEC said it did not appear that Bush was trading on inside information. Yet he sold two-thirds of his holdings shortly before a negative announcement was made public. He would certainly have known the negative information as a member of Harken's board of directors.

I would like to see some reporting on this investigation of a man whose father, as president, was in charge of the investigators.

Dan Jordan

Long Beach


I see much discussion in the press on Bush's 1990 failure, until eight months later, to file the second disclosure form on his highly profitable, large sale of Harken stock. However, I am more concerned about Bush's sale of a large volume of the stock just eight days before the company, on whose board of directors he then served, released information on extremely large recent losses. When the information was made public, the stock lost more than one-third of its value in one day and most of its remaining value within a few weeks.

I am troubled by this question: Was Bush ignorant of the key affairs of the company on whose board he served, or was he aware of the extremely damaging information and chose to sell the stock because of it? If he did the latter, it was a clear case of insider trading.

Charles Wyle

Los Angeles


I couldn't believe the quote from Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, about the Bush administration giving the green light to unscrupulous chief executives. The audacity of his remarks is mind-boggling.

This from the man who played loose and cozy with the Clinton administration for years and who, during that time, managed to turn a reported $100,000 investment in Global Crossing into more than $17 million. And he wants us to believe he did this with no insider information? He obviously feels he can get away with the attack because he gets a free pass from the media on his "lucky" investment.

Joyce B. Goetz

Westlake Village


Bush sold $850,000 worth of shares in an energy company of which he was a director, thus avoiding a $600,000 loss when the shares plummeted. Then he failed to file the required notice with the SEC that would have signaled to the world that a director had dumped most of his shares. Then he wrongly claimed that the notice was correctly filed and the SEC lost it. Then he incorrectly claimed that it was the company's, not his, responsibility to file the notice.

Can we get independent counsel Ken Starr back with a $40-million budget to investigate this one?

Terrence R. Dunn


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