Click. WHY DUBYA'S SMIRKING.  His $606,000 turned into $14.9 million. His Road to Politics Ran Through a Texas Ballpark.


The following was published in Beauregard Daily News, September 6th, 2000,
DeRidder, Beauregard Parish, Louisiana. Thanks for this tip to

Department of the Army
Headquarters, Joint Readiness
Training Center (JRTC) and Fort Polk
Fort Polk, Louisiana

Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI)

On August 29, 2000, Colonel Fred P. Pickens, U.S. Army Deputy Commander, JRTC and Fort Polk made a decision to allow the 7th Chemical Company to conduct aerial releases of a biological simulant during ongoing field training exercises with the Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS). The simulant approved for use is the spore form of Bacillus Subtillis, a non-pathogenic bacterium commonly found in soils, water and decomposing plant material. Prior to use, the
bacterial spores will be irradiated and thereby rendered non-viable. (dead) The simulant will be released at three sites on Army owned land at the JRTC and Fort Polk. Release of the simulant will be conducted in accordance with an approved Standing Operating Procedure governing the storage, handling and use; Releases will occur only under meteorological conditions where off-post drift of the simulant is not probable. Use of the irradiated B. subtillis spores under the approved conditions poses no risk to human health or the environment. Aerial release of the simulant will allow the 7th Chemical company to simulate the release of a biological agent by hostile forces and to train in the operation of BIDS equipment to detect such releases.

The decision was based on a FNSI and the accompanying environmental assessment (EA). The FNSI and EA were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. (42 U.S.C. 4321 et req.) Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) and Army Regulation 200-2, "Effects of Army Actions" (32 CFR Part 651). Additional information and copies of the EA and FNSI may be obtained from the JRTC and Fort Polk Public Affairs Office. (PAO) At the address below. Comment regarding this decision may
also be submitted to the PAO for 30 days following the date of this notice.

Public Affairs Office
ATTN: Carol Conner
7078 Radio Road
Fort Polk, La. 71459-5342

For further information you can contact Public Affairs at Ft. Polk. Contact: Carol Conner . I have several old numbers to Ft. Polk's Public Affairs ( 337-531-1344, 337-531-2714, 337-531-7203.)


Moon's recent threats to humanity
Posted on Deja discussion group 9/23/00
Sunday Morning Speech
August 20, 2000
Belvedere Training Center, Tarrytown, NY
Translation by Rev. Peter Kim
Unofficial notes by Tyler Hendricks
Speech on the Moon cult's own site on:
(The Orientals will triumph)
The time will come when North and South America should be offered to Asia, as reparations for the native Americans who came from Asia. How much they suffered due to mistreatment by the white race! The white race is 850 million and the Asians are 3.2 billion. So the Orientals have power and I am respected and listened to when I go to South America.
(Female members expected to prostitute themselves)
Suppose China says, "Rev. Moon, if you give us ten beautiful American woman and we will do whatever you want," should I do it? American women, what do you expect me to do? No answer? Where are those ten beautiful women who would offer themselves?
(Moon prophesies to take over the world by 2004) by 2004 my course should be ended. Jesus should have married by 33 and conquered Rome. By my 34th year in America, I will claim the entire world.
(His greatness)
'When I am ready to go to spirit world, will God send Confucius or Muhammad to receive me? No! Who liberated God? Only True Parents. Who opened the spirit world door? Only True Parents
(His power)
I have power, in a way, through the Washington Times and American Leadership Conferences
(Moon and how he spends his money)
I have studied the gambling world for 30 years, but never took a seat at the table. I brought guests and sometimes helped them (gave them money), but that's it. I knew, at one point, that within a week we would win $200,000. Then what should I do with it? That was the challenge. I warned the members, if you don't have a good motivation, the $200,000 will be gone within three days. That came true.
I can see when the blackjack will come. If I want it, the right card will crawl to the top. I tell them to double their bet, but Rev. Kwak chickens out. Then he doesn't win. Rev. Kwak and myself were raised under Confucianism, so instead of immediately obeying, we contemplate, so it doesn't work. Instant obedience works
Then for three hours more I will constantly chastise and curse you. Do you still want it? [Yes.]
(Love Moon more than your wife)
If I visit your home, do you serve me or your husband first? [Father.] Why? [Because first Father is my husband, then my husband is my husband.]  
There are some who climb over True Mother's shoulder to try to catch me. Should I run away from such women, or embrace and educate them? [Embrace and educate.] Could you do that?

Road to Politics Ran Through a Texas Ballpark

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF © 2000, New York Times, 9/24/00

ARLINGTON, Tex. — For those who mock George W. Bush as a daddy's boy who slouched through life reaping the dividends of his name, the lovely Texas Rangers baseball stadium here is a useful rebuttal.

Walking around the Ballpark in Arlington as it was under construction in 1993, Mr. Bush explained proudly to a Texas reporter, "When all those people in Austin say, `He ain't never done anything,' well, this is it."

This stadium is the house that Bush built — and the one that allowed him, in a sense, to become a presidential candidate. As the owner of a baseball team in Arlington, a Dallas suburb, Mr. Bush laid the groundwork for his race for the governor's mansion, and that in turn may prove his steppingstone to the White House.

As an owner, Mr. Bush proved himself an outstanding manager, still remembered fondly by the players who pitched and batted for him, by the fans he wooed, even by the executives he fired. Mr. Bush helped turn the Rangers into a greatly improved team, and he presided over the complex arrangements for the new ballpark, one of the finest in major league baseball.

Mr. Bush became a multimillionaire in the process, setting himself up financially for his run for the presidency. In one blow, he acquired not only wealth but also the résumé he would need to triumph in politics.

Yet a close look suggests that Mr. Bush got the opportunity to be a baseball owner mostly because of his connections. Moreover, his investment was immensely profitable in part because he and his co-owners were shrewd bargainers who charmed and bullied the city of Arlington into giving them a great deal, with the local taxpayers paying more than $135 million to help build the Rangers a stadium.

"The largest welfare recipient in the state of Texas is George W. Bush," said Mark S. Rosentraub, a sports economist who formerly taught in Arlington and is now at Indiana University. "The numbers speak for themselves. You cannot accept $135 million from the taxpayers of Arlington and then be against welfare."

Mr. Bush and his fellow owners even got the local government to seize the property of other landowners and, in effect, hand it over to the Texas Rangers so that they could make a profit on it. All this was shrewd business and a tribute to Mr. Bush's savvy and vision, but critics complain that it is hard to reconcile with his speeches about limited government and private property rights.

"If a conservative is one who believes in limited government, this whole transaction shows how hypocritical it is for Bush to claim to be a conservative," said Jim Runzheimer, a lawyer in Arlington who opposed the public subsidy to build the stadium. "He got the government to pay his expenses, and that flies in the face of capitalism."

Yet Mr. Bush was simply doing, exceptionally successfully, what sports franchises everywhere have frequently tried: getting taxpayers to swallow some of their business costs. And to the extent that Mr. Bush's job at that time was to make money for the team's owners, he was eminently successful.

A longtime friend of Mr. Bush's and a fellow Rangers' owner, Roland W. Betts, noted that the criticisms in effect confirm Mr. Bush's success in doing his job.

"Didn't he profit off Arlington?" Mr. Betts asked. "Is it politically right to pit one community against another? Well, you have to say that at that point, George wasn't the governor of Texas. He was a general partner, he was a fiduciary, and a fiduciary's obligations are to perform well for investors. And that's what he did."

'I Just Grabbed On to It'

George W. Bush has frequently claimed to have cobbled together the deal to buy the Rangers in 1989.

"I was like a pit bull on the pant leg of opportunity," Mr. Bush said in a long interview about his past. "And I just grabbed on to it. I was going to put the deal together. And I did."

But that is a bit like Vice President Al Gore claiming to have taken the initiative in creating the Internet: there is something to it, but it is also an exaggeration.

The initiative, Mr. Bush acknowledges, came from Bill DeWitt, a businessman and friend of the family. Mr. DeWitt had heard that the Rangers were on the market and wanted to recruit Mr. Bush as a partner to buy the team.

The attractiveness of Mr. Bush as a partner had little to do with his business ability; at that time, his business record was a bleak one involving faltering oil companies. Rather, Mr. Bush was useful because his father was then the president and because he and his parents were longtime friends of the seller, Eddie Chiles. If anybody could get a good deal buying the team from Mr. Chiles, it would be Mr. Bush.

Sure enough, Mr. Chiles said he would be delighted to sell the team to Mr. Bush. So Mr. Bush, always a brilliant fund-raiser, persuaded a group of relatives and acquaintances to invest in the team. But most were not from Texas, and the baseball commissioner, Peter Ueberroth, wanted the teams to have local owners.

Mr. Bush was flummoxed.

At this point, Mr. Ueberroth and other baseball executives persuaded a Texas financier, Richard Rainwater, to help buy the team. By all accounts, the attraction of Mr. Bush in the deal was his name and connections.

"It certainly helped," Dr. Robert W. Brown, then the president of the American League, said of Mr. Bush's status as First Son. Dr. Brown, a former Yankee third baseman better known as Bobby, added: "He came from a very prominent group. I was very friendly with his father. So it wasn't just a strange happenstance."

Mr. Bush's path to becoming a baseball owner was remarkable because at first he did not put up a cent of his own money. Instead, he borrowed $500,000 from United Bank of Midland, a Texas bank of which he had previously been a director, and used it to buy a stake in the team.

Wayne Merritt, who was then the president of the bank (it has since been merged out of existence), said he could not discuss the loan because it was "Mr. Bush's private business." But Robert A. McCleskey, Mr. Bush's longtime accountant, said that as collateral for the loan, Mr. Bush had pledged oil company stock then worth more than $900,000.

In any case, a year later Mr. Bush sold the stock and paid off the loan. He also raised his investment in two stages to a total of $606,000, or 1.8 percent of the team.

Mr. Bush himself seemed to acknowledge the advantage that came with his name.

"Being the president's son puts you in the limelight," he told a reporter for Time magazine after buying the team. "While in the limelight, you might as well sell tickets."

A Passion for the Game

Throughout his life, baseball has been one of Mr. Bush's truest loves. As a child, he collected baseball cards and was a catcher on the all-star Little League team in Midland, Tex. As governor, he decorated his office with his collection of baseballs autographed by the likes of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. And even these days on the campaign plane, he perks up when baseball teams are mentioned and seems more intimate with the fine print of the sports pages than of the foreign news pages.

Mr. Bush's passion for baseball and his deep understanding of it helped him as he settled into his new role as an owner. While he initially grated on some Texans who saw him as a spoiled rich kid playing on his connections, he worked hard and impressed people in the baseball world.

Instead of watching games from an enclosed suite, as many owners do, Mr. Bush sat and ate peanuts in Section 109, Row 1, behind the Rangers' dugout. He got to know all the hot dog vendors and ticket-takers by first name, tirelessly introduced himself to fans and aggressively cultivated reporters.

Jim Reeves, a sports columnist for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, recalled that he had initially been skeptical of Mr. Bush, thinking that he had gotten the opportunity to be an owner simply because of his name. But Mr. Bush then wooed him, golfing with him twice and stopping frequently to chat, and Mr. Reeves changed his views.

"I saw him as a down-to-earth guy," Mr. Reeves recalled. "He would come to spring training and do his running and hang around the weight room or the clubhouse and stop and chat about the team."

"He was," Mr. Reeves added, "excellent with the media."

Mr. Bush also worked to charm the players, dropping by the clubhouse and socializing easily with them. He came across as the direct opposite of the stereotype of an imperious, pretentious owner.

"From the get-go, I liked him," said Kenny Rogers, who pitched for the Rangers then and rejoined the team this season. In particular, Mr. Bush became friendly with Nolan Ryan, the legendary pitcher who had just agreed to sign with the Rangers when Mr. Bush's group bought the team.

Mr. Ryan had been expected to play just one year with the Rangers before retiring. But he ended up playing five years, and when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, he wore his Rangers cap, even though he had played more seasons with other clubs.

The Rangers had ranked sixth in the American League's Western Division the two years before Mr. Bush came on board; they clawed their way up to second place by his last year of full-time involvement. Since then, they have won the division three times, although it's not clear how much credit if any Mr. Bush should get for that.

Mr. Bush had a particular knack for getting media attention, beginning when he got his mother, then the first lady, to throw out the first ball in a game. He also managed to get his father photographed wearing a Texas Rangers cap, and he took advantage of his family's prominence by giving speeches throughout the region proclaiming the virtues of baseball and urging people to go to games.

All this promotion paid off. The Rangers had never drawn as many as 1.8 million fans in a season in previous years, but attendance exceeded 2 million each year of Mr. Bush's stewardship.

It was less obvious to the fans, but Mr. Bush also proved an astute businessman and a first-class manager. In his presidential campaign, he sometimes describes leadership using the model of a chief executive in business, and that is what his colleagues remember him as: a leader who set an agenda, inspired those around him, acted predictably and was comfortable delegating authority.

Owners in baseball are notorious for being haughty and difficult, but Mr. Bush cultivated the opposite image. Instead of micromanaging — suggesting a pitching change during a game, for example — Mr. Bush proved then (as now) relatively uninterested in details and happy to delegate to those beneath him. It is hard to find anybody who worked in the ballpark who did not like him and did not periodically chat with him.

"He always picked my mind about what Latinos went through in baseball and, indirectly, what Latinos went through in the U.S.A.," said Luis Mayoral, who was then the Latin American liaison for the Rangers. "We'd kid a lot in Spanish. He'd see me in the distance and raise his arms and say `a la victoria.' "

It helped that Mr. Bush came across not as a rich boy but as a notorious cheapskate. He regularly wore shoes with holes in the soles, until a fellow owner, Edward W. Rose III, bought him a $150 pair of fancy Italian shoes at Neiman Marcus.

"And then he took them back," Mr. Rose laughed. "The way he remembers it, with his convenient memory, is he traded them in for two shirts. But that's not the way it really was. Actually, he traded them in for cash."

Sometimes Mr. Bush made management mistakes — the Rangers traded away Sammy Sosa on his watch, although Mr. Bush simply approved a decision that had been made well below him — but his management style also won him fierce loyalty. Tom Grieve, then the Rangers' general manager, says that owners typically try to tell tales of their old college baseball days to show off, but Mr. Bush won his heart by doing the opposite.

"George came in here and said, `Tommy boy, let me tell you about my days with the Yale freshman team,' " Mr. Grieve recalled with a chuckle. "You know it's going to be funny, because that's like a high school junior varsity team down here. And he was the relief pitcher! And he says how one day the pitcher really screwed up, and the coach decides to pull him, and George is really excited and thinks he's got his big chance.

"And then the coach calls in a second baseman even though he'd never thrown a pitch. And Bush says, `That's when I figured my aspirations of becoming a major league player might not be achieved.' "

Although he charmed people, Mr. Bush was not a patsy. In the end he fired three key people: Mr. Grieve as general manager, Bobby Valentine as manager, and Mike Stone as president. Mr. Stone declined to talk about it, but Mr. Valentine and Mr. Grieve rave about the man who fired them.

"If I'd been him, I'd have done the same thing," said Mr. Grieve, who is now one of the Rangers' television announcers. "It was the logical thing to do, based on the baseball facts."

"The way they handled the whole thing made me feel better about them after it was all done with," he added.

Mr. Valentine, who has been the manager of the New York Mets since late in the 1996 season, said of Mr. Bush, "Once the emotion was out, I still really liked him."

While in baseball, Mr. Bush demonstrated a grasp not just of tactics but also of strategy. His central strategic goal was to get a new stadium for the Rangers without making the owners pay for all of it.

A Huge Public Investment

The old Arlington Stadium was a mess.

Built in the early 1960's as a minor league ballpark and later remodeled with extra seating, it lacked the scale — and the lucrative extras like sky boxes — that these days help generate revenue for a professional baseball team. The previous owners had spoken with the city of Arlington about renovating the stadium, but studies had suggested that would be prohibitively expensive.

On the other hand, a new stadium would cost close to $200 million, and the owners were already saddled with debts and did not want to inject more capital into the franchise.

So what could they do? Get the people of Arlington to build them a new ballpark.

The efforts to get public financing have raised eyebrows because they seem to conflict with much of what Mr. Bush has stood for as a politician. While running for office, he has always called for limited government and low taxes, and the 2000 Republican Party platform in Texas (which he does not publicly embrace) explicitly states, "Public money or public powers should not be used to fund or implement any private projects such as high-speed rail or sports stadiums."

Yet the Rangers negotiated a huge public investment of taxpayer money, largely by hinting that without it they might leave. To a place like Arlington, already overshadowed by neighboring Dallas and Fort Worth, the Rangers were an emblem of local pride, and the possibility that it might lose the franchise was shattering.

In addition, there was an awkwardness in the negotiations: Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who negotiated the deal with the Rangers, was a defendant in two civil suits with federal regulators involving his former activities as a savings-and-loan executive. He settled one, in the middle of the stadium debates, by paying $40,000, and he later settled the other by paying $125,000.

"How can you negotiate on behalf of the city when you've got a lawsuit against you from the administration of the father of the guy across the table?" asked Mr. Runzheimer, the stadium critic. "Bush had him over a barrel."

Mr. Greene dismisses the criticism. "George had no knowledge of my problems; there is no connection," he said.

In the end, the two sides in Arlington agreed on a deal in which the city would put $135 million into building a stadium; the Rangers would get $17 million in cash to pay off a debt, while giving the city land worth considerably less than that; the Rangers would get virtually full control over the project but be exempted from obligations of ownership like paying school taxes; and the Rangers would have the right to get the entire stadium complex for nothing after 12 years of paying a modest rent. (It would have been foolish for the Rangers to take the stadium, even for nothing, because then they would have had to pay taxes, and the later owners of the team gave up that option to buy the stadium.)

The Rangers also contributed a sum to the ballpark that was originally put at $90 million. But this was arguably illusory, and the owners were not asked to invest a penny of fresh capital. Instead, the team raised its share by dedicating future revenues from seats, luxury suites and concessions — in the stadium that the city was building for them.

"The taxpayers took it in the shorts," said William M. Eastland, an accountant in Arlington who studied the agreement and came to oppose it. Mr. Eastland, a lifelong Republican, emphasizes that he supports Mr. Bush in the election — indeed, he was a Bush delegate at the Republican National Convention — but he still objects to public financing of the stadium.

"You can call it anything you want, but it's corporate welfare," Mr. Eastland said. "And I don't like corporate welfare."

Still, whatever one thinks of such deals for sports complexes, they have become frequent.

"It's one thing to say, `Why are we building this for owners and for right fielders who get $14 million a year?' " said Jeff Smulyan, who owned the Seattle Mariners when Mr. Bush ran the Rangers. "But the reality is that if you want a ball team in a place like Arlington, there has to be a public-private partnership."

Mr. Smulyan describes himself as a lifelong Democrat, but he has nothing but praise for Mr. Bush. And he adds that the kind of stadium arrangement Mr. Bush worked out is almost inevitable.

Indeed, Professor Rosentraub calculates in his book about stadium economics, "Major League Losers," that governments in two places, Seattle and Cleveland, provided more than $500 million in subsidies for sports, and four others provided subsidies of more than $300 million. St. Louis was so desperate to get a football team that in the mid-1990's it built a $280 million stadium to attract any football team that might be feeling restless. It worked: the Rams moved in from Anaheim, Calif.

On the other hand, after voters rejected a series of four proposals for public financing of a new stadium for the San Francisco Giants between 1987 and 1992, the team went ahead with a new $320 million ballpark that was privately financed, and that has been widely praised.

In Arlington, there was plenty of controversy about the subsidies for the Rangers, but the verdict that really mattered came from the voters in January 1991. The city's contribution was to be paid by an increase in the sales tax, and that had to be approved in a referendum. With a huge turnout, voters endorsed the agreement and the sales tax increase by almost a two-thirds majority.

"Who is the final judge of whether you made money on the backs of the city of Arlington?" asked Mr. Rose, Mr. Bush's fellow owner. "Is it some journalist who wants to sell papers, or the people who think or know that they made a good deal?"

While the stadium is clearly popular, there is disagreement about the economic outcome. Supporters note that the local economy is booming and credit the ballpark.

"There's no question that the ballpark made a huge difference for this franchise," said J. Thomas Schieffer, who succeeded Mr. Bush as general partner of the Rangers. "But we think the citizens of Arlington benefited as much as the owners did."

Professor Rosentraub, in contrast, attributes the boom to the vibrant metropolitan area and new malls. The stadium itself, he asserts, was a losing economic investment, although he adds that he has nothing against voters who want to lose money as a way of boosting civic pride.

"I'm not saying I don't like it," Professor Rosentraub said of the stadium. "I like it. I'm a baseball fan. It's just that it's a regressive tax taking money from the poor and middle-income people and shifting it to a very wealthy group of people. It's a redistribution of wealth upward."

Questions About Fairness

Aside from the public subsidy, another aspect of the ballpark project angers some people.

While the Rangers' owners arguably had enough land for the new ballpark and parking lots, they foresaw that one way to make money would be to own and develop property around the new stadium. Over time, a popular stadium could make the surrounding land more desirable so that it could be profitably transformed into strips of hotels, restaurants, gas stations, office buildings or even houses.

The owners always tried to keep their partnership agreement secret, but a copy of the 110-page document, obtained recently, lists among the purposes of the partnership not just profiting on baseball but also "owning, managing, operating, exploiting, selling or disposing of real estate."

As Mr. Bush told a local reporter after buying the team, "The idea of making a land play, absolutely, to plunk the field down in the middle of a big piece of land, that's kind of always been the strategy."

The problem was that some of the land belonged to other people.

As a politician, Mr. Bush has repeatedly sided with the property rights movement, which aims to protect property owners from government attempts to take land or limit its use. Often this issue comes up in environmental cases, and the national Republican platform this year — which Mr. Bush's aides helped mold — has an entire section titled "Protecting Property Rights."

"In Texas, in my first term, we enacted one of the strongest property rights laws in the nation," Mr. Bush declared in a speech on the environment late last year. "As president, I would follow the same policies."

But when Mr. Bush was running the Rangers, the team got Arlington to use its power of eminent domain to seize private land for the new stadium complex. At one level, this was simply one more way for Arlington to give the Rangers an incentive to stay. But the practice raised questions about fairness.

Confidential memos among the Rangers owners became part of the public record in subsequent litigation, and they paint a picture of the owners casting a proprietary eye over the area and then telling the city what land to seize. In one internal memo, for example, an owner referred to a privately owned parcel and told the other owners that it "sounds like another condemnation candidate — if you want to work the site into your master plan."

Judging from the memos, Mr. Bush was not directly involved in the mechanics of the condemnation. But he supervised those who were, and the process reflected his own philosophy of how to make money in baseball: move beyond tickets and hot dogs to seek new sources of revenue.

The Mathes family was one of those that tangled with the Rangers when they were under Mr. Bush. The family, the heirs of a television tycoon named Curtis Mathes, owned a piece of land near the stadium, and agreed to sell if the price was fair.

What would be fair? The city had previously paid $10 a square foot for a sliver of that same property to expand a road, Horace B. Kelton, a family member and spokesman, said. But in the end, court documents show, the city warned off another potential buyer and seized the property for less than $1.50 a square foot.

The Matheses went to court, and a final settlement gave the family more than $11 per square foot.

"It took us seven years and we spent millions of dollars on legal costs," Mr. Kelton said. "It was grossly unfair, until it was rectified by the courts."

The Rangers see it differently. Mr. Schieffer notes that property values had fallen in Texas and insists that it was the Matheses' lawyers who hijacked the process and got more than the land had been worth.

After the settlements, the Rangers, tough bargainers to the end, refused to pay, noting that the legal obligation to pay lay with the city of Arlington. It was only last year, after Mr. Bush and his group had sold the Rangers, that the new owners agreed to repay the city for the losses.

"They made a heck of a deal," Glenn Sodd, the lawyer who represented the landowners against the Rangers, said of Mr. Bush and his fellow owners. "If he was the architect of it, it indicates some brains on his part."

But Mr. Sodd, who said he had voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968, added that he would not vote for Mr. Bush this time around because of what he said was his repugnance for the "dirty pool" played by the Rangers owners.

"My concern is whether billionaires and powerful people are going to run the government the way they ran that deal," Mr. Sodd said. "Otherwise I'd be voting for the guy. If it weren't for this nightmare we went through, I'd be voting for him."

The Road Not Taken

One of the skills Mr. Bush demonstrated with the Rangers was an ability to disagree with people without coming across as disagreeable.

It was that talent that almost led his career in a different direction, one that would have kept him in baseball and out of politics. There had been a bitter dispute among major league owners about Fay Vincent, the baseball commissioner and an old friend of the Bush family. Mr. Bush had been Mr. Vincent's most vocal supporter, but in the end the other owners — led by Bud Selig, the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers — forced Mr. Vincent to resign.

Even though Mr. Bush was on the losing side, he was widely respected among the owners for his conciliatory style and commitment to baseball, and some suggested that he be appointed to replace Mr. Vincent as a way of healing the rift among the owners. Several friends say that in early 1993 Mr. Bush was very interested in the job.

"George wanted to be commissioner, and Selig said he'd support him but didn't," Mr. Vincent said. "And if George had become commissioner, he wouldn't be running for president. So if he's elected, he'll owe the job in some way to Selig."

Mr. Selig, who was then acting commissioner and eventually was given the job permanently, has a different memory. He said he recalled no specific discussions with Mr. Bush about him getting the job, adding that in any case a decision on a new commissioner was put off until long after Mr. Bush had decided to run for governor.

When he began campaigning for governor, Mr. Bush's full-time involvement in baseball came to an end. But he retained his financial interest until 1998, when he and his fellow owners sold the Rangers — very shrewdly, at the top of the market — for $250 million.

It was a good deal for all the owners. The limited partners, who had leveraged their capital with loans, made a 450 percent profit on their investment. And Mr. Bush did far better.

As general partner of the Rangers, Mr. Bush was paid $200,000 a year. But, more important, he was rewarded with a provision that after the investors got their money back plus 2 percent interest per year, he would get a gift of a 10 percent share of the remaining profits.

The result was that his investment of $606,000 turned into $14.9 million. In addition, he is likely to receive a final distribution of another $1 million or $2 million over the next year. That will amount to at least a 2,500 percent profit.