Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R)

Industry
Lawyer
Education
B.A. Rice University, J.D., University of Texas School of Law
Spouse
Amanda
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Bush is the founder of St. Augustine Capital Partners, an energy investment and advisory firm. He left his post as managing member at the end of 2014.

  • He has previously worked in private equity firms he founded or co-founded and worked as a corporate attorney. 

  • He served as the deputy finance chair for the Republican Party of Texas and co-founded the Hispanic Republicans of Texas. 

  • His wife, Amanda, is an attorney for Jackson Walker LLP, and a Partner for St. Augustine Partners, LLC and Steele Resources, LLC.

  • He holds diverse stocks and mutual funds, mostly in small amounts, and he lists income from rental property in Austin.

Property

  • A condo in Austin valued at $357,670, according to the Travis County Appraisal District

Analysis

  • As head of the General Land Office, Bush is tasked with managing mineral rights on millions of acres of state-owned property, whose royalties flow into the $37.7 billion Permanent School Fund. That means the he will be negotiating with energy companies and holding to task any that may underpay the state. Bush’s old investment firm, St. Augustine Capital Partners, has “participated in partnerships with seasoned operators to develop drilling programs in the Marcellus and Permian Basins,” according to its website. Bush’s team says that experience will benefit him in the land commissioner role.

  • Bush came under scrutiny in 2015 after the General Land Office improperly paid former workers as employees after they had been let go. In what Bush has described as a “reboot” of the General Land Office, a large number of high ranking officials were replaced by family friends and associates of Bush, including 36 positions that were never publicly filed, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Houston Chronicle also reported that the commission spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to discourage fired workers from suing the agency.

  • Bush was criticized early in his term for playing an active role in his father’s presidential campaign. Bush disputed suggestions that he was falling down on his Texas job.