Former workers dispute Bush's pull in Project P.U.L.L.
President Bush often has cited his work in 1973 with a now-defunct inner-city program for troubled teens as the source for his belief in "compassionate conservatism."
"I realized then that a society can change and must change one person at a time ..." Bush said in a video shown at the 2000 Republican National Convention about his tenure at P.U.L.L., the Professional United Leadership League, whose executive director, John White, had played tight end for the Houston Oilers in the early 1960s.
But former associates of White, who died in 1988, have disputed in recent interviews much of Bush's version of his time at the program.
"I was working full time for an inner-city poverty program known as Project P.U.L.L.," Bush said in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." "My friend John White ... asked me to come help him run the program. ... I was intrigued by John's offer. ... Now I had a chance to help people."
But White's administrative assistant and others associated with P.U.L.L., speaking on the record for the first time, say Bush was not helping to run the program and White had not asked Bush to come aboard. Instead, the associates said, White told them he agreed to take Bush on as a favor to Bush's father, who was honorary co-chairman of the program at the time, and Bush was unpaid. They say White told them Bush had gotten into some kind of trouble but White never gave them specifics.
"We didn't know what kind of trouble he'd been in, only that he'd done something that required him to put in the time," said Althia Turner, White's administrative assistant.
No documents from Bush's time with P.U.L.L. exist. The agency, which closed in 1989, left most of its records behind when it moved to a new location in 1984. The building's owner, Southern Leather Co., said those were discarded. No one seems to know what happened to any remaining records after 1989. White's widow declined to be interviewed.
But many people recall Bush's tenure at the agency.
Turner, who said she has avoided reporters for years, agreed to be interviewed only after phoning her pastor for advice.
When she hung up the phone, she turned to a reporter: "My pastor says if you found me, I should tell the truth."
Sunday, October 24
"My Pastor Says...I Should Tell The Truth."
The little crackhead's criminal past is about to catch up with him.
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 3:45 PM