In 1986, after reporting a net loss of $1.5 million the previous year, Spectrum 7 was purchased by Harken Oil and Gas for $2.2 million, at the time one-third owned by noted investor George Soros.
In 2002, Soros was asked about the deal. According to The Nation's Washington editor David Corn, who happened to run into Mr. Soros at a party and asked him why Harken had bought Mr Bush's company.
- "I didn't know him," Corn quoted Mr Soros as saying in an article posted on The Nation's website. "He was supposed to bring in the Gulf connection. But it didn't come to anything. We were buying political influence. That was it. He was not much of a businessman."
A Soros spokesman, Michael Vachon, would neither deny nor confirm that Mr Soros had made the comment. But he said it was "taken out of context" because it implied that Mr Soros was actively involved in Harken's decision to buy Spectrum7. This was not the case. Mr Soros left the management of Harken to others, Mr Vachon said.
But numerous Harken officials have said over the years that Mr Bush's presence at Spectrum7 made the failing company more attractive than it would otherwise have been.
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