AUSTIN (KXAN) – In his first year George P. Bush focused on technological reforms at the General Land Office. It’s not the most well-known office in the state but it manages 13 million acres of land to raise money for the permanent school fund.
“Try to bring Texas history to the next generation of Texans and this is one small way that we do that,” said Bush.
Thursday, he helped teach a group of Austin charter school kids from Athlos Leadership Academy.
10-year-old Nathan says he’s glad he came here from Atlanta — for one specific reason. “The food, because I like spicy stuff,” he said.
The class learned about how early settlers to the republic of Texas received more than 4,000 acres of land. Land that Nathan says he’d sell to take care of his parents.
“Because by the time, I’m like twenty, they’re going to be old and they might need some care. So I’ll have to pay for their shots,”he said.
This class is an example of a new reform. “We’ve also leveraged the technology of today. We live in a world where we sell products on Ebay, we buy on Amazon, we ride in an Uber, why doesn’t government do the same,” said Bush.
And that’s why these students are learning Texas history by means of a YouTube class — paid for by the money the land office raises through managing mineral rights.
When George P. is not on the clock as land commissioner, he criss-crosses the country with his famous father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, on his presidential campaign.
“Well I still think there’s too many candidates, because it’s not allowing the serious candidates – like my dad – to get his story and his vision in to tell his story to the American people,” said George P. Bush.
Jeb Bush is not in the top three poll-wise, but his son is confident voters will put him to the top.
“The American voters that I talk with, not only here in Texas but throughout the country, they say they are tired of the rhetoric and tired of the show. They want to get down to issues and down to track record. I think that’s where my dad will emerge from this chaos,” said George P. Bush.
Some of his reforms drew controversy from the Houston Chronicle, that reported he spent a good amount of time out of the office campaigning for his father. However, George P. Bush and the Land Office reacted with that same technology, saying he does a lot of work via email, phone, and messaging while he’s out of Austin.
“It’s a political attack and when you’re a successful conservative as we have been by downsizing this agency and bringing about reforms that I campaigned on, it’s going to create controversy,” said George P. Bush.
Tune in to State of Texas in Depth this Sunday morning for more of KXAN’s political reporter Phil Prazan’s interview with Commissioner Bush.
The extended interview with Commissioner Bush: