By John Williams


Appointed to the Board of Regents in 1996 by Republican Governor Pete Wilson

Chairman of the Board from July 2004 until January 2007

Term ends March 1, 2008

Shawn Steel, the president of the California Republican Party from 2003-2005, wrote in an article in the National Review saying that Gerald L. Parsky is “the man behind the curtains.”

Parsky’s first major notes in the record books came during his tenure as the assistant secretary of the Treasury in the early ’70s, where he first met the young George W. Bush. After a stint with the Treasury, he joined with his boss, Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, to form a limited liability company, which later ended with Simon’s withdrawal and his telling Forbes Magazine, “I lost all faith in Gerald Parsky.”

With Simon gone, Parsky changed the name of the company to Aurora Capital, and started making money. Aurora Capital buys failing companies and turns them into profitable ones. Aurora Capital’s website says the company currently manages over $2 billion in revenue. Records from the Center for Responsive Politics show that Aurora Capital donated a total of $182,250 in soft money contributions to the Republican National Committee (RNC) over six years, almost reaching the legal limit of donations.

This money wasn’t Parsky’s only contribution to politics. According to FEC accounts, Parsky personally donated $2,000 to Bush’s campaign in 2000, and $50,000 to the RNC. As a fundraiser for the California Republican Party, Parsky organized fundraising activities; according to Shawn Steel, in three events he raised $3.5 million for the Republican Party.

Steel argues that this accomplishment was possible because Parsky was, “President Bush’s self-appointed man in California, a sort of White House California viceroy,” and therefore could easily bring in big time politicians like Dick Cheney.

The president of the California Republican Party has said, “Parsky is a(n) … ultra-wealthy Los Angeles investor … unarguably the single most powerful Republican in the state … the last word in federal judicial appointments in California.”