Monday, June 29, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

"In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing"

A lengthy article in the Washington Post reminds us that, "as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation’s chief executive.

He has said he 'worked my tail off' to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007, individuals close to the candidate told The Post."

But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk.
"Five of his business associates have been convicted of crimes; one remains an international fugitive on fraud charges. In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and said some of the people he met as a businessman in Florida took advantage of his naiveté."
He has been involved in myriad business ventures dating back to the early 1980s, taking time out to run for governor three times, winning the first of two terms in 1998. He has brokered real estate deals in Florida, arranged bank loans in Venezuela, marketed industrial pumps in Thailand, wholesaled shoes in Panama, promoted a building-materials company to Mexican interests and advised transnational financial services firms. He sat on more than a half dozen corporate boards. Since leaving office in 2007, Bush’s income has soared from speeches, service on corporate boards, consulting and managing investments for others. . . .

“The only documented allegations come down to the fact that he did business with people that later turned out to be deadbeats and crooks,” said Tom Feeney, who was on the ticket as lieutenant governor during Bush’s 1994 campaign.

Bush’s business activities and missteps have been widely covered over the years, by the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, the Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones magazine and other publications, along with books by political scientists and journalists.

Bush declined to be interviewed for this article.

"Much more here: Jeb Bush dogged by decades of questions about business deals."

"Miller Ready for a Senate Run?"

Jeff Henderson: "Is Longtime Congressman Jeff Miller Ready for a Senate Run?"

Amendment 1 supporters shouldn't get hopes up

Nancy Smith: "Environmental groups looking for Amendment 1 redemption from the courts probably shouldn't get their hopes up." "Amendment 1 Lawsuit Has History Against It."

"Floridians will be able to keep their Obamacare"

Nice to know that "more than 100,000 Central Floridians will be able to keep their Obamacare health insurance, because their subsidies aren't going away." "Local providers 'relieved' after SCOTUS ruling on subsidies."


The Tampa Trib editors: "The real dirt on fracking."

130 new laws

"The state’s record-setting budget goes into effect on Wednesday, along with 130 other new laws that were produced by the Legislature this year in the regular and special sessions and signed by Gov. Rick Scott." "New Laws Kick In This Week: Body Cameras, Drones, Abortion, Traffic Tickets, Secret Recordings, Flags."

Jeb! grubs for wingnuts

Kevin Derby: "Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., turned to former Gov. Luis Fortuño, R-PR, to rally the troops for his presidential campaign this weekend and go after former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, the favorite for the Democratic nomination." "Jeb Bush Turns to Luis Fortuño to Go After Hillary."

Trump's latest wife stands with Jeb!

"Donald Trump's wife wants him to lay off Jeb Bush."