Mon, 02/20/2012 - 11:32pm —
Rumors and whispers of a late
presidential bid by Jeb Bush are
difficult to consider seriously --
if only because the deadlines to
enter primary contests have past,
the necessary money and campaign
staff are not in place, and the
mechanisms for a “brokered
convention” do not exist. And yet
some worried Republicans are
evidently imagining a rescue by the
former Florida Governor.
Such fantasies arise from the
unappetizing choices that now
confront Republican voters. But if
Jeb Bush were to enter the field, as
he has wisely declined to do so far,
the public scrutiny that has damaged
the current candidates so badly
would turn toward him – and swiftly
reveal an enormous deadweight of
political baggage. What Florida
voters once accepted (or ignored)
might well horrify the national
obstacle that Jeb would have to
surmount is that to most Americans
outside the Sunshine State, he is
known only as the brother of George
W. Bush, most recently named one of
presidents in the past half-century
by respondents to a Gallup poll –
rated just above the late Richard M.
Nixon, in fact. It’s a negative
accomplishment that should not be “mis-underestimated,”
as the former president himself
a professional politician or a
right-wing pundit – the sort of deep
thinkers mulling a Jeb boomlet –
could believe that most Americans
would receive the idea of another
Bush presidency with any emotion
except loathing. Not much would have
to be said or done to remind voters
of this century’s catastrophic first
decade, and why they might not wish
to risk putting a third Bush in the
the historic burden of his family
name, Jeb Bush carries a resume of
dubious episodes that stretch back
three decades, to his early days as
a Florida real estate developer and
consultant, when he told reporters
that he intended to become “very
wealthy.” Among the partners he
encountered in that quest was one
Miguel Recarey, whose International
Medical Centers was accused of one
of the largest Medicare swindles of
all time. Before Recarey fled the
country ahead of several federal
indictments, Jeb had
made a call on
to Health and Human Services
Secretary Margaret Heckler – a
Cabinet secretary serving at the
pleasure of his father, George
Herbert Walker Bush, who was then
president. Recarey paid him $75,000
for that lobbying errand, which
forestalled government action to
stop Recarey's skimming of millions
in Medicare dollars. Although Jeb
has denied that Recarey -- a mob
associate -- paid him to call
Heckler, both the fugitive and the
former HHS secretary have since
confirmed those circumstances.
Jeb soon did
amass a fortune in real estate,
mostly with the assistance of the
Cuban-American community in South
Florida. He returned the favor by
presidential pardon from George H.W.
for the late Orlando Bosch, a
murderous anti-Castro militant
his father’s own Attorney General
as “an unreformed terrorist”
responsible for killing dozens of
never hesitates to denounce
government regulation and praise the
unfettered free market, Jeb didn’t
exactly reject the federal teat when
one of his own investments went
south during the savings-and-loan
an infusion of
more than $4.5 million from the
Jeb and his partners managed to hold
onto a downtown Miami office
building in 1989 that they soon sold
for $8.7 million. In other words,
Bush benefited from a government
There is much
more to the Jeb saga, including his
vow to sign
legislation that would have awarded
Florida’s disputed electoral votes
to his brother
in November 2000, and his
ill-advised attempts to intervene in
the case of Terry Schiavo, the
brain-dead woman whose husband and
parents sued each other over whether
to turn off her respirator and end
her life. The public regarded
interference in that sad matter by
Congressional leaders and other
right-wing politicians as an
opportunistic exploitation of
tragedy – and the Schiavo affair
became a turning point leading up to
the 2006 Republican midterm debacle.
Newt, Mitt and the rest of the
Republican cohort have learned is
how unflattering stories that faded
years ago become suddenly vivid
under the campaign’s glare. Unless
he is truly the smarter Bush – and
ignores all this presidential
daydreaming -- the same lesson
awaits brother Jeb.
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush (born February 11, 1953) is an
politician who served as the
43rd Governor of
He is a prominent member of the
family: the younger brother of former
George W. Bush; the older brother of
Marvin Bush and
Dorothy Bush Koch; and the second son of former President
George H. W. Bush and former
JOHN ELLIS "JEB" BUSH
was the Republican Governor of Florida, but his future was not always
free from doubt. A Secret Service agent assigned to the Bush family detail told a reporter
for Mother Jones, "We can't keep these [Bush] kids from associating with someone they
want to be with. All we can do after warning them is to sweep these guys with metal
detectors when they come around."
In 1986, Camilo Padreda hired Jeb as the leasing agent for a commercial-office building
that Padreda had built with $1.4 million in federal loans from the Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD). Four years prior to his association with Jeb Bush, Padreda
had been accused of looting a savings-and-loan in McAllen, Texas. A federal indictment
charged Padreda and his then-partner of embezzling more than $500,000 from the thrift.
Padreda's partner was also charged with drug-smuggling, money-laundering and gunrunning.
These taints on Padreda's character did not stop Jeb Bush from enthusiastically pursuing
tenants for Padreda's HUD-financed office building. In 1989, Padreda pleaded guilty to
defrauding HUD of millions of dollars during the 1980s.
Miguel Recarey provided Jeb Bush's next brush with the underworld. Recarey, who reputedly
carried a pistol under his jacket and kept assault rifles at his Miami estate, hired Jeb
as a "real-estate consultant." Bush would never close a single real-estate
deal. His real value to Recarey was to lobby U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
officials for a special exemption for a Recarey health-maintenance organization. Recarey
received the waiver, which allowed his HMO to carry an unusually large proportion of
Medicare patients. At its height in 1986, Recarey's HMO collected more than $30 million a
month in Medicare payments; in all the company received $1 billion from Medicare.
A special agent of H&HS determined that Recarey had been defrauding Medicare through
overcharging, false invoicing and embezzlement. Recarey exiled himself to Venezuela, and
Jeb Bush went on to become Governor of the Sunshine State.
During the 1998 election-campaign season a number of people provided interesting
information about gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush. They told of a woman who had
been having an adulterous affair with Jeb. She supposedly possessed and had
displayed photographs of Jeb in compromising sexual positions and engaged in consumption
of narcotics. There are rumors (unsubstantiated) that these items have been
acquired by a nationally known organization which will release them to the news media in
good time. Are you getting tired of the Bush Sleaze factor yet?
Jeb's Alleged Affairs
- Alia Faraj,
"Governor Bush Makes 2 New Agency Appointments," flanews.com,
September 5, 2000: "Governor Jeb Bush's most controversial appointee has
Cynthia Henderson who headed the Department of Business and
Professional Regulation was today appointed to run the Department of
Management Services. In her new role, Henderson will be responsible for
working with state technology leaders and overseeing the state's major
- Anthony York,
"Jeb Bush denies affair rumors. Florida's governor says stories linking
him to a Cabinet secretary are 'an outright lie'," Salon, May
14, 2001: "The whispers linking Bush to Cynthia Henderson, secretary of
the Department of Management Services, had reached something of a fever
pitch thanks to an unsourced item on MediaWhores Online, followed by
items in the Tallahassee Democrat and a cryptic reference to Bush's
'family troubles' in a column by conservative writer
Robert Novak. Two other Florida dailies weighed in with stories
about the rumor over the weekend."
- Sarah Left,
"Jeb Bush,", Guardian/UK, May 15, 2001: "Jeb Bush has given
his brother's presidency its first hint of scandal by going public to
deny an affair. Read our guide to the best sites on the governor of
"Florida Governor Jeb Bush Denies Fling with former Playboy Bunny,"
Buzzle.com, May 16, 2001: "Rumors have been flying around lately
that link Florida Governor Jeb Bush with former Playboy Bunny and top
state employee, Cynthia Henderson. ... The president's younger brother
called an impromptu press conference yesterday to dispel rumors that he
is having an affair with the head of the state Department of Management
Services, Cynthia Henderson. Henderson, a very attractive 40-year-old
former Playboy Bunny, also denied the reports when questioned by
reporters at a recent bill signing, where both she and Governor Jeb were
present. ... Other than the standard ramblings of the liberal press in
Florida, there has been no evidence offered to substantiate the claims
- Al Martin,
"The Jeb Bush Affair Story That Won't Go Away,"
investigate911.com, no date (May 2001): "The Governor did not
however specifically address allegations made on the Al Martin Raw
Website that he was aware he been videotaped by an
FBI surveillance camera at the 2001 Super Bowl held in Tampa. Nor
would the Governor address what was raised on Al Martin Raw that in fact
Ms. Henderson was seeking money to keep quiet about her affair with the
"Jeb Bush secures sunshine state,", BBC/UK, November 6, 2002.
Scroll down to "Family Problems."
- Peter Wallsten,
"Jeb Bush's regime showing cracks," Bradenton Herald,
December 10, 2002: "In the past week, Bush also lost two of his most
trusted agency chiefs to resignations - Lottery Director David Griffin
and Management Services Secretary Cynthia Henderson. ... Aides say Bush
tried to keep Henderson, a controversial but loyal lieutenant, by
offering her a reconfigured job, an offer she refused."
Jeb Bush's Environmental Record
John Hedrick of the
Panhandle Citizens Coalition, Bush has been helping the St. Joe
Corporation develop the Florida Panhandle coastline in a destructive manner.
Related SourceWatch Resources
Biographical & Professional
Articles & Commentary
- Alecia Swasy and Robert Trigaux,
Jeb Bush followed the family game plan: Earn your fortune, then run for
public office. A vast network of deals made it possible, St.
Petersburg Times, September 20, 1998.
- Jeb Bush,
Florida Executive Order Number 01-261, September 7, 2001.
"Jeb Bush's Domineering Style Chafes Even His Own Camp," The
Tampa Tribune, March 16, 2005.
- Jim Loney,
"Florida ends fight against abortion for 13-yr-old," Reuters, May 3,
- Brent Kallestad,
"Gov. Bush Criticized for Schiavo Probe," Associated Press, July 1,
2005: "The poll also showed that 70 percent of respondents, including a
majority of Republicans with an opinion, say Bush shouldn't run for
president in 2008."
- Mary Ellen Klas and Beth Reinhard,
"Defeats signal twilight of Jeb Bush era. The governor's numerous
defeats last week heralded the transition by Florida Republicans to the
'post-Jeb' era," Miami Herald, May 7, 2006.
"New Orleans Pump Contract Investigated. Army Corps Copied Pump Maker's
Specs In Bid, Gave $32M Contract To Politically Linked Company,"
Associated Press (CBS News), May 1, 2007. re
Hurricane Katrina: Profiteering
Bush enrolled at
Phillips Andover, a private
boarding school in
Massachusetts, already attended by his brother, George. Bush made the
honor roll in his first semester.
When Bush was 17, he went to
León, Guanajuato, in
part of his school's
student exchange program. He spent his time there teaching
English, and it was there that he met his future wife,
Columba Garnica Gallo.
Bush attended the
University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated
Phi Beta Kappa with a
Bachelor's degree in
Latin American Studies in 1973, taking only two and a half years to
complete his work, and obtaining generally excellent grades. He had
considered a career in Hollywood, but decided instead to pursue politics. He
registered for the
draft, but the
Vietnam War ended before his number came up.
After his early graduation, Bush married
Columba Garnica Gallo, on February 23, 1974. Their three children are
George P. Bush,
Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr. Their eldest son, George Prescott
Bush (born April 24, 1976 in
Gulliver Preparatory School, studied at
Rice University, and earned a
Juris Doctor degree from the
University of Texas. Noelle Lucila Bush (born July 26, 1977 in Texas),
their daughter and second child, studied at
Tallahassee Community College, graduating in 2000. John Ellis "Jebby"
Bush, Jr. (born December 13, 1983 in
Miami, Florida), their youngest child, attended
The Bolles School, a private boarding and day school in
Jacksonville, and then the
University of Texas.
John Ellis Bush, Jr., Bush's youngest son, works for a
Miami commercial real estate firm. In October 2007, he endorsed
Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, and
supported the effort as chairman of "Florida Young Professionals for Rudy".
On January 29, 2002, according to a police report made public via
The Smoking Gun, Noelle Bush attempted to “fraudulently obtain a
prescription” at a
Drug Store located in
The attending officers, Bob Bascom and Mark E. Dent of the
Tallahassee Police Department, ascertained that Bush had telephoned the
pharmacy using the name “Noelle Scidmore” in an attempt to obtain
Xanax, a prescription drug used to treat
anxiety disorders. As a result of her arrest, Bush was ordered by a
judge to attend a rehabilitation program at the Center for Drug-Free Living
During her time at the facility, Bush was found in
contempt of court after being found in possession of two grams of
and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Upon completion of her rehabilitation program, the governor's press office
released a statement on his behalf. “Columba and I are pleased that our
daughter Noelle has completed this step, and grateful for the treatment
she's received ... . She has worked hard to get here. We are proud of her
efforts and love her very much.”
Regarding her treatment, Noelle Bush herself told the court “It's been quite
a challenge, and I'm grateful.”
Business experience in Texas and abroad
Bush went to work in an entry level position in the international
Texas Commerce Bank, a job he received through
Baker, a long time family friend and chairman of the board of Texas
Commerce Bank. Bush assisted in drafting communications for the company's
chairman, Ben Love.
In November 1977, he was sent to the
Venezuelan capital of
to open a new operation for the bank. Bush spent about two years there,
working in international finance. He eventually worked for the bank's
Bush returned to the United States to work without salary on his father's
campaign for the Republican
presidential nomination in 1980, explaining:
- "I wasn't motivated for politics, I wasn't motivated because of
ideology or anything. My dad's the greatest man I've ever met or
will meet; I can predict that fairly confidently. It was payback time,
simple as that."
His father ultimately lost the Republican nomination for President that
year, but was chosen to be
Ronald Reagan's running mate. That fall,
George H.W. Bush was elected
Vice President of the United States, and won reelection in 1984. In
1988, the elder Bush won both the Republican Party's presidential nomination
and the election, becoming the nation's 41st president. In 1992 Bush's
father was defeated for re-election by then-Arkansas
Business and lobbying experience in Miami
Following the 1980 presidential election, Bush and his family moved to
Miami-Dade County, Florida. He took a job in real estate with
Armando Codina, a 32-year-old
and self-made American millionaire. Codina had made a fortune in a computer
business, and then formed a new company, IntrAmerica Investments Inc., to
pursue opportunities in
In 1981, his first year with Codina's new real estate venture, Bush
earned $41,508. He soon became a valuable real estate salesman for Codina
and helped him build a very successful property business in Florida.
During Bush's years in Miami, he was involved in many different
entrepreneurial pursuits, including working for a mobile phone company,
serving on the board of a
company that sold fire equipment to the
Alaska oil pipeline, becoming a minority owner of the
Jacksonville Jaguars, buying a shoe company that sold footwear in
getting involved in a project selling water pumps in
Codina eventually made Bush his partner in a new development business,
which quickly became one of South Florida's leading real estate development
firms. As a partner, Bush received 40% of the firm's profits.
There have been several allegations of this, but Bush was never on the
exile Miguel Recarey. Bush worked at locating office spaces for IMC and
did so like every other licensed Realtor; commission based on final
performance. Jeb was provided with a detailed list of specifications of what
was wanted. This included acceptable locations, a range of size and price
per square foot parameters. Jeb's search went on for several months and
multiple locations that met the established criteria were actually found by
Jeb. Each time, he was provided with a series of reasons why the particular
site was not acceptable. In reality, Miguel Recarey was an extremely
contradictory fellow, constantly changing his mind. The last property that
Jeb Bush brought forth was a deal almost too good to be true: the building
was in Coral Gables, right in the middle of the preferred location requested
and square foot pricing was well below the going market rate. Miguel found
himself in in a difficult predicament and decided to pay Jeb the $75,000
commission, not for purchase of political influence as so many are fond to
accuse him of, but for 2 different reasons that don't appear in the
mainstream media: 1) Jeb had performed exactly as requested and he felt he
had a legal liability to pay if so challenged. If so, he did not want to be
embroiled in a legal fight with the son of an influential politician and be
on the wrong side of the argument, 2) He felt he had a moral obligation to
pay and had already run out of excuses of why the last property Jeb found
would not be acceptable.
Recarey, who ran International Medical Centres (IMC), employed Bush as a
real estate consultant and paid him a $75,000 fee for finding the company a
new location, although the move never took place. Bush did, however,
the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of
Recarey and IMC. "I want to be very wealthy," Jeb Bush told the Miami
News when questioned during that period.
After narrowly losing a 1994 election for Governor of Florida against
Lawton Chiles, Bush pursued policy and charitable interests. He started
non-profit organization called The Foundation For Florida’s Future, a
tank that stated as its mission influencing
public policy at the
grassroots level. Jeb met with Noel Serrano, a member of the Latin
Chamber of Commerce in 1991. Noel states, "Jeb was always a dedicated Public
Servant long before he became Governor" He also "volunteered time to assist
the Miami Children's Hospital, the
United Way of Dade County and the Dade County Homeless Trust".
Jeb Bush has also worked with The
James Madison Institute, a
market public policy
tank based in
Tallahassee, FL. He helped the institute in numerous ways and still has
his think tank working in conjunction with it. In June 2008, Jeb's
Foundation for Excellence in Education,partnered with JMI to hold a
"Excellence in Action: A National Summit on Education Reform".
In 1996, The Foundation For Florida’s Future published a book that Bush
had co-written, Profiles in Character (ISBN
0-9650912-0-1), a clear parallel to
John F. Kennedy's 1955 book
Profiles in Courage. The foundation also published and distributed
policy papers, such as "A New Lease on Learning: Florida's First Charter
School", which Bush co-wrote.
Bush subsequently wrote the foreword to another book, published by the
Heritage Foundation and written by Nina Shokraii Rees, School Choice
2000: What’s Happening in the States (ISBN
Bush co-founded the first
charter school in the State of Florida:
Liberty City Charter School, a grades K-6 elementary school.
The school is situated in Liberty City, a Miami neighborhood that was the
site, in 1980, of the first major
Civil Rights era.
The school's co-founder, working alongside Bush, was
T. Willard Fair, a well-known local black activist and head of the
Greater Miami Urban League. The Liberty City Charter School still operates
today as a charter school.
Additionally, Bush is an active rock climber, and a strong advocate for
In 2000, Bush established the Points of Light program to recognize an
"exemplary volunteer, organization, or person" such as Jimmy Rotonno of
Our Father's House Soup Kitchen who won the award in 2003.
In addition to his business, civic and charitable activities, the
Episcopalian Bush converted to
Catholicism (1995). He and his wife belonged to the Epiphany Catholic
Church in Miami for many years. Bush is also a Third Degree
Knight of Columbus according to an August 3, 2004 speech his brother,
George W. Bush, made at the 122nd Knights of Columbus Convention in Dallas.
The following is an excerpt from the speech:
- "I'm proud to say that my family has contributed to your ranks. A
few years ago, Governor Jeb became a Knight. And he – yes – and he
recently took his Third Degree. I'll see him this weekend. His son is
getting married. I'll pass on the word, aim for the Fourth."
In 2004, Jeb Bush (while still governor) was inducted into the Fourth
Degree by Gary L. McLain at a ceremony held Nov. 1. Bush, a member of Father
Hugon Council 3521 in Tallahassee, joined Father Hugon Assembly.
Jeb Bush Being Knighted 4th Degree
Bush got his start in Florida politics as the Chairman of the Dade County
Republican Party. Dade County played an important role in the 1986 election
Bob Martinez to the Governor's office. In return, Martinez appointed
Bush as Florida's Secretary of Commerce. He served in that role in 1987 and
1988, before resigning once again to work on his father's presidential
campaign. In 1989 he served as the campaign manager of
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American to serve in Congress. He
launched an unsuccessful bid for the Governor's office in 1994 against
Lawton Chiles. Bush lost the election by only 63,940 votes out of
4,206,076 that were cast for the major party candidates (2,135,008; 50.8% to
2,071,068; 49.2%). In the same election year, his older brother,
George, was elected
Governor of Texas.
Governor of Florida
In 1998, Bush defeated the Democratic opponent Lt. Governor
Buddy MacKay by over 418,000 votes (2,191,105; 55.3% to 1,773,054;
44.7%) to become
Governor of Florida, after courting the state's
Hispanics. Simultaneously, his brother, George W. Bush won a landslide
re-election victory for a second term as
Governor of Texas, and the Bush brothers became the first siblings to
govern two states at the same time since
Winthrop Rockefeller governed
Arkansas from 1967 to 1971. Bush is the first Republican governor of
Florida to have served two full four-year terms.
Bush's administration was marked by a focus on public education reform.
His "A+ Plan" mandated standardized testing in Florida's public schools,
eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public
schools based on a statewide grading system using the
FCAT test. Bush
has been a proponent of
school vouchers and
charter schools, especially in areas of the state with failing public
schools, although to date very few schools have received failing grades from
the state. One program that has seen fruition is the
Florida Virtual School, a
distance-learning program that allows students in rural areas of the
state to take
Advanced Placement classes for college credit. However, his policies
have also been driven by a firm refusal to raise taxes for education, which
led Bush to oppose a ballot initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to
cap growing school class sizes. Bush said he had "a couple of devious plans
if this thing passes".
Despite his opposition, the amendment passed;
Bush's subsequent suggestions that the amendment be repealed
have contributed to criticisms that he has failed to implement it in good
faith. A similar concern about new expenditures has led to controversy over
whether Florida has provided adequate resources to implement a subsequent
voter-approved state constitutional amendment that requires a universal
state-financed pre-Kindergarten program.
In higher education, Bush approved three new medical schools during his
tenure and also put forth the "One Florida" proposal, an initiative that
affirmative action admissions programs at state universities.
These moves were among the influencing concerns that led to the faculty of
University of Florida to deny Bush an
honorary degree, whilst the University of Florida Alumni Association
made him an
honorary alumnus. North Miami Beach Attorney Larry R. Fleurantin, then a
UF law student, on April 1, 2001, wrote an article in the Gainesville Sun
challenging Florida Governor Jeb Bush's Talented 20 Plan, the educational
component of "One Florida." In response to Attorney Fleurantin's article, on
April 7, 2001, Gov. Jeb Bush wrote a column in the Gainesville Sun defending
his "One Florida" policy.
On May 2006, as part of an unprecedented $448.7-million line-item veto of
state funding, Bush slashed a total of $5.8 million in grants to public
libraries, pilot projects for library homework help and web-based
high-school texts, and funding for a joint-use library in Tampa.
After months of controversy that included thousands of e-mails, petition
signatures and hundreds of picketers at the State Capitol, the Florida House
voted to ditch Bush's plan to give the biggest collection at the century-old
State Library to
Nova Southeastern University.
Bush signed legislation to protect the
Everglades and opposed federal plans to drill for
oil off the coast
of Florida. In early October 2005, Bush attempted to strike a compromise
with fellow Republicans that would allow offshore drilling in an area that
stretches 125 miles off Florida's coastline and give the state legislature
the power to permit drilling closer to the state's coastlines. The
compromise was warmly received by some Florida Republicans and U.S.
Congressmen, such as bill sponsor
Richard Pombo, but has yet to be agreed upon; others including
Republican U.S. Senator
Martinez, objected to any backtracking on the drilling moratorium. Jeb
Bush is skeptical about man-made global warming.
Health policy issues
Bush was involved in the
Terri Schiavo case, involving a woman with massive
brain damage, who was on a feeding tube for over 15 years, and whose
husband and legal guardian,
Michael Schiavo, wished to remove the tube. This move was opposed by
Terry Schiavo's parents in the courts. Bush signed "Terri's
Law," a law passed by the Florida legislature that permitted the
Governor to keep Schiavo on
life support. The law was ruled unconstitutional by the
Florida Supreme Court on September 23, 2004. That decision was
the federal courts. On January 24, 2005, however, the
U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, thus allowing the Florida
court's ruling to stand. Bush took heated criticism from
conservatives who were disappointed that he did not take further action
to prevent Schiavo from having her feeding tube removed.
oversaw 21 executions as Governor
Chiles while they were in office). Bush never agreed to commute any
Bush also presided over switching from
electric chair (the only method of executions until 2000, now optional)
lethal injection, after a botched electrocution of
Allen Lee Davis (first inmate executed under his administration and
last, to date, electrocuted in Florida). After two previous botched
Tafero in 1990 and
Pedro Medina in 1997) Governors Martinez and Chiles along with
legislature declined to change methods.
While he is an advocate of capital punishment, Bush suspended all
executions in Florida on December 15, 2006, after the execution of
Ángel Nieves Díaz was seemingly botched. The execution took 37 minutes
to complete, and required a second injection of the lethal chemicals.
Bush said one of the most important goals of his final two years as
Governor was to secure the
FTAA Secretariat for Miami.
Frank Brogan, a former fifth-grade teacher, principal, and
superintendent, served only one term with Bush. After Brogan remarried, he
opted not to serve a second term. Brogan was reelected to a second term in
2002 with Bush and then resigned in March 2003. He and his new wife moved to
Boca Raton, where he serves as president of
Florida Atlantic University. In Tallahassee, a museum was named in honor
of Brogan's late wife, Mary, who died on June 27, 1999 of
breast cancer and, like her husband, was a Florida school teacher.
Following Brogan's resignation, Bush appointed former
Florida Senate President
Toni Jennings, with whom he had occasionally disagreed in regards to
public policy, as Lieutenant Governor.
As Governor, Bush served as the chairman of the
Florida Cabinet, which provides collective governance over part of state
Bush was a member of the
National Governors Association and the
Republican Governors Association.
Before Bush's re-election, no Republican in Florida had ever been
re-elected to serve a second term as the state's Governor. In addition,
there was likely no precedent for any Governor to be branded by the
opposition as its "Number One Target" for removal from office, as Bush was
ranked in 2002. This was not merely a statewide effort to oust the
Republican Governor, but a much-publicized goal of the
DNC and its highest leadership during the 2002 election cycle.
Bush almost faced
Reno in the 2002 Florida Governor's race. However, a number of other
Democratic candidates also wanted to become Florida's next Governor,
Bill McBride. A prominent litigator with
Holland & Knight and a novice candidate, McBride was favored by national
Democratic Party leaders in part because of his military background and
perceived ability to attract Florida's more conservative voters.
In the ensuing Democratic primary contest (where only Democratic voters
could vote, pursuant to state primary laws), circumstances surrounding
McBride's victory outraged many voters in South Florida. Some voting
venues – located in Reno's urban strongholds of Broward County and Dade
County, and operated by Democrats elected as county election officials –
reportedly opened hours late, and then
ignored Bush's Executive Order, issued at Reno's request, to stay open
later to accommodate all voters.
The 2002 election
In the closely watched Florida Governor's race that attracted national
attention, Bush was re-elected in November 2002, becoming the first
Republican in the state's history to be re-elected as Governor. Bush
defeated Democratic challenger Bill McBride with 56% to 43%, a greater
margin of victory than in Bush's 1998 campaign for the Governor's office.
Bush also increased the number of counties in his victory column, winning
several Florida counties for the very first time. He campaigned all
throughout North West Florida in Pensacola and Milton.
In January 2007, Bush became only the second Florida Governor to complete
two full four-year terms in office, the first being Democrat
Reubin O'Donovan Askew. (Bush was prevented from seeking a third term in
the 2006 election, due to term limits under state law.)
Bush made Florida political history not only by becoming the first
Republican Governor to ever win re-election in Florida, but also by being
the first Florida Governor to select a woman,
Toni Jennings, to serve as Florida's Lieutenant Governor. No woman had
ever been appointed or elected to that high office in Florida's executive
Bush is also the first Governor to hold office while having a brother
simultaneously serve as President.
limits under state law, Bush was unable to seek a third term as
Governor. Some speculated that Bush would run against Florida's current
Bill Nelson, in the
2006 U.S. Senate election, but he did not; the Republican candidate was
Katherine Harris, who lost to Nelson.
Notwithstanding rumors, he did not run for president in the
Bush is popular among
Florida (winning 80 percent of the Cuban vote in 2002) and popular among
Hispanics (56 percent in 2002, equaling the 56 percent he won
statewide). As a longtime supporter of
Bush also maintains a significant connection to Florida's
Jewish voters. He was endorsed in his two winning Governor races by a
national Jewish publication, and won 44 percent of the state's Jewish vote
in the 2002 Governor's race.
Many black voters support his focus on public education and parental choice
in education, and a number of
Black Republican clubs have risen in Florida.
In his re-election in 2002, Bush surprised critics by winning the white
female vote in the swing-voting battleground of Central Florida's I-4
Most recently, he has reached out extensively to Florida's
impact on his political party
Bush's appeal to Florida's highly diverse group of voters, along with his
success in expanding the so-called "big tent" of the Florida Republican
Party, appear to have propelled him into a commanding political position.
conservatives appear to be positive about Bush, seeing him as committed
to upholding core conservative principles.
Throughout his two administrations, Bush's office touted his record of
non–discrimination and rewarding merit, claiming he employed highly
qualified women, blacks and other minorities more often in top-level
government positions than any previous Florida Governor.
Outside of Florida, fellow Republican leaders throughout the country have
sought Bush's aid both on and off the campaign trail. Bush's out-of-state
campaign visits include
where Republican challenger
Ernie Fletcher appeared with Bush and won that state's governorship in
ending a 32-year streak of Democratic governors. In
California, after Democratic Governor
Davis was ousted in a
recall vote, Bush dispatched Florida's budget director
to that state to lead an independent
California's budget, at the request of the state's newly elected Republican
Political interests and business activities
Bush has been active in the
neoconservative think tank
Project for the New American Century, whose stated goal is to promote
American global leadership.
Since 2004, he has been serving a four-year term as a Board Member for
the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).
Created by Congress, this board’s purpose is to establish policy on reports
examining K-12 students’ academic progress in America’s public and private
schools. In 2008, Bush will be serving on the NAGB educational committee
focused on Standards, Design and Methodology.
In April 2007, Jeb Bush joined
Tenet Healthcare's board of directors.
The following August, Bush joined investment bank,
Lehman Brothers, as an adviser in its
private equity group.
Bush as NFL
In May 2006,
AP reported that Bush was privately approached to become the next
commissioner of the
National Football League.
This is said to be an interest of his, but it was unknown whether or not he
would take the position. The former commissioner,
Paul Tagliabue, announced that his tenure would soon be over and he is
searching for replacements. "I'm flattered," Jeb Bush said May 24, 2006 of
the NFL's interest, "but I'm Governor of the state of Florida and I intend
to be Governor until I leave – which is January 2007. And I'm not going to
consider any other options other than being Governor until I finish".
Roger Goodell eventually became the new NFL commissioner.
Speech at D.C. Summit
On January 27, 2007 Bush spoke as the keynote speaker at the
National Review Institute's Conservative Summit in Washington, D.C.
speaking about the Democratic take over in Congress. He told
political conservatives "we lost, and there are significant reasons that
happened, but it isn't because conservatives were rejected. It's because we
rejected the conservative philosophy in this country."
He told them “don't…abandon conservative principles…we don't need to be the
end all and be all for every
special interest group, for every constituent that you like, for every
person that's given a fundraising check to your campaign, for everything
that is just wrong about public policy and politics”.
In attendance at the summit was former chairman of the
Republican National Committee
Gillespie who said if he, like Bush, “left office with approval ratings
above 60 percent…he might be in
Des Moines today [preparing for the presidential primary]”.
Bush denied rumors that he would run for President in 2008, but “when
questioned did not rule out running as a
vice presidential candidate.” He joked about being out of work for the
first time in his life but said he is happy for the opportunity to “take a
Possible run for
In 2008, Bush indicated that he was considering running in the
2010 U.S. Senate race for the seat being vacated by
Martinez, who announced that he would retire at the end of his term.
But in January 2009, he announced that he would not run for the Senate.
RICHARD M. SCAIFE |
JOHN ENSIGN |
MARK SANFORD |
TOM COBURN |
DAN BURTON |
DICK ARMEY |
LAMAR ALEXANDER |
ROY BLUNT |
| KIT BOND |
JIM BUNNING |
RICHARD BURR |
KEN CALVERT |
ERIC CANTOR |
| JIM INHOFE |
BILL NELSON |
| LATE JERRY FALWELL
SEN. CRAPO |
TOM DELAY |
DOUG LAMBORN |
THE FAR RIGHT PURPOSE
JUDD GREGG |
JEFF GANNON |
REPUBLICAN HALL OF SHAME |
LARRY PRATT |
WALLY HERGER |
JOHNNY ISAKSON |
JEB BUSH |
MIKE JOHANNS |
JOHN MCCAIN |
NEWT GINGRICH |
BILL O'REILLY |
SARAH PALIN |
| PAUL ROBERTSON |
GEORGE ROCHE |
MITT ROMNEY |
RONALD REAGAN |
KARL ROVE |
RICHARD SHELBY |
REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED FOR RAPE
LT. GOV. ANDRE BAUER |
CHRISTIAN HIJACK |
MIKE MCINTYRE |
JOE PITTS |
HEATH SHULER |
BART STUPAK |
CHIP PICKERING |
TEA BAGGERS |
JOHN ASHCROFT |
LOUIS SHELDON |
WYLY BROTHERS |
GEORGE W. BUSH UNOFFICIAL PAGE |