May 18, 1998
This fall, Florida's voters will be heading to the booths to elect a
senator, 23 congressmen, and a new governor to replace Lawton Chiles, who
has served his maximum term limit. It is the latter of these races that has
me most concerned. While the Republican Party preaches ethics and morals,
they seem to have selective memory when it comes to these same issues with
candidates in their own party. Case in point, Jeb Bush. I just saw a
television spot by the Bush for governor folks, touting the fact that he is
not a politician, he is a successful Florida businessman. You're kidding,
True, he is not a politician, he has never held an office, but his political
influence, especially during his fathers White House years, has been
scrutinized and widely reported on. In 1987, the Wall Street Journal ran a
front-page article on how Jeb helped a Cuban con man, Miguel Recarey, bilk
Medicare out of an estimated $200 million. Jeb made arrangements with the
Health and Human Services Secretary waiving HMO regulations limiting
Medicare income for Recarey. ABC's 20/20 reported that Jeb pocketed $75,000
in this deal.
Beyond that mess, there's the subject of Jeb as a successful businessman.
Anyone remember Broward Federal Savings and Loan? It went belly-up in 1988,
thanks in great part to the $4.6 million default by Jeb and his business
partner Armando Codina on a loan they had taken out to buy a Miami office
tower. The government absorbed over $4 million of that debt, while Jeb and
his partner ended up paying only half a million, and they got to keep the
building which they later sold for $8.7 million, although Jeb denies making
any money on this deal.
In April of 1992, the New York Times ran a story listing many of Bush's
questionable deals, and as recently as March of this year, Bush has found
himself the target of investigations. A television news investigation has
questioned the financial dealings of The Foundation for Florida's Future, a
non-profit group founded by Bush in 1994. It is being reported that the
foundation has utilized only 27% of their budget on their targeted programs,
which compares to the 85% average of other non-profit organizations. It has
been shown that he majority of the money has been spent on staff salaries.
Bush likes to claim that his organization funded a charter school in the
Miami area, but records show that the foundation only gave the school 2% of
the money it raised, a measly $33,000. They were kind enough however to
loan the school an additional $40K.
There's no need to take my word on any of this. Jeb's escapades have been
well documented over the last decade. Check out the Gainesville Sun Voter
Guide, the Mother Jones articles "Whitewashing the
Bush Boys" and "Fugitive Fingers Jeb
Bush", the WJXT Eyewitness
News report, or the article "The Family That Preys
Together", which also shows links between Jeb and the Contra scandal.
Though Bush denies the dozens of allegations that have been made against
him, the facts speak for themselves. If the Republican Party truly wants to
clean up the government, they need to take a good hard look at their own
candidate in Florida, as should we all... before going to the polls.
I am a determined anti-conservative. This doesn't mean you can label me a liberal, but I can not stand the behavior of the extreme right masquerading behind this facade of morality while they commit sins, crimes, and transgressions at every turn.
Other Articles I've Written