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News Wednesday, Jul 22 2015

Ex-Lobbyist Jeb Bush Still Committed To Lobbying Industry

Jul 22, 2015

Jeb Bush’s relationship with the lobbying industry isn’t just a fling — it’s a serious commitment that dates back to 1991 when Jeb himself was registered as a lobbyist in Miami-Dade County. Jeb’s show of contempt for lobbyists Monday was just that — a show.


Tampa Bay Times: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were registered lobbyists? “Here’s another thing Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have in common: They have both been registered lobbyists in Miami-Dade County. In 1991, Bush registered as a lobbyist in Miami-Dade on behalf of his real estate company with Armando Codina before he was elected to office, according to records reported on by the Wall Street Journal. Bush was representing Deering Bay residential development, which he and Codina sold after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Rubio was also listed as a registered lobbyist in Miami-Dade, from 1997 to 2005 while he worked for various law firms, mostly on land use. In 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist while working for Becker & Poliakoff.”

Wall Street Journal: Jeb Bush Takes Aim at Lobbyists “In December 2005, one year before he left office, Mr. Bush signed a law requiring lobbyists to disclose their compensation and banning them from plying lawmakers with meals and gifts…However, state disclosure reports show that the lobbying community saw robust growth after the law was passed…In addition, lobbyists found ways around the Florida law by contributing to lawmakers’ political committees, which could then use the funds to pay for meals, travel and more… In 1991, Mr. Bush registered as a lobbyist in Miami-Dade County on behalf of his real estate company with developer Armando Codina before he was elected to office, according to records. The documents show Mr. Bush also listed that he was representing the Deering Bay residential development, which he and Mr. Codina sold after it was battered by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.”

IB Times: Jeb Bush Slams Lobbyists Despite His Close Relationship With Them “Jeb Bush on Monday returned to the Florida capital to deliver a speech slamming lobbyists as a corrosive influence on public policy, and railing on the practice of public officials becoming professional influence peddlers. The jeremiad may have come as a shock to Tallahassee’s government officials-turned-lobbyists whom Bush enlisted to help him sculpt his gubernatorial agenda, and who are now helping bankroll his Republican presidential campaign… While Bush today says he took a tough stance against lobbyists as governor, one top Tallahassee lobbyist, Ron Book, told IBTimes last month that Bush did not close the door to lobbyists.”

New York Times: Jeb Bush Vows to Curb Lobbying and Trim Government “Elements of Mr. Bush’s agenda seemed at odds with the campaign he is running. For example, Mr. Bush took direct aim at K Street, Washington’s collection of lobbying firms that have long employed former lawmakers to do the bidding of major corporations…But as a candidate, Mr. Bush has harnessed the fund-raising prowess of the K Street crowd, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign through Washington lobbyists, political operatives, lawyers and business leaders.”

Washington Post: Lobbyists bundle nearly a quarter million dollars for Jeb Bush “A key group of fundraisers for the 2016 presidential election, lobbyist bundlers, raised $228,400 for Republican candidate Jeb Bush during the second quarter, according to FEC filings submitted by his campaign on Wednesday. Bush also drew the financial support of top lobbyists at a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Verizon, Goldman Sachs and Hewlett-Packard.”

IB Times: As Florida Governor, Jeb Bush Provided Special Access to Lobbyists “When Jeb Bush formally announced his campaign for the White House last week, his speech included a prominent denunciation of lobbyists and the fashion in which they enable well-connected insiders to pull the levers of power at the expense of the public. He vowed to avoid “the culture that has made lobbying the premier growth industry in the nation’s capital,” a mode he claimed to have fought relentlessly in Florida. “I was a governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting the people’s business,” he said. But those words contrast with Bush’s long-standing relationship with the Southern Strategy Group, whose lobbyists enjoyed extraordinary access to his gubernatorial administration, an International Business Times investigation has found. According to IBTimes’ review of email correspondence between Jeb Bush, his top aides and Southern Strategy Group lobbyists, the firm frequently engineered meetings with the governor for its clients. A lobbyist at the firm helped write two of his major speeches. In some instances, Bush sought the direct input of Southern Strategy lobbyists as he crafted his legislative agenda, and he gave them private glimpses of public policy as they represented the corporate interests that had a financial stake in his decisions”

The Blaze: Despite His Major Anti-Lobbying Stance, Records Show Jeb Bush Had Very Close Ties With One Firm “While serving as governor of Florida, Jeb Bush had a close relationship with the Southern Strategy Group lobbying firm, seeking advice of its executives, meeting with the group’s clients that had business before the state and giving the firm direct input on legislative proposals, according to the International Business Times. The International Business Times reviewed 75 email conversations involving then-Gov. Bush and the Southern Strategy Group lobbyists from 1999 through 2006. The emails came from 280,000 messages Bush voluntarily released from his time as governor well before making his formal announcement for president. A lobbyist at Southern Strategy Group even helped write two speeches for Bush, the outlet reported.”

Published: Jul 22, 2015

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