The Hypocrisy of Jeb “I Released All My Emails” Bush

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THE HYPOCRISY OF JEB “I RELEASED ALL MY EMAILS” BUSH,
JEB! TIED TO RUM LOBBY IN MISSING EMAILS, QUESTIONS AND GAPS REMAIN

Despite Jeb Bush’s factually deficient, repeated claims that he released all of his emails, CNN reported today that new emails have surfaced showing the former Florida governor’s sordid history with the rum lobby—emails that were noticeably missing from his already released email records.

The gap in his emails not only highlights the hypocrisy of Jeb Bush’s wrongheaded attacks against Hillary Clinton, but reveal several unanswered questions about the Bush’s close ties to lobbyists.

Here are some quick facts about Jeb Bush’s transparency (or lack thereof):

  • Jeb said he received 550,000 emails on his private account during his eight years as governor.
  • Jeb has only released 250,000 of these emails.
  • Jeb was required to do this by Florida sunshine law.
  • It took Jeb nearly eight years after his time in office to release these emails (a potential criminal offense).

Here’s more:

Jeb Bush failed to release e-mails related to official government business 

Jeb Bush’s e-mail release did not include correspondence in which he personally weighed in on a trade dispute between Bacardi and Cuba. “But a 2002 trade battle between Bacardi and Cuba over the rights to the ‘Havana Club’ label shows Bush’s transparency has its limits and shows some details are missing from the Bush email repository. A string of emails from Bush personally weighing in on the Bacardi fight when he was governor of Florida were not among any of the releases. Their existence is only known because a Florida investigative reporter obtained them years ago.” [CNN, 10/01/15]

  • CNN: Jeb Bush’s e-mail release was “missing some incisive emails” related to the Bacardi dispute. “But even all those gigabytes are still missing some incisive emails — like an April 2002 directive from Bush to his then-chief of staff with a clear message about the rum lobbying fight: ‘this is ridiculous. let us discuss.’” [CNN, 10/01/15]
  • CNN: “Some of the most relevant” e-mails about the Bacardi dispute were missing from Jeb Bush’s “much-trumpeted data dump.” “More than a dozen relevant emails about the battle were found in the state of Florida public records response, and a smaller number were found in Bush’s own release last December. But some of the most relevant ones — tying Bush to calls for direct action for Bacardi — were missing from his much-trumpeted data dump.” [CNN, 10/01/15]

Jeb Bush’s e-mail dump excluded correspondence with a top George W. Bush appointee at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.“Bush emails obtained from the state in the following months show his top Tallahassee and Washington staff working consistently on the issue, including a renewed push in April 2002 and again, a few months later, when Bush sent a letter to James Rogan, then-director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Rogan, a former California congressman who helped lead the Clinton impeachment proceedings, was appointed to the position by Bush’s brother, President George W. Bush. The letter was not included in the emails released by Bush, but Christensen posted a copy he obtained.” [CNN, 10/01/15]

Jeb Bush’s e-mails around the Bacardi dispute were absent from both his e-mail release and a Florida Department of State response to an open record request. “Among the emails not made public by Bush, but documented by Florida investigative reporter Dan Christensen earlier this year, is the reply from Bush’s then-chief of staff Kathleen Shanahan that their early efforts for Bacardi had not worked and ‘we may need to move up the food chain.’ The Bacardi emails were not in copies of Bush’s emails provided to CNN by the Florida Department of State in response to an open records request. They also were not found on Bush’s email website — which includes a smaller set of the batch released by the state.” [CNN, 10/01/15]

Jeb Bush’s campaign refused to say what happened to the missing e-mails about the Bacardi trade dispute. “A Bush campaign spokeswoman did not say what happened to the missing emails and would not say whether she felt Bush should back off the Clinton email attacks. Instead, spokeswoman Kristy Campbell touted Bush’s ‘unprecedented commitment to transparency.’” [CNN, 10/01/15]

Jeb Bush owned a private email server and hand selected emails to disclose

Jeb Bush owned and operated a private e-mail server. “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush owns the server that runs jeb@jeb.org, the personal email account he used as governor to conduct official, political and personal business. […] The server was housed in a state-owned office building during the years that Bush served as governor, from 1999 until early 2007.” [MSNBC, 3/4/15]

Jeb Bush conducted all his communication on his private jeb@jeb.org account and hand selected which emails to turn over to the state archive. “The former governor conducted all his communication on his private Jeb@jeb.org account and turned over the hand-selected batch to the state archives when he left office. Absent from the stash are emails the governor deemed not relevant to the public record: those relating to politics, fundraising and personal matters while he was governor. Compared to Scott, however, who rarely communicates by email, the contrast is stark.’ [Tampa Bay Times, 1/3/15] 

Jeb Bush released his private emails from the state archive, but the files were “not complete.” “The files released from the state archive resulted in a stream of positive national press for the former governor — ‘Jeb Bush’s emails depict a hands-on governor,’ the Washington Post proclaimed. ‘Jeb answered immigrant pleas,’’ the Hill wrote. Polls now show that if Bush announces, he will be considered the front-runner. The Bush files, though enormous, are not complete, however.” [Tampa Bay Times, 1/3/15]

As governor, Jeb Bush had three email accounts, including jeb@jeb.org. “In three follow-up e-mails (which Bush also answers promptly), the governor reveals: He has three e-mail accounts, receives 200 to 300 a day onJeb@Jeb.org and reads most of them. He guesses that 25 percent of the e-mails come from colleagues, 50 percent from constituents, 10 percent from family and friends and 15 percent from junk mail and list mail. The risk, he says, is in relying too much on e-mail, at the expense of face-to-face nuance. ‘There is always [the] threat of invading family time!’ he writes.” [The Washington Post, 2/21/03]

  • Bush continued to use the private jeb@jeb.org email after leaving office. [Email from Jeb Bush To Matt Castner, 6/5/08]
  • Bush estimated 25 percent of email traffic came from colleagues. “In three follow-up e-mails (which Bush also answers promptly), the governor reveals: He has three e-mail accounts, receives 200 to 300 a day onJeb@Jeb.org and reads most of them. He guesses that 25 percent of the e-mails come from colleagues, 50 percent from constituents, 10 percent from family and friends and 15 percent from junk mail and list mail. The risk, he says, is in relying too much on e-mail, at the expense of face-to-face nuance. ‘There is always [the] threat of invading family time!’ he writes.” [The Washington Post, 2/21/03]

Jeb Bush used a second and previously unreported jeb@gencom.net account. ”As Florida governor, Jeb Bush used another, previously unreported email address, records show – the newest wrinkle in an evolving debate over public officials’ use of private email accounts. When Bush released thousands of emails from his tenure as Florida’s governor as part of his preparations to run for president next year, he did so from the email account he shared openly, jeb@jeb.org. Those emails also include references to another email address, jeb@gencom.net. Bush said through a spokeswoman that he was unaware of the account, although records showed that people wrote to him there more than 400 times between 1999 and 2004.” [AP, 3/24/15]

Jeb Bush only publicly released emails associated with is jeb@jeb.org account. ”When Bush released thousands of emails from his tenure as Florida’s governor as part of his preparations to run for president next year, he did so from the email account he shared openly, jeb@jeb.org.” [AP, 3/24/15]

  • Bush claimed to have no knowledge of the second account although he received more than 400 emails there between 1999 and 2004. ”Bush said through a spokeswoman that he was unaware of the account, although records showed that people wrote to him there more than 400 times between 1999 and 2004. The same records show no replies from Bush coming from that address. Instead, when Bush responded, he did so from his more well-known email address. Writers sometimes also reached the governor at jeb@jebbush.org or jeb@myflorida.com. Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, said Bush had no knowledge of the other email account. ‘He doesn’t know what that email address is,’ she told The Associated Press Tuesday.” [Associated Press, 3/24/15]

Writers were also able to reach Jeb Bush at jeb@jebbush.org and jeb@myflorida.com. “Those emails also include references to another email address, jeb@gencom.net. Bush said through a spokeswoman that he was unaware of the account, although records showed that people wrote to him there more than 400 times between 1999 and 2004. The same records show no replies from Bush coming from that address. Instead, when Bush responded, he did so from his more well-known email address. Writers sometimes also reached the governor at jeb@jebbush.org or jeb@myflorida.com.” [AP, 3/24/15]

  • Jeb Bush estimated 25 percent of email traffic came from colleagues. ”In three follow-up e-mails (which Bush also answers promptly), the governor reveals: He has three e-mail accounts, receives 200 to 300 a day onJeb@Jeb.org and reads most of them. He guesses that 25 percent of the e-mails come from colleagues, 50 percent from constituents, 10 percent from family and friends and 15 percent from junk mail and list mail. The risk, he says, is in relying too much on e-mail, at the expense of face-to-face nuance. ‘There is always [the] threat of invading family time!’ he writes.” [The Washington Post, 2/21/03]

Jeb Bush only turned over emails seven and a half years after his tenure as Governor ended despite a Florida statute requiring officials to turn over records “at the expiration of his or her term of office.” ”It took Mr. Bush seven years after leaving office to comply fully with a Florida public records statute requiring him to turn over emails he sent and received as governor, according to records released Friday. Mr. Bush delivered the latest batch of 25,000 emails in May 2014, seven and a half years after leaving the Statehouse and just as he started to contemplate a potential run for the White House, according to a newly disclosed letter written by his lawyer. A Florida statute governing the preservation of public records requires elected officials, including the governor, to turn over records pertaining to official business ‘at the expiration of his or her term of office.’” [New York Times, 3/14/15]

Jeb Bush received 550,000 personal emails

Jeb Bush said “I received 550,000 personal e-mails when I was governor.” “This BlackBerry was in the portrait done when I left office. It was a symbol of how I worked. I received 550,000 personal e-mails when I was governor.” [Esquire, 12/22/08] 

Jeb Bush said he received 550,000 e-mails on his private account during his eight years as governor. “Jeb Bush learned plenty during his eight years as Florida governor, he told a crowd at a United Christian Giving fundraiser in Fort Myers on Thursday. The president’s little brother and former president’s son took few partisan shots, mostly entertaining the crowd with stories from ‘Mount Tallahassee.’ […] Bush said he got 550,000 e-mails on his private account and another 2.5 million on his public account during his eight years as governor. That helped him stay in touch with the people of the state even though the capital is far removed geographically from most of the population.” [Naples Daily News, 7/12/07]

Jeb Bush said he received 2.5 million e-mails on his public account during his eight years as governor. “Jeb Bush learned plenty during his eight years as Florida governor, he told a crowd at a United Christian Giving fundraiser in Fort Myers on Thursday. The president’s little brother and former president’s son took few partisan shots, mostly entertaining the crowd with stories from ‘Mount Tallahassee.’ […] Bush said he got 550,000 e-mails on his private account and another 2.5 million on his public account during his eight years as governor. That helped him stay in touch with the people of the state even though the capital is far removed geographically from most of the population.” [Naples Daily News, 7/12/07]

Jeb Bush said he would release 250,000 emails

Jeb Bush said he would launch a website to make available about 250,000 e-mails from his time as governor. “Jeb Bush said he would launch a website on Tuesday on which he will make available about 250,000 emails from his time as governor of Florida, as well as the first chapter of an e-book about his administration. The emails, which were obtained by a number of news media organizations through a public records request in December, show Mr. Bush’s style in communicating with both his staff and his constituents.” [New York Times,2/9/15]

Jeb Bush said he would release 250,000 emails from his two terms in office. “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Sunday he will release 250,000 emails from his two terms in office and write an eBook outlining his governing philosophy. The moves have set the political sphere atwitter with speculation he’s closer than ever to deciding to run for president in 2016. In what appears to be a move of classic political procedure — getting ahead of the opposition — Bush told WPLG-TV that his intention is to promote transparency.” [CNN, 12/31/14]

PolitiFact: Jeb Bush self-edited which emails were posted on his website. “Bush in 2007 said that he had received 550,000 emails through the Jeb@jeb.org address — plus another 2.5 million through his public email address — so obviously plenty were not included in the batch of about 250,000 that the Bush team posted in February. […] American Bridge said ‘Bush, not the State of Florida, decided which private emails to disclose.’ Bush did self-edit which emails were posted on a website he established in February, but the PAC doesn’t note one important point: State law allows him to do that. The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information. We rate it Mostly True.” [PolitiFact, 3/13/15]

Jeb Bush released emails that exposed Social Security numbers

Emails released by Jeb Bush included names, emails, and Social Security number of many Florida residents “leaving them vulnerable to identity thieves.” “A trove of 250,000 emails released by prospective 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush includes the sensitive personal information of several Florida residents, leaving them vulnerable to identity thieves. A scan of the email dump by technology blogs The Verge and Gizmodo revealed names, emails and in some cases, Social Security numbers of Bush’s correspondents. Many appear to be normal Florida residents unaware their messages to the then-governor would eventually become public.” [The Hill,2/10/15]

Nearly 13,000 Social Security numbers were compromised in Jeb Bush’s email dump. “Todd Feinman, CEO of data protection firm Identity Finder, ran an analysis of the data and determined that nearly 13,000 unique social security numbers were released. His software, which uses natural language processing to identify sensitive information through contextual clues, found that about 12,500 of those were contained in a spreadsheet embedded in a PowerPoint slide attached to an email dated October 2003.” [Fortune, 2/13/15]

Jeb Bush’s email release was an “indiscriminate data dump being made for political reasons” and showed “a serious ignorance of the volume of sensitive information in the records and carelessness about their disclosure.” “Many posts were critical of Bush, who is expected to be a major contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. ‘Even if most of these emails are subject to Sunshine Law disclosure, a public request for specific information is not the same as a huge, indiscriminate data dump being made for political reasons,’ wrote T.C. Sottek with The Verge, which first reported the presence of Social Security numbers in the trove. ‘At minimum, it shows a serious ignorance of the volume of sensitive information in the records and a carelessness about their disclosure — not a good look for someone who may want to sit in the White House,’ Sottek wrote.” [The Hill, 2/10/15]

Jeb Bush’s server housed sensitive information

Jeb Bush discussed “security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants” using email housed on his private server. “Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records. The e-mails include two series of exchanges involving details of Florida National Guard troop deployments after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the review by The Washington Post found. Aides to Bush said Saturday that none of the e-mails contained sensitive or classified information, and that many of the events mentioned in them were documented in press accounts, either contemporaneously or later. But security experts say private e-mail systems such as the one used by Bush are more vulnerable to hackers, and that details such as troop movements could be exploited by enemies.” [Washington Post, 3/14/15]

Jeb Bush housed emails containing “sensitive security issues” on his private server. “An unknown number of the e-mails housed on Bush’s server were redacted or withheld from public release because they contained sensitive security issues, Bush representatives have said. Communications director Tim Miller said general policy was for Bush to discuss sensitive National Guard issues in person with only occasional briefings by e-mail that ‘wouldn’t contain information that should not be in the public domain.’” [Washington Post, 3/14/15]

Jeb Bush, within two months of 9/11, “ordered the National Guard to pull its troops from protecting nuclear power plants in Florida, simply because the private corporations that operated the plants didn’t want the protection.” “‘In November 2001, Bush and an aide to then-Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan exchanged messages about the deployment of National Guard troops to a nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Fla. The aide wrote Bush that a state lawmaker had called to say she thought “it is imperative that the Crystal River nuclear facility have National Guard security.” Bush wrote back: “Florida power does not want it. We are reducing or getting rid of guard protection in the other plants.”‘ That last line, to me, is the real bombshell — that within two months of 9/11, Bush ordered the National Guard to pull its troops from protecting nuclear power plants in Florida, simply because the private corporations that operated the plants didn’t want the protection. I wonder if the people who lived near the plants wanted the protection.” [Salon, 8/14/15]

 

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