First Draft | Familiar Names Gave Big to Jeb Bush-Aligned ‘Super PAC’

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bush, Clinton Court Black Voters at Urban League Meeting.

A “super PAC” supporting Jeb Bush raised huge contributions from a wide array of Bush family business associates, prominent Republican donors, and former political appointees of his brother and father, according to disclosures submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Friday.The Hill reports Jeb’s super-PAC — Right to Rise — has raised a staggering $103 million over the past six months, with 24 individuals contributing $1 million or more.Presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush offered a rare preview of a potential 2016 general election matchup on Friday, taking their competing visions to tackle racial inequality before one of the oldest and largest civil rights organizations in the nation.

Democrat Hillary Clinton took direct aim at Republican Jeb Bush — who in turn made a pitch to the voters whose support he would need to defeat Clinton.Hillary Clinton attacked Republicans presidential candidates on Cuba policy, voting rights and social welfare policy during a jaunt on Friday to Florida, the home state of contenders Sen. — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton took a swipe at Republican rival Jeb Bush here Friday before a mostly African American crowd where the national debate over race, violence and law enforcement was on full display. It’s a record I’ll gladly compare with anyone else in the field.” Within moments of taking the stage, Clinton sought to draw distinctions between herself and Republicans, including a reminder of the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina a decade ago during the administration of Bush’s brother, former President George W.

Clinton didn’t name Bush when she spoke to the annual conference of the National Urban League, a civil-rights organization that welcomed five 2016 presidential contenders. Speaking ahead of Bush, Clinton delivered a speech in which she invoked the Black Lives Matter movement, cited Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland and others whose deaths set off controversies.

But she referred to the “right to rise” — the name of a political action committee raising money for him — and to Bush’s recent suggestion that the next president could “phase out” Medicare. “Too often we see a mismatch between what some candidates say in venues like this, and what they actually do when they’re elected,” Clinton said. “I don’t think you can credibly say that everyone has a ‘right to rise’ and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare. At least 26 individuals or companies contributed more than $1 million to the group, including Mike Fernandez, a Cuban-American billionaire who gave $3 million; Francis Rooney, a former ambassador to the Vatican, who gave over $2 million; and Helen Schwab, wife of the investor Charles R.

During two appearances in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, where Clinton discussed race and engaging with Cuba, the Democratic frontrunner called out Bush and others who have opposed President Obama’s thaw with the isolated island nation. So yes, what people say matters, but what they do matters more.” Clinton has taken shots at Bush on the campaign trail before, but never as extended and plainspoken as her suggestion on Friday that the former Florida governor’s outreach to the same group amounted to mere lip service. Blacks are also three times more likely to be denied a mortgage loan than people who are white, she said. “Race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind,” Clinton said. “And yes, while that’s partly a legacy of discrimination that stretches back to the start of our nation, it is also because of discrimination that is still ongoing.” Clinton told the audience she has fought to tear down those barriers since her first job out of law school with the Children’s Defense Fund.

He talked about how his education reforms helped black students, and his removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds: “Fourteen years ago, when the question was whether to keep the Confederate flag on the grounds of the Florida state capitol, I said ‘no’ and put it in a museum where it belongs.” He also pointed to his gubernatorial record on diversity: During his tenure, he told the crowd, the state increased the number of black Floridians serving in the judiciary by 43 percent, and its use of minority-owned businesses tripled. Bush did not respond or make any any references to Clinton in his own speech, although his campaign hit back quickly on Twitter. “Clintonesque move to pass over chance to unite in favor of a false cheap shot. She said she fought for children’s health insurance as first lady and spoke out on issues of economic equality for women. “I’m planning to be president, and anybody who seeks that office has a responsibility to say it and, more than that, to grapple with the systemic inequities,” she said. “I want you to know I see it and I hear you, and the racial disparities you work hard every day to overcome go against everything I believe in and everything I want to help America achieve.” Bush delivered his own set of reminders to the Urban League audience. People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care.” Tim Miller, a spokesman for Bush tweeted a quick response to Clinton’s criticism: “The DNC and Hillary scramble to attack Jeb today and misrepresent his record betrays their fear of his ability to broaden GOP support,” he tweeted. A few hours later on Friday in Miami, Clinton made a case for continuing to open up relations with Cuba, calling on Congress and the White House to lift the embargo on trade with Cuba.

When you have no record of accomplishment to point to . . . .” Three other presidential hopefuls also spoke: Democrats Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley and tea party favorite Ben Carson, who is running for the Republican nomination. But he zeroed in on his efforts to reform education in the state by expanding school choice and raising test standards, hoping to connect with the African-American audience on what he called a critical issue to the nation’s future. “If we don’t create an education system that allows young people to reach it, we’re setting them up for a lifetime of failure,” Bush said. “So you and I have to call this situation what it is — the worst inequality in America today, and the source of so many other inequalities.” Bush’s time in office is not remembered as fondly by some Democrats in the state. Bush himself, who took the stage at the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center about an hour after Clinton, ignored what she had said about him. Clinton’s campaign in the last few days has set out specific criticism of Rubio, Bush and Scott Walker’s position on Cuban relations with a detailed “fact check” of their past statements, arguing that a policy of isolationism has not succeeded in leading to democratization in the communist island nation.

And donations to super PACs are unlimited, while campaign committees are limited to raising $2,700 from each donor for the primary election, and the same amount for the general election. Bush, the son of one former president and brother of another later, added that Barack Obama was “speaking the truth” when he said that “for too long we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present”. He focused on doing what he has challenged all Republicans do: Campaign to voters who almost always cast ballots for Democrats. “I know that there are unjust barriers to opportunity and upward mobility in this country,” Bush told the mostly black audience of more than 500 people. “Some we can see, others are unseen but just as real.

Clinton proposed on Friday finding ways to increase business with Cuba as well as the rest of the Americas, saying that the United States too often looks “east and west, but we don’t look south” and calling Latin America a crucial part of American foreign policy. “Our economies, our communities and even our families are deeply entwined,” Clinton said. The retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon gave a speech focused on improving economic conditions to help Americans in large cities climb out of poverty, and he recounted his childhood experiences with racism, which he said “there still is and there always will be.” “I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them,” said Carson. “I have a strong desire, however, to provide people a ladder to get them out of dependency.” He recalled confronting racism as a eighth grader when, as the only black student in his class, he achieved the highest academic performance, leading to his teacher “chastising” other students for falling short of an African American student. “What I have seen and what I have heard tells me that we’re at a moment in time when the black community is receptive,” said former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, the first black man to hold that job. “As we transition from the Obama administration and the Obama leadership, they are looking. Others critics point to Bush signing into law the 2005 “stand your ground” legislation, which allows use of deadly force if people are in fear for their lives. Mel Sembler is also on the PAC’s fundraising team and his history with the Bush’s dates to 1979, illustrating the deep network the family has built. “We’ve been quiet here for a few days to catch our breath, but we’ll continue to supply the campaign with the necessary resources to get the message out,” said Sembler, an ambassador in both previous Bush administrations. “Campaign finance money is nothing but voice. They include Al Hoffman and Mel Sembler, Florida investors and longtime Bush allies, and John Negroponte, a former U.S. diplomat and ambassador to Iraq.

It’s not complicated.” More than $90 million was raised before June 15, when Bush became an official candidate and was openly working with the committee. Neil Newhouse, a veteran Republican pollster working for a super PAC supporting Bush, said in an e-mail that the “demographic challenges” facing whomever the GOP nominates are “real and significant” but fixable. “The payoff can be significant,” Newhouse said. “It doesn’t take much of a swing in minority votes to make a difference. And his educational reforms, he said — instituting school grades, creating subsidized private-school vouchers and expanding privately run, publicly funded charter schools — helped needy kids.

Winning even 10 to 14 percent of African American votes in states like Ohio, Florida or Virginia could put those states in the GOP column in ’16.” Cuyahoga County and Cleveland, which will host the first Republican primary debate next week, have been laboratories for that theory. In his remarks on Friday, Bush waded more subtly into the issue of policing and appealed for the restoration of trust between politicians, police and the communities they serve. “Trust in our vital institutions is at historic lows. He said he went on a journey of “listening and learning” that included visits to 250 Florida schools and family courthouses to see firsthand cases of abused or neglected children. Of the three, Sanders, an independent Vermont senator and self-described socialist making his first Florida campaign appearance, received the warmest welcome. “The $7.25 minimum wage is in my view a starvation wage,” Sanders said, calling for an increase to $15 an hour.

He and O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, had run afoul of black liberals at a conference two weeks ago in Phoenix, and both made sure to atone Friday. “Every year we buried 300 young black men who died violent deaths on our streets, and black lives matter,” said O’Malley, recalling his tenure as Baltimore mayor. It begins with respect, dialogue, and the courage to reach out in peace.” Bush also touted his support for reforming the criminal justice system, focusing in particular on prison and drug sentencing reforms that have gained bipartisan traction of late. It was a soft sell — one of many — and it seemed to work. “We really believe that every vote in every neighborhood of Cuyahoga County is winnable for Republicans,” Frost said. “We are in a fight where we want to win every vote.” Romney won just 17 percent of the nonwhite vote in 2012, down a bit from the 19 percent John McCain won in 2008 and a steeper drop from the 26 percent George W. Obama, she added, “delivered a eulogy that sounded as though it had come straight from angels”, referring to the speech the president delivered after the tragedy honoring slain Rev Clementa Pinckney that ended with a rendition of Amazing Grace.

The 43rd president’s brother has not shied away from questions about race, confronting the issue more directly than many past Republican candidates. Representation from the crowded Republican presidential field – now at 17 candidates – was far more scarce, with only retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson joining Bush at the conference. But in my life, it’s important to acknowledge this and to act about that.” Many Republicans also see Marco Rubio, a youthful Cuban American senator from Florida, as a candidate who can build new bridges to black voters. Republicans have struggled to make inroads with minorities in recent elections, and Bush has made it a point to campaign among communities his party has neglected. After a campaign stop in Greenville, S.C., this week, Rubio said he thinks the country has a “painful, complicated” history with racism. “I think its impacts are still felt in many communities across the country,” Rubio told reporters.

He acknowledged that some black communities in south Florida feel “deeply disadvantaged,” and with reason. “I think that it’s important for us to confront these issues because we can’t fulfill our promise as a nation if you have a significant percentage of the population feeling as if the American Dream is out of reach for them,” Rubio said. Kasich responded to the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy, by convening a task force to review law enforcement conduct.

I hope we are building new connections, because the effects of Democratic policies on black communities have frankly not been successful.” Democrats have left fewer openings for the GOP on another issue: voting rights. Steele noted that the first televised debate of the Republican primary will coincide next Thursday with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court in 2013 stripped of a key provision providing federal oversight of changes to state voting laws.

Democrats say that many Republican-led legislatures are responsible for new voting restrictions – some of which will come into effect for the first time next year – that have passed across the country, including in several crucial swing states. GOP officials and candidates have consistently insisted that voter ID laws are about protecting the integrity of elections, but some Republican strategists have recommended the party move away from championing new voter restrictions. “Ultimately, what can harm our efforts is miscommunication and letting voter ID be demonized,” Frost said. “When I observed voting last year, I saw 99 percent of people pulling out their driver’s licenses as they headed to the polls. They say they’re ready for it — and so is a post-Obama black electorate. “We have a saying on my radio show: ‘Save the saveable,’” Cain said. “You’re not going to save everybody with the facts and the truth.

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