First on CNN: Jets owner Woody Johnson hosted Jeb Bush breakfast

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hillary Clinton’s Potential GOP Rivals Used Personal Email Accounts.

Among the many thousands of emails Jeb Bush received as Florida governor are a string of notes from campaign donors asking for favors and making suggestions.

Republican Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, speaks during the Iowa Ag Summit at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on March 7.WASHINGTON — In a final and unmistakable move to clear the way for a 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has sold his stake in a private equity firm and transferred ownership in a consulting business to one of his sons. “Just as he said he would, Gov.A “super PAC” controlled by allies of Jeb Bush is organizing a donor conference that he will host next month in Miami, according to an invitation sent to supporters, an example of how Mr. Photo: Bloomberg News Republican critics of Hillary Clinton say that the public should be able to see all of her email as secretary of state, and that she shouldn’t be the one to decide that about half of the emails from her private account could be withheld as personal. The invitation establishes four tiers of supporters for the Right to Rise super PAC, with the highest level, the national executive committee, reserved for those who raise $500,000 by April 17.

Politifact, which bills itself as “an independent fact-checking journalism website aimed at bringing you the truth in politics,” takes issue with Bush’s claim that when he abolished race-based affirmative action at Florida’s public colleges, minority enrollment ultimately increased rather than collapsing. “I eliminated affirmative action by executive order — trust me, there were a lot of people upset about this,” Bush said in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “But through hard work we ended up having a system where there were more African-American and Hispanic kids attending our university system than prior to the system that was discriminatory.” As even Politifact indirectly acknowledges, Bush’s statement is actually totally factual. Jeb Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, primarily used a personal email account on his own computer server when he was in office from 1999 to 2007. The National Review reported last night that Bush soon will name Justin Muzinich, vice chairman of the New York City investment firm Muzinich & Co., as policy director. It noted that Bush announced last month that he was bringing on April Ponnuru, “a leading member of the reform-conservative movement (and the wife of National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru) as a senior policy adviser.” The Democratic opposition group, American Bridge, criticized the Muzinich hire, saying his experience at a hedge fund “certainly won’t do anything to help the perception that Jeb doesn’t represent the values of the middle class.” Scott Jennings, a Louisville, Ky., Republican strategist and former adviser to former President George W.

Bush’s team has hired a communications director, a policy director, a liaison with religious conservatives, a chief fund-raiser, and field specialists in New Hampshire and Iowa. But because he has not formally declared his candidacy, his aides believe that there are few limitations on his involvement with the super PAC. “We hope you can join us for policy, political and finance briefings with the governor and our team,” the invitation says. “Thank you for your partnership.”

But, positioning himself as a transparent candidate if he runs for the Republican nomination, he has posted online more than 275,000 emails from his two terms in office. Bush is trying to collect a vast sum by the end of the first quarter to demonstrate his prowess as a candidate in what is becoming a large and diverse field of probable Republican contenders.

A review by the Associated Press of Bush’s emails found that prominent donors to Bush and his family regularly urged him to appoint certain candidates for judgeships, public boards and other committees. In 2013, blacks have dropped slightly to 13 percent of the student body, but that small dip is more than made up for by the surge of Hispanics to 24 percent of students (a surge that helps explain the small dip for blacks). She did not respond to AP’s questions about specific emails involving two fundraisers, but one of them, Mark Guzzetta, said Bush denied his requests just as frequently as he granted them. “We always joked it would be better to be a stranger with no connection,” Guzzetta said. “He was so deliberate because he wanted to make sure we received no special favors.” Bush freely gave out his personal email address during his time in office and often received notes of inquiry, complaint and thanks.

Last month, Bush put the emails he said were related to his work in state government on a website, a move he and his aides said was designed to show his administration was open and in touch with constituents. Bush was required by Florida’s notably strong public records law to provide to the state all correspondence related to state government after he left office, and those emails were publicly available before Bush’s created his website.

Bush frequently released correspondence from his private email account while in office to comply with requests under Florida’s open-records laws. “He has been complying with public records laws for 15 years,” said Kristy Campbell, Mr. Bush, for example, created the “Talented 20″ program in Florida, which guarantees admission at a state university to the top 20 percent of a high school class.

One fund launched by Britton Hill, BH Global Aviation, was raising tens of millions of dollars from foreign investors in September as Bush was gearing up for the presidential race. Even Politifact notes that minority graduation rates have risen substantially in Florida, but the website never even considers that the “hard work” Bush mentioned may have played a roll in that. The Tampa Bay Times reported last month how Bush’s investment dovetailed with his public advocacy of fracking in a number of speeches in recent months.

Another financial backer who sought to sway Bush was Guzzetta, a Boca Raton real estate developer who was finance co-chairman of Bush’s gubernatorial campaign. In email messages, Guzzetta urged Bush to make appointments for judgeships, a property insurance commission and the Florida Transportation Commission, among other slots. In May 2000, Guzzetta wrote Bush expressing frustration. “When companies or individuals come to me these days for the purpose of hiring me, it’s not because of my wonderful relationship with the president of the Senate or with the Speaker of the House — it’s because of my association with the administration and you,” he wrote. Clinton because he released a trove of his emails before anyone began asking questions. “He clearly got out in front of it,” he said. “It’s perceptual as much as anything.” Florida Sen.

Rubio’s personal account had been included in responses to at least two other records requests, suggesting he used his personal account for government-related business on multiple occasions. Walker’s use of private emails became public as part of a criminal investigation of campaign practices by the Milwaukee County prosecutor and subsequent litigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Some members of the county executive staff had been unaware of the private email system, preventing them from retrieving records from it in responding to public-records requests. Walker’s gubernatorial office, said that “any state business conducted on personal email is subject to open records law, and our office routinely releases such responsive records.’’ She also said that staff are trained to forward emails to their official accounts for records retention purposes.

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