Jeb! Denounces Lobbying Interests at Event Arranged for Him by Lobbyists

by Kerry Eleveld –

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Jeb! Bush delivered a speech at Florida State University (FSU) in which he denounced Washington’s “comfortable establishment” and touted his record of governing free from the shackles of lobbyists.

“I was a governor who refused to go along with that establishment,” Bush said.

One problem: it appears the entire event was set up by a powerful lobbying group. Andrew Perez and David Sirota report:

Bush was touting his clean-government credentials at a function organized by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a private lobbying group for the state’s business community. Emails obtained by International Business Times show that Bush’s campaign coordinated the event with the chamber, whose political committee has donated to a super PAC backing Bush’s bid for president.The Florida Chamber of Commerce spent nearly $200,000 lobbying Florida lawmakers last year, and the group’s political committees have spent roughly $5.6 million to influence state elections since 2013. The chamber also employs a Florida lobbying firm — composed of former government officials — that is a top Bush campaign donor.

Representatives of both Bush and the chamber denied that the group had hosted the event. But FSU officials said otherwise and produced emails corroborating their assertion.

“This will be a Florida Chamber event,” wrote Florida Chamber of Commerce economic development aide Carolyn Johnson to FSU officials. “However, Jeb Bush’s team has requested to pay the invoice and be the name on the contract. This is to avoid any legal gray areas.”

Thanks for that clarification.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos