It’s Sunshine Week in Florida, but storm clouds are gathering for Jeb Bush. Take a look at the press he’s earning for his hypocrisy on e-mail records and transparency.
New York Times: 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.”
“If they’ve been adding to it, it’s a technical violation of the law,” said Barbara A. Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group in Florida that advocates access to government information.
Bloomberg: But on Friday, the New York Times reported that Bush submitted 25,000 e-mails to the state only in May 2014, seven years after he left office. (He also submitted e-mails in 2009, 2010, and 2011.) Bush’s team argued that it took years to sort through all of the former governor’s e-mails, but the Times noted that under Florida public record laws, those e-mails should have been submitted when Bush left office.
Politifact: 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.
Washington Post: 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.