First Amendment Foundation and others file suit against DeSantis and Cabinet

In an effort to protect the public's right to know what their government is doing, the First Amendment Foundation and several Florida newspapers have filed suit against the Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet for holding a public meeting in Israel. 

From a First Amendment Foundation release:

Today the First Amendment Foundation, joined by the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times, Gannett, and GateHouse Media have filed a complaint against the Florida Cabinet for violations of the Sunshine Law related to the scheduled Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. In filing the complaint, Foundation President Barbara Petersen said:
"The decision to challenge tomorrow¹s meeting of the Florida
Cabinet was not lightly made - it came after long deliberation and many discussions of both public policy and legal issues. Florida¹s constitution requires that meetings of the Cabinet at which public business is to be transacted or discussed be open to the public. We wish the Governor and his Cabinet success on their trade mission. But as our complaint makes clear, there are legitimate concerns regarding the constitutionality of holding a Cabinet meeting that Floridians cannot attend."
- Barbara A. Petersen, President, First Amendment Foundation
As we reported before here on Crowley Political Report, and during this week's High Tops and Politics podcast. the notion of conducting a public meeting in a foreign country is an affront to the Florida Constitution and Florida citizens. It is especially troubling that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is participating in this charade. As Attorney General she is supposed to be a guardian of the Sunshine Law just like every Attorney General before her.
In a feeble attempt to dodge the law, DeSantis and the Cabinet are now calling it a "ceremonial" meeting. There is no such thing envisioned in the law and the fact is they intend to discuss public issues concerning the environment and emergency management.
Florida citizens have a constitutional right to attend these meetings and to speak at these meeting. Simple watching the meeting on a live stream from 6,000 miles away does not meet either the spirit or intent of the Sunshine Law.
Here is a PDF of the complaint filed by the First Amendment Foundation. (Disclosure: I was once served as a Trustee on the Foundation board.)

Miami Herald leaves earth in search of extra-terrestrials

By Brian E. Crowley

No. Someone dear God tell me this is a joke. Have we moved April Fool's Day to August? Has the Miami Herald been sold to Area 51?

Why you might ask am I ranting? Well, let's just say the Herald made a rather unusual endorsement in the Republican Primary for 27th Congressional District - Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera. Unusual because she is Hispanic? Nope? Unusual because she is a woman? Nope.

Unusual because, well judge for yourself:

We realize that Rodriguez Aguilera is an unusual candidate. Last year, she told the Miami Herald — and several Spanish-language media outlets — that she believes in extra-terrestrials. She says when she was 7, she was taken aboard a spaceship and, throughout her life, she has communicated telepathically with the beings, which remind her of the concrete Christ in Brazil. There you have it.

“This is a non-issue,” she told the Board. We agree. Her bona fides as a former elected official, and now a businesswoman who spends time in other countries training women to run for office are solid.

Rodriguez Aguilera is a strong candidate in the race with plausible conservative ideas. 

You think I made that up don't you. Please read it for yourself:

So the Herald is trying to convince voters that this is the best the Republican Party has to offer as a candidate to go Washington.


At a time when journalism has more than its share of problems this silliness seems like more like click-bait than a thoughtful look at the candidates.

The Herald should be embarrassed. 

Orlando shooter's father attends Hillary Clinton event

Sitting behind Hillary Clinton during her Kissimmee rally Monday, and in full view of the media, was Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen. Wearing a bright red, Mercedes-logo cap, Mateen was spotted by WPTV NewsChannel 5's Tory Dunnan. She spoke to him briefly outside the event where Mateen seemed little interested in chatting. Later, she found him at a rest stop where Mateen became more talkative.

From Dunnan's report:

NewsChannel 5 asked Mateen what he was thinking about when Clinton spoke about the Orlando incident. 

"We've been cooperating with the federal government, and that's about it," he said. "Thank you."  Mateen didn't want to answer any other questions, but just hours later, we ran into him by chance at a rest stop on the way back to West Palm Beach.  He wanted to do an interview and show us a sign he made for Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions," he said.

We asked what went into his decision to go to the event right near Orlando, where the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened.

"I spoke a lot about that and wish that my son joined the Army and fought ISIS. That would be much better," he said.

When questioned whether Clinton's campaign knew he was going to the event and sitting directly behind the presidential candidate, Mateen said, " It's a Democratic party, so everyone can join."

Dunnan tweeted this response from the Clinton campaign: Clinton campaign statement part I: "This rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn't invited as a guest. Part II: and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.

Below is Dunnan's report. 


John Oliver slams owners of Florida newspapers on HBO

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on HBO is one of the funniest and most thought provoking programs on television. Each week, he looks at a different issue in depth. On Sunday, Oliver focused on the struggle inside newspaper newsrooms. 

One of his targets is TRONC, the horribly named company that owns the Orlando Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and other newspapers. 

It is very much worth watching....and you should be worried.


CBS Miami investigation raises questions about Patrick Murphy's honesty

When you decide to run for statewide office in Florida, a candidate can expect the state's media to very carefully examine who they are, what they say, and how they got where they are. If a candidate exaggerates his resume - well, it is gonna get ugly.

Ugly has hit U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. And none of this is good for his bid to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

And if does win the nomination, Murphy has handed likely GOP nominee Marco Rubio fodder to use against him.

Reporter Jim DeFede of CBS4 has done a two-part examination of Murphy's claims about his role as a small businessman and as a CPA. In great detail, Defede, one of South Florida's toughest reporters, takes apart Murphy's claims.

He finds that Murphy was not a CPA who spent years reviewing top companies.

From DeFede:  when Murphy said in 2012, “I got my CPA license and I spent years going to numerous Fortune 500 companies,” the truth is he only spent at most eight months – and not years – with Deloitte & Touche holding a CPA license valid only in Colorado, a state where Murphy has never lived or worked.

In fact, DeFede reports that Murphy's role at Deloitte & Touche was a minor entry level position.

Murphy also had claimed he was a small business owner of Coastal Environmental which worked on the BP oil spill.

DeFede finds that Murphy did not own the business (something Murphy has acknowledged) and that the company was a subsidiary of his father's company.

From Defede: Murphy’s involvement with Coastal Environmental was brief, no more than two to five months. And while it did operate, according to state records, Murphy wasn’t the president of the company. He was vice president. . . .neither Patrick Murphy nor Coastal Environmental Services were awarded a single contract to clean up oil in the Gulf.

Defede also notes: In May, the Miami Herald pointed out Murphy claimed for years to hold dual degrees from UM in Accounting and Finance. He even listed it as part of his official biography for the House of Representatives. In fact, he holds a single undergraduate degree in Business Administration.

The text of Defede's story can be found here

New York Times explores Joe Scarborough and Marco Rubio feud

Is there a feud between Marco Rubio and Joe Scarborough? The New York Times explores this question and comes up with some interesting answers. 

An excerpt:

In an election season marked by animosity, egos and insults, this feud transcends media, politics and state lines. It follows two men from the swamps of Florida politics to a presidential cycle in which Mr. Rubio, 44, has emerged as a leading candidate, and Mr. Scarborough, 52, as one of his fiercest critics.

. . .

On the surface, the fight seems to be a classic case of a celebrity host being snubbed and his feelings being hurt: Mr. Rubio has appeared on “Morning Joe” just once since becoming a senator.

While Mr. Rubio has boycotted the program, its hosts have derided him for everything from his fashion choices (“shagalicious”) to his lack of legislative accomplishments, producing the kind of memorable moments that have taken off on social media.

. . .

But many of Mr. Rubio’s allies, and even some pundits, view Mr. Scarborough’s distaste for him as driven by something more elemental: envy.

“Almost every election cycle since Joe left Congress, there is talk that he should run for U.S. Senate, governor, or something else,” said Brian Crowley, a former Florida political reporter, adding that after Mr. Rubio became the Florida House speaker, “he started crowding that space.” Mr. Scarborough is a former Republican congressman from the state’s panhandle.

Mr. Rubio and Mr. Scarborough have never actually met. But, as Mr. Crowley noted, Mr. Scarborough was known to think highly of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and had ties to Charlie Crist, whom Mr. Rubio defeated in the 2010 Senate race.

Mr. Scarborough dismissed such talk. “I don’t know Marco well enough to resent him,” he said. “I am paid to be an analyst, a political analyst, to tell viewers and influencers what my take is on the political system.”

Read the full New York Times story here.


First Amendment Foundation and Poynter Institute form partnership

A time when access to public meetings and records is becoming more challenging, the First Amendment Foundation and the Poynter Institute are announcing a new partnership that will strengthen the effort of protecting a citizen's right to public meeting and access.

The announcement is below. (Disclosure: Crowley Political Report is a board member of the First Amendment Foundation.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2015) – The First Amendment Foundation, a 31-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to open government in Florida, announced today that it will add offices and move its administrative management from Tallahassee to The Poynter Institute here. In addition, the two organizations will partner on training and events, including the creation of a new online “Sunshine Certificate” to help educate elected officials on open government laws.

The Foundation will rent space for a staff member at the Poynter campus in St. Petersburg while continuing to maintain an office in Tallahassee. Poynter will provide management services to support the Foundation’s membership, website and financial accounting. The Foundation is the third organization in 2015 to turn to Poynter for management services, following the move to Poynter by the Association of Opinion Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

Key training components include: an innovative online “Sunshine” certificate; an annual symposium; regional seminars; and development of a digital version of the 2016 Government-in-the-Sunshine manual.

“I’m thrilled to be working closely with the First Amendment Foundation, which for more than three decades has been a champion for government in the sunshine in the Sunshine State,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “In the end, Poynter and the First Amendment Foundation have the same mission, and that’s to improve democracy through public engagement. This is a partnership that will ultimately strengthen both organizations, and make our important work for journalists and citizens even better.”

Dave Wilson, chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees, said, “The First Amendment Foundation is delighted to have found a strong partner in the Poynter Institute to help further our core mission of preserving open government in Florida through information and education. Keeping our government in the sunshine is important to all Floridians, and this new relationship will leverage the expertise of both organizations so we can spread that message for years to come.”

Continue reading "First Amendment Foundation and Poynter Institute form partnership" »

Washington Post five myths about Jeb Bush

Jenny Rogers, Assistant Editor of Outlook for the Washington Post Tweeted today that "these five myths on Jeb Bush, written by back in June, are feeling relevant right now."

The Washington Post story looks at these myths:

1. Jeb Bush is a moderate.

2 George is the dumb one, Jeb is the smart one.

3. Bush is Marco Rubio's mentor

4. Bush will campaign "joyfully."

5. He has broad support in Florida.

Each myth is explored and some might suggest the myths predicted the future.

Read the Crowley Political Report 5 myths story in the Washington Post here.

A good start as we enter tonight Republican presidential debate on FOX Business, a debate many believe could set the tone for the future of Bush's campaign.


Ben Carson admits lying about West Point

Hatchet135 copy - CopyWell this can't be good. Ben Carson admits today to Politico that he lied about applying to and being accepted to go West Point. 

Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett, in an email response to Politico, writes that, “He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors, They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.” 

Politico reports:  The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

Read the Politico story here.

Carson, who lives in West Palm Beach, across the lake from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, is leading Trump or tied with him in many of the recent Republican presidential campaign polls.

This week has seen Carson facing many questions about stories he has told about his life, including tales of trying to stab a "close relative" and threatening to hit his mother with a hammer. Both incidents Carson says took place when he was 14,

A noted surgeon, Carson faced questions about these other stories following a CNN report suggesting that there was little truth to Carson's claims of being angry teenager at tines out of control.

Carson said today the CNN report was filled with "lies" and was "pathetic."  See the CNN interview here.

Carson's strong defense of his narrative on CNN is now a tad tainted with Politico's revelation that Carson has lied about his past.

How will his supporters react? And how will the other candidates react?




CNN story about Jeb Bush emails with a Florida reporter

CNN reached out to chat about Jeb Bush's email exchanges with a Florida reporter while he was governor. Here's the story:

Tampa, Florida (CNN)When Jeb Bush became governor of Florida in 1999, there were a couple of observations that stood out to him: the bathroom door at the governor's mansion was tiny, and people started listening to every word he said.

At least that's what he told reporter Brian Crowley, a former Tallahassee Bureau Chief for the Palm Beach Post, in a series of emails during Bush's first few months as governor.

They're chronicled in Bush's new e-book, "Reply All," and reveal some insight into Bush's first impressions of the job. In fact, the 730-page e-book, which was released Monday, is filled with email threads between Bush and reporters, mostly from Florida news outlets. His responses to their questions made for some of his longest emails in the whole book.

Bush answered emailed questions from the Orlando Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), Daytona Beach News-Journal, and Miami Herald among other newspapers across Florida.

Bush notes in his book that he earned the nickname "eGovernor" because of his prolific emailing with constituents, colleagues and reporters. But is emailing with reporters a practice he would continue from the White House should he become president?

"It is a little premature to be talking Casablanca," he told CNN this weekend — in an email.

Bush had agreed to engage in a regular email conversation with Crowley to talk about the life of a governor. In his second month in office Bush wrote about the "verrrrrryyyyy good" food at the governor's mansion that was leaving him "with no chance yet to lose any weight."

He said the "water pressure up here is great" at the mansion but the "bathroom door is the smallest in Florida" and requires "a sideways twist to make it in." In an email a week later, Bush said he was having "a hard time with the entourage factor that comes with my new job."

Perhaps most interesting, Bush also told Crowley that his biggest surprise was realizing "the volume of my voice."

"People listen to what I say and do. I am learning to show more self-restraint so as to not restrict a free flow of thinking that could yield a better decision. That has been hard for me," he wrote.

The toughest part, he said, was the appointments process. "Friends who were expecting jobs have not gotten what they want and while I will always do what I think is right, it's not fun to disappoint," he wrote.

In an interview with CNN, Crowley said the emails were meant to get Bush to open up and talk beyond talking points about the more human-interest side of being a governor.

"It worked and it didn't work," Crowley said. While he used tidbits for stories, he said he never felt like he got enough insight from the governor to write the big blow-out story he was envisioning.

There were candid moments in the emails, Crowley said, but he added that Bush too often delved into wonky subjects rather than self-reflection.

Continue reading "CNN story about Jeb Bush emails with a Florida reporter" »

Jeb Bush saying no to Florida sugar growers

According to the Washington Post, Jeb Bush is calling for an end to federal subsidies for the powerful sugar industry. 

Florida's sugar producers have long called the shots on host of state and local issues. And few industries have as much political influence in Tallahassee and Washington. Bush has long supported the sugar growers but it appears that may be coming to an end.

Apparently, the Bush campaign feels ticking off Florida sugar growers is a small price to pay to win support among Iowa farmers who have long opposed the sugar subsidies.

From the Washington Post:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a longtime ally of his state’s wealthy sugar producers, is parting ways with the industry and calling for an end to government subsidies that have boosted company profits for decades.

The move, a surprise to industry lobbyists, could help the Republican’s struggling presidential campaign court conservative activists and competing industries that decry the sugar program as “crony capitalism.”

Continue reading "Jeb Bush saying no to Florida sugar growers" »

Jeb Bush slaps Marco Rubio joyfully

For months, Marco Rubio has been sticking Jeb Bush with the suggestion that Bush is just an aging Baby Boomer who needs to get out of Rubio's political way.

Bush's campaign largely ignored him. Essentially Bush was patting Rubio on the head - "isn't he cute."

Not any more.

During an appearance today on Morning Joe, Bush stopped patting and hit Rubio upside the head during a Q & A with Bloomberg's John Heilemann.

"Are you saying Senator Rubio does not have the leadership skill to fix things?"

". . .I think I have the leadership skills to fix things and that's my strength. Marco was a member of the House of Representatives when I was governor and he followed my lead and I'm proud of that."

"But you do not think he has leadership skills to fix things?"

"It's not. (then with emphasis) No. Barack Obama didn't end up having them"

So not only does Bush say Rubio does not have leadership skills, but that Rubio is just like Obama.

So much for campaigning "joyfully."

The fact is that Bush has always been supportive of Rubio - that is until he decided to run for president. Now, the same Rubio he praised for his skills is apparently lost the skills somewhere on the campaign trail.

Of course, Rubio has been asking for it. His "next generation" campaign has been a thinly veiled attack on Bush who he needs to defeat if he has any chance of winning the Republican nomination.

Here's Bush on MSNBC: 



And in the next video, Bush says just the opposite, praising Rubio in comparing him to Obama:



Jeb Bush says Washington should keep Redskins name

Jeb Bush got shoved into the controversy of keeping Redskins for the name of Washington's football team during a radio interview to air Friday on Sirius XM.

"I don't think the team should change it," said Bush sounding incredulous at the idea. "I don't think [the team] should change it. But again, I don't think politicians ought to have any say in that to be honest with you. I don't find it offensive. Native American tribes generally don't find it offensive."

Bush then goes on to chat about Florida State University Seminoles.

"We had a similar kind of flap with FSU if you recall, the Seminoles, and the Seminole tribe itself kind of came to the defense of the university and it subsided. It's a sport for crying out loud. It's a football team. Washington has a huge fan base…I'm missing something here I guess."

Yes. Yes he is.

Many Native Americans oppose the name saying it is racial slur. Native American groups have organized protests. Some members of Congress want to force a name change. 

Bush may be a touch too dismissive on this subject.

Listen to Bush here: AUDIO:

Richard Corcoran gets a beating on Fox News

Ouch! Good golly, Florida House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran got a whoopin' on Fox News as a panel of conservative commentators ridiculed Corcoran for his spending of $238,000 on "expensive dinners, cigars, wine, fancy hotels, cufflinks for $1,000....this is crazy stuff."

At one point, Florida Republicans are urged not to let Corcoran, who has vowed to rein in special interests, become Speaker.

Hat tip to Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times for spotting the video below.


Perhaps Jeb Bush forgot Tallahassee

During his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was asked about the nastiness of political campaigns and governing.

"I'm going to say something that is heretic I guess, I don't think Barack Obama has bad motives. I just think he is wrong on a lot of issues," Bush said. 

Bush goes on to say that "if you start with the premise that people have good motives you can find common ground."

Then Bush adds, "in state Capitols all across the country....this doesn't happen to the same extent it does in Washington."



You mean, like Tallahassee? The Florida Legislature?

Here's the video. 


Jeb Bush says he will support Donald Trump

 Today on Good Morning America, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said Donald Trump is "trying to insult his way to the presidency. It's not going to work people want an uplifting, hopeful message."

After spending several minutes describing Trump as basically unfit to occupy the White House, when asked if he would support Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee, Bush said, "yeah I would, of course. Of course I would."

So, even though Bush thinks Trump is essentially useless, Bush says he would support him.

If Trump becomes the nominee - don't count on Bush campaigning for him.

Watch the GMA interview below.


Don Gaetz should apologize and resign from Florida Senate

Don Gaetz has been exposed. The former Senate President promised Floridians that during his tenure, legislative and congressional redistricting would be "the most transparent" in Florida history.

Gaetz lied.

Court documents obtained by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times show that Gaetz was part of a conspiracy to deceive the public. A lower court and the Florida Supreme Court tossed out the congressional map calling it unconstitutional. The Senate has already admitted it got caught and will redo the senate map.

Gaetz, who smugly sat on witness stand during the circuit court hearing, secretly worked with political operatives, Senate staff and others to create an illegal Senate map that would favor Republicans.

According to the Herald/Times, court documents show that "before the public release of that map, Gaetz was privately conducting secret briefings with individual senators, via video conference, in which they would discuss possible alterations to the proposed Senate map."

In a deposition, John Guthrie, the former staff director of the Senate Reapportionment Committee who retired in June, said that Gaetz intentionally conducted individual meetings with senators so they could “share their reactions” and avoid the public meeting requirements of the Senate rules.

This is a must read story
In one sense, none of it is new. The depositions are a confirmation of the deliberately secret acts orchestrated and allowed to take place by Gaetz.
Gaetz only got caught because he wound up in court. He has cost the taxpayers a great deal of money in special sessions and needless court fights.
Many in Tallahassee like to preach about accountability. 
Gaetz is accountable. Now what is he going to do about it?

Some things that will not be highlighted in the Quinnipiac Florida poll

JEB BUSH _Polls are ruling. Presidential campaigns are being dogged by a constant barrage of polls. And now, a new Quinnipiac poll suggest more Republican voters are supporting Donald Trump than Jeb Bush - in Florida.

It makes for a wonderfully astonishing headline. But it is nonsense.

According to Quinnipiac's numbers, Trump leads Bush 21-17. Let's flip those numbers. The Q-poll is suggesting that 83 percent of Florida's registered Republicans would prefer someone other than Bush.

This would be an incredible collapse for Florida's former governor. It is certainly arguable, and we've made this case before, that Bush's Florida political machine is not what it once was. Certainly the candidacy of Sen. Marco Rubio suggests that Bush's hold on the Sunshine State may not be what it once was.

And it has been 13 years since Florida voters cast ballots with Jeb Bush on the ticket. And he has been out of office since January 2007 - nearly 9 years. As others have noted, Florida's has moved from the 4th largest state to the the 3rd largest since then. Many Floridians have never seen a Jeb Bush campaign.

Still, there a problems with the Quinnipiac Poll. Most media will point to its 3 percent margin of error. But that is misleading. That MOE is for the overall poll. The margin for GOP voters is 4.5 percent. (For Democrats it is 5.3). Those are significant margins that actually suggest Bush and Trump are tied.

Even more troubling is the time frame of the poll. The survey was done from August 7 to 18. That is a very long time. Voter moods can change from day to day. There is no assurance that what a voter said on August 7 would be the same on August 18. When you add the volatility brought by Trump, it is fairly safe to conclude that opinions change rapidly.

And who was surveyed. The polls suggests self-identified registered voters. But it does not appear that the question of being registered was asked. Instead, Quinnipiac asked respondents: PARTY IDENTIFICATION QUESTION WORDING - Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?

Saying you consider yourself a Republican does not make you a registered Republican. And for survey accuracy that is a big difference.

There is little doubt that the Bush campaign is struggling. And there is no question that his home-base may need some tender-loving care. But this poll, and many like it, begs more questions than it answers.



Washington Post Five myths about Jeb Bush

There are a lot of misconceptions about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In this report in Sunday's Washington Post, five myths about the 2016 Republican presidential candidate are explored.

Note: the above caricature by Crowley Political Report artist Patrick Crowley did not appear in the Washington Post. 

Now to the WaPo story.

Washington Post

By Brian E. Crowley

Brian E. Crowley is a Florida political analyst and the author of Crowley Political Report. He covered all three of Jeb Bush’s races for governor.

The nation has the chance to vote for another Bush now that Jeb has declared his candidacy for president. Though his last name is one of the most famous in the country, much of the conventional wisdom about Bush is wrong, starting with his first name. (It’s actually John, not Jeb.) Here are five other myths about the third child of George and Barbara.

1. Jeb Bush is a moderate.

“Republican vanilla” was how Henry Olsen put it in National Review. Others have described Bush’s “ ‘very conservative’ problem” (National Journal), the right’s “wary” response to his candidacy (the Boston Globe), and similarities between him and Hillary Clinton (Laura Ingraham, who said they could “run on the same ticket”). At the heart of Bush’s supposedly moderate ideology: his support for Common Core and immigration reform.

While some conservatives disagree over those two issues, almost nothing inBush’s record as governor suggests he’s a moderate. The notion puzzles Floridians who watched him govern for eight years, during which he pushed to disrupt public schools by establishing vouchers, grading schools and student performance, and creating charter schools. He reduced the size of state government, promoted tax cuts for the wealthy, passed tough-on-crime bills and bragged about helping Florida have more concealed-weapon permits than other states.

 When Bush left office, “he was widely, unanimously, unambiguously regarded as the most conservative governor in the United States,” according to Steve Schmidt, who was Sen. John McCain’s senior campaign adviser in the 2008 presidential race. Darryl Paulson, a professor emeritus of government at the University of South Florida, said, “He governed as a conservative, and everyone in the Florida Republican Party considered him a conservative.” Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell stated it more bluntly: “a union-busting, school-voucher-promoting, tax-cutting, gun-loving, Terri Schiavo-interfering, hard-core conservative.”

2. George is the dumb one, Jeb is the smart one.

Continue reading "Washington Post Five myths about Jeb Bush" »