Jeb Bush sold patronage and favors to his top political donors

The AP analysis of Bush's 275,000 FOIA'ed emails show that "donations" to his campaign were really more like "purchases."

Of course, this is what everyone suspects — indeed, is certain of — in the case of politicians. But it's one thing to see the money come in and the appointments flow out, and another to read the elected officials corresponding with their staffers saying, basically, "Hey, this guy gave me a lot of money, let's give him this plum appointment."

By the way, I'd be pretty fucking surprised if H Clinton's complete email trove was any less damning.

Take William 'Bill' Becker, a Florida citrus grower and longtime Republican donor. "He was among the circle of loyalists invited to huddle with Bush in December to hear about his presidential ambitions," the AP wrote, citing Becker's years of concurrent political donations to Bush and lobbying him on matters ranging from state citrus marketing funds, appointments to a citrus marketing board and hospital association, and college donations.

Speaking of a candidate to the Florida Citrus Commission, who Bush did appoint, Becker wrote, "She and her family have been loyal supporters… You met her at the Governor's Mansion on one occasion and I believe you may have met her at the Florida House event at our home. I believe she is immensely well qualified to serve on the Florida Citrus Commission."

Nine days later, after she got the post, Becker wrote, "Many thanks for an expedited and wonderful appointment."

The AP's example of Becker's interactions with Bush is not unique. The issues may not be as riveting as whether Bush tried to prevent a hospital from turning off the life support system for Terri Schaivo—a major issue for some conservative Christians, or fight federal government efforts to send Elian Gonzales, a Cuban child, back to that country in a custody dispute. But they are what the daily life of a governor often consists of. If anything, the New Yorker's recent profile of Bush's efforts to privatize public education and how that made him and a handful of business colleagues wealthy, is a much more troubling picture of political corruption.

Jeb Bush Email Trove Reveals Predictable Trail Of Access and Favors For Top Donors
[Steven Rosenfeld/Alternet]

(Image: Bribe, Eugene Pivovarov, public domain)