We all remember the controversy that erupted during the 2000 presidential elections when Florida votes were too close to call and forced a recount. Bush ended up winning Florida and, ultimately, the election.
During this time, George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb, was the governor of Florida. Considering this, Jeb had a role in the Florida recount, reported TruthOut.
There’s a good chance that Jeb will run for president in 2016. He has made every attempt to distinguish himself from his brother and father; both of them are former presidents. Despite distancing himself from George W. and George H.W., Jeb’s past as governor suggests that he had a hand in the Florida results in the 2000 election, a giant conflict of interest.
“While he recused himself from any involvement in what happened after Nov. 7, he did not recuse himself from his role as a brother,” said Katie Baur, Jeb’s former communications director.
According to the Los Angeles Times in 2001:
The Florida governor’s office in Tallahassee made 95 telephone calls to the George W. Bush presidential campaign, its advisors, lawyers and staffers during the 36-day recount period, records show. At least 10 calls came from an office number used primarily by Jeb Bush.
Of these 95 phone calls, some were made to George W.’s then-campaign strategist Karl Rove and Clay Johnson, who was W.’s chief of staff while governor of Texas.
Jeb denies remembering the reason for the phone calls, saying he had “no clue” what they were about. As far as Florida’s voting system itself, it contained flaws that were known by Florida officials before the recount ever happened. Some have noted possible bad behavior on part of Florida officials.
“There emerges a confluence of circumstances that indicates intimidation and harassment of the Florida voters, and that was set in motion long before the November election,” said Victoria Wilson of the US Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001, Wilson accused Florida officials of violating voting rights because over 14 percent of Florida black voters’ ballots weren’t counted.
Jeb’s proximity to the Florida voting debacle poses many questions about his role. There’s a chance that Jeb manipulated the elections to fall in favor of his brother. However, Jeb will never admit it. No matter what he says, he’s just another Bush.