After months of talk and rumors, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush finally made his candidacy for president official on Monday. He plans to use his experience as Florida’s governor to win voters, but his eight years aren’t as gleaming as he thinks, report ThinkProgress.
There are now 11 Republican presidential candidates for next year, including Bush. He attempted to increase state revenue it at the expense of government jobs, libraries, and education. Over 13,000 government employees lost their jobs because of Bush’s push to privatize several government services.
He also presents himself as a “pro-life Republican,” mainly because of his controversial role in the Terri Schiavo case. He inserted himself into what should have been a family matter and kept a brain-dead woman on life support after her husband wanted to take her off of life support.
Bush is part of the “tough on crime” group of Republicans who want to increase mandatory minimum sentences and waste more money on the drug war. During his time as governor, Bush increased such sentences for juveniles and blocked bills to loosen drug laws, an outdated stance in today’s political climate.
Bush has been banging the conservative fear drum for well over 20 years. In 1993, he said “people cannot walk on their streets without fear of crime. The simple fact is we are not safe. Not in our homes, not anywhere.” The Daily Dot noted that crime in Florida has been on a 20 year decline since the mid-90s.
Using fear, Bush won support to increase the number of private prisons in Florida.
“Our criminal justice system is also an obvious target for privatization,” wrote Bush in 1995. “Our prison population has doubled in recent years, and we are spending billions of dollars on prison construction and operation each year. But, according to a number of independent estimates, partial privatization could save an incredible sum — as much as 10-20 percent.”
And so began Florida’s transformation into the country’s “prison state.” Despite Bush saying otherwise, private prisons haven’t saved the state that much money, barely saving 7 percent of state funds.
According to ThinkProgress, Bush actually indebted Florida even more while in office, from $15 billion to $23 billion. Bush is a corporate shill and puppet of the private prison industry.