I didn’t watch the GOP
reality show Presidential debates on Thursday night — as it happened, I needed to handle something at the office, which pretty much dragged on all night. (Oh, the things I do to rack up billable hours each month.) But, in sorting through the after-action reports, I did notice one thing in particular that may have been forgotten in the aftermath of the subsequent Trump meltdown: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was hit hard by one of the moderators in the debate for an association he had with a certain philanthropic organization . . .
KELLY:…Governor Bush, let’s start with you. Many Republicans have been outraged recently by a series of videos on Planned Parenthood. You now say that you support ending federal funding for this organization.
However, until late 2014, right before you started your campaign, you sat on the board of a Bloomberg charity that quite publicly gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood while you were a director.
How could you not know about these well publicized donations, and if you did know, how could you help a charity so openly committed to abortion rights?
BUSH: I joined the Bloomberg Foundation because of Mike Bloomberg’s shared commitment for meaningful education reform. That’s why I was on it. We never had a debate about the budget. It was presented and we approved it. Not item by item.
Here’s my record: As governor of the state of Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood. I created a culture of life in our state….
My purpose here is not to bash Mr. Bush’s association with Planned Parenthood–that issue isn’t my main concern and, as I’ve indicated in the past, my general views on it are not cut-and-dried. But I am very concerned that a major candidate from the GOP — the party that will at least give lip service to the idea of the right to keep and bear arms — is extensively involved with Michael Bloomberg on any issue. Especially when that candidate is the traditional “establishment’s” favorite candidate, to the extent the “establishment” matters anymore.
Michael Bloomberg has dedicated a considerable portion of his personal fortune to fighting against our constitutionally-protected civil right to keep and bear arms, through front organizations like the awkwardly-named Everytown for Gun Safety, and his anti-gun yellow journalism outlet, The Trace. Jumping on board with Bloomberg isn’t like teaming up with some pragmatic left-wing politician like Chuck Schumer to make common cause on some issue du jour.
Instead, this is throwing in with a man who is determined to fight against our civil rights. Someone who believes that he has “earned [his] place in heaven” thanks to his efforts to bankroll the civilian disarmament movement. To the extent this person has an ideology, it’s one of a plutocracy in which the wealthy and powerful can, and by right ought to, dictate morality and lifestyle choices to the rest of us, the benighted, unwashed masses. Association with this sort of person must be unacceptable to politicians who claim to defend the Bill of Rights.
So, Mr. Bush: stow your stammered excuses about Planned Parenthood. Tell me instead about the nature of your relationship with Michael Bloomberg. What part of his ideology do you share? What sort of deals have you cut with him? And what assurance do we have that you won’t see fit to cut a deal with this enemy of civil rights should you be elected?
My contact info is over on the right. Ask for Johannes.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.