Fulfilling a pledge to make ethics and openness a hallmark of his Florida governorship, potential 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush is releasing official e-mails generated during his 1999-2007 tenure, The Washington Post
The cache, some of which is already in the hands of The Washington Post, includes thousands of e-mails covering Bush's eight-year gubernatorial term. Among the themes that emerge: Bush's efforts to allay the concerns of conservatives about judicial appointments and his predisposition to work long hours.
Bush's electronic correspondence do not include legal or personnel mail. Bush was a prolific writer of emails. He joked that he was digital before it was cool. The governor had always intended that the emails would become public one day telling staffers to work out their vacation requests verbally since they "might make a newspaper one of these days," according to the Post.
Bush answered a man who wrote to say that "politicians make me sick, you make me sick" with: "I am truly sorry you feel that way. Have a nice day," signing off with a smiley face.
He told a backer in 1999 that he wanted to "read more and work less." Another time he wrote: "I favor campaign finance reform that doesn't put us at a disadvantage."
During the Monica Lewinsky scandal he wrote that he opposed liberalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, favored "forceful diplomacy" and chided that "for the last seven years" Clinton had been "preoccupied with other matters."
"Governor Bush is releasing these e-mails that are currently public records to increase accessibility to them and make it easier for people to read through them," said Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell in a statement.
Discovering what was going on in his administration while he was governor was nevertheless a challenge. The First Amendment Foundation threatened to take him to court over his administration's failure to comply with the state's Sunshine Law.
"Jeb Bush wasn't terrible,' foundation president Barbara Petersen said, "but he certainly wasn't a champion," the Post reported.
Analysts say that by releasing some 250,000 emails Bush is setting the stage for the possibility of running for president in 2016, according to CNN.
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