ormer Gov. Jeb Bush offered to be a confidential sounding board for newly elected Gov. Rick Scott while urging him to expand school vouchers to all students, release elderly prisoners early and consider taxing online purchases in exchange for cuts to other taxes.
The suggestions came in an email Bush sent just days before Scott took office.
“You didn’t ask for this, but it is the standard ‘envelope in the desk to the new guy’ for words from the old guy,” Bush wrote. “To be honest, I did the same thing to Gov. Crist but he did nothing I suggested, so with the risk of being presumptuous, I am trying again.”
The words of wisdom from Bush were released to The Associated Press after the Times/Herald reported Aug. 18 that transition email accounts for Scott and others on his staff were deleted, potentially erasing public records required to be kept under state law.
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Tallahassee attorney and Scott transition advisor Chris Kise tried to reproduce Scott’s emails through correspondence found on the personal accounts of a handful of top staffers.
Kise then delivered those emails to the Herald/Times, but Bush’s email was not originally included.
Bush’s list of “lessons learned through trial and error” covered a range of issues, including an assurance that it was “OK to veto stupid bills” from lawmakers and to make sure Scott’s wife, Ann, had an effective staff as first lady.
“Her cause should be your cause,” Bush wrote.
Bush also encouraged Scott to make life easy for Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents who are tasked with protecting him.
“Both Gov. Chiles and Crist put them in difficult positions by rejecting their involvement in their private lives,” Bush wrote. “They are not intrusive but they need to protect you.”
It was unclear what Bush was referring to. He did not respond to email seeking comment.
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