Monday, February 24, 2003

This Washington Post profile of Jeb Bush might not have pleased Jeb's fans, but it does take seriously the notion that Jeb could be elected president in 2008, and it certainly leaves the impression that he is a serious, smart, driven, thoughtful man -- so those of us who aren't fans of Jeb should be afraid ... very afraid. Maybe now is a good time to read this article from last week's Village Voice about a Florida land deal that netted the wife of New York's GOP governor, George Pataki, a pretty penny, quite possibly as the result of Jeb's intervention:

The Florida bonanza has all the earmarks of a politically wired transaction, orchestrated by land preservation officials in Jeb Bush's administration. A week after both Bush and Pataki were re-elected in November, the South Florida Water Management District, a state corporation whose members are appointed by the governor, voted to approve paying $15 million for the Pataki parcel, which Libby and her partners had acquired in 2000 for $4.4 million. The price was three times what the state offered in 1999 and $360 more per acre than it simultaneously paid for pristine wetlands next door, even though the adjacent parcel contained what government documents described as "the bulk of the environmentally sensitive portion of the tract."

The financing was supposed to come primarily from the state's Department of Environmental Protection, but on December 12, the water district decided it could complete the deal quicker if it used its own money. "This is the most fast-tracked environmental land purchase we've ever had," crowed Michael DiTerlizzi, the top official in Martin County, which also participated in the acquisition....

Will anyone ever care about this deal?

Would anyone care if Jeb's last name were, say, Clinton?

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