Records show Republican Jeb Bush healthy and wealthy

AP News
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Posted: Oct 15, 2015 7:47 PM
Records show Republican Jeb Bush healthy and wealthy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jeb Bush appears to be healthy and wealthy, based on a batch of records released by the Republican presidential candidate Thursday. As for wise? Voters have time.

Bush also listed each of the people, called bundlers, who have helped raise campaign dollars in groups of contributors.

The 62-year-old former governor of Florida is "in excellent physical and mental condition and able to serve" as president, Bush's doctor wrote in an affidavit.

Bush takes cholesterol medication, but his weight and blood pressure have dropped due to dieting and exercise, Dr. Alberto A. Mitrani of Coral Gables, Florida, wrote.

Bush earned $8.4 million in 2014, according to the tax records he released. It was his best year ever, bringing in $1 million more than he earned in 2013, largely the result of his business consulting and public speaking firm. Bush took in $7.1 million from Jeb Bush & Associates.

He gave $309,000 to charity in 2014.

The $3.3 million in federal taxes Bush paid, an effective rate of nearly 40 percent, provides a window into how the tax law changes he has proposed would benefit him.

If Bush's proposal to cut the top bracket from 39.5 percent to 28 percent were in place, Bush would have paid roughly $800,000 less in federal taxes. Other aspects of Bush's proposal would have eliminated deductions that would have raised portions of his tax bill, but nowhere near the amount trimmed.

Bush has made a point of proclaiming transparency in his campaign — an indirect jab at Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who remains the subject of an investigation about the private email server she used as secretary of state.

"This far exceeds the level of transparency offered by other candidates in the field," campaign spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said, "above and beyond the disclosure requirements."

Bush released the names of 341 bundlers who have each raised at least $17,600 for his presidential campaign.

But the list did little to identify the major heavyweights backing his bid for office. The release listed bundlers' names and hometowns, but not the amounts they raised.

By listing everyone who had raised at least $17,600, Bush essentially treated all 341 names equally, instead of distinguishing larger bundlers from those who raised the minimum.

"Today, he's going above and beyond the existing campaign finance disclosure requirements, which only require disclosure of federally registered lobbyists who have raised a minimum of $17,600 during a covered period," Bush's campaign noted on its website Thursday.

The list shows many lobbyists, from Florida and Washington, D.C., among his supporters, along with corporate executives and elected officials. A sizable portion of the fundraisers come from Bush's home state of Florida — more than one in five people on the list are from the Sunshine State.

The corporate heavyweights on the list include New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Trevor Fetter, CEO of Tenet Healthcare, where Bush served on the board of directors until last year.

Also listed are longtime business allies Bill Becker, a politically active Florida agribusiness executive; developers Mark Guzzetta and Sergio Pino; health care executive Mike Fernandez; Dallas education executive Randy Best; and Eric Silagy of Florida Power and Light.

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Associated Press writers Ronnie Greene, Jack Gillum and Jeff Horwitz contributed from Washington; Gary Fineout contributed from Tallahassee, Florida.