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FL: Jeb Bush Jr. hypes his super PAC, talks education and immigration

By   /   July 27, 2012  /   News  /   1 Comment

By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog

Jeb Bush Jr.

MIAMI— In the eyes of one new political action committee, immigration, Hispanic outreach and education are the new frontier—and it’s headed by a member of the Bush political dynasty.

The man in focus is Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Gov. Jeb Bush nephew of former President George W. Bush, and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush.

In Miami on Thursday, Jeb Bush Jr. was headlining an education luncheon sponsored by his Sun Political Action Committee, a new PAC dedicated to “engage, educate and recruit Hispanics,” according to its website.

The event was co-hosted by the James Madison Institute, a nonpartisan free-market think tank based in Tallahassee, focusing on how to improve educational options for parents and students.

While his father was in the national press supporting the hypothetical Republican vice presidential candidacy of fellow Floridian and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush Jr. was introducing the audience to his new conservative group.

“For me, the most important issue we must address here is education,” Bush said to supporters of Sun PAC, formed two years ago to attract young Hispanic conservatives.

State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, told those at the luncheon that public schools should not be the only option for parents looking to educate their children — charter schools must also be part of the equation.
Flores said that while she is not working on any particular project on the subject, she has expressed support for the proposal of her colleague, state Rep. Mike Bileca, R-Coral Cables.
A bill written by Bileca would allow many parents, whose children attend low-performing schools, to require drastic changes in the school’s administration, hopefully transforming it into a charter school, according to the education reform website the Parent Trigger.

During an interview with Florida Watchdog, Bush said that parents are concerned about being able to choose a school for their children, an issue that also came to light during last year’s legislative session.

The main focus, Bush claims, is to increase the participation of parents in the education of their children, as well as a host of other issues.

“We are focused on commitments to education, immigration, economics and free trade. We want to effectively communicate conservative principles on these issues,” he said.

Asked about the current political divide in the country and how issues can be addressed in legislative circles, Bush put his cards in for the current Republican presidential frontrunner.

“We must put politics aside and focus on real solutions. I think people like (GOP presumptive nominee) Mitt Romney are sending that message,” said Bush.

As for entering politics himself, Bush said he doesn’t have any political motivations beyond his current job.

“Those are big shoes to fill. But I truly do not know. For now, I enjoy working with Sun PAC,” he said.

State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami

Flores, meanwhile, remained focused on immigration, explaining to Florida Watchdog her proposal for an Arizona-type immigration law in Florida.

Flores threw her support behind a similar bill in the previous legislative session, but it did not ultimately make it to the floor, much to her chagrin.

“As we know, immigration is a federal issue. Hopefully the next president will have the courage to face it,” she said.

Interviews with Jeb Bush Jr. and state Sen. Anitere Flores:


Yaël formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.