Last edited: March 28, 2004

Governor Jeb Bush’s Son Violated Florida’s Sodomy Law and Doesn’t Get Charged

What if the GOP hadn’t stolen this from under all our noses? (excerpt)

Working For Change, December 11, 2000

By David Corn


All pundits and political junkies will have their favorite what-if. Here is mine. Two days before the election, a London newspaper, The Mail, ran an item noting that Governor Jeb Bush’s 16-year-old-son John (aka "Jebby") had been busted by the police a month earlier for having had sex with a bare-to-the-waist 17-year-old girl in a Jeep Cherokee parked at a Tallahassee shopping mall. Two security officers had come upon the scene — the action was occurring at 10:00 pm — and they called in the police.

The issue was not that George W. Bush’s nephew was engaged in truly a youthful indiscretion. But according to Artie Brown, one of the two security guards, Jebby spoke to his father-the-governor and then said, "My dad will fix it." And maybe Jeb Bush did. Jebby was never charged. There was a police report filed that noted that the cops had investigated a possible crime of "sexual misconduct." But Sergeant Oscar Brannon, who filed the report, said charges were not pursued because the lustful couple had not been in public view. Brown, though, contradicted that assessment. And in his report, Brannon did note that shortly after he arrived at the parking lot, "I became aware of the political ties" of the male suspect.

The important question is, did Governor Jeb Bush use his clout to protect a son caught not acting in accordance with Republican family values? This is not an insignificant query, for had Big Jeb intervened in any manner it would be an abuse of office.

The police report was leaked to the major newspapers of Florida. None went with the story. So on the final weekend of the campaign — when George W. was working the Sunshine State hard — the only mention of this potential trouble appeared across the Atlantic.

Ponder how those last days might have played out had this news emerged — particuarly after the electorate had been treated to revelations regarding George W. Bush’s 1976 drunk-driving arrest. Would Bush’s appearances in Florida have been dominated by questions regarding the possible interference of his brother in a police matter? Might Jeb have been distracted and forced to take time away from his efforts to win Florida for his brother? What if? Certainly, such a ruckus could have cost the Bush clan 538 votes.


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