Jeb Bush already has the organization

By Laurie Bennett

March 6, 2013 at 10:20am

Jeb Bush, suddenly everywhere after lying low for several years, is stirring lots of speculation about his plans for 2016.

He told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “I’m not saying yes. I’m just not saying no. I’ve accomplished some things in my life that allow me now to, to have that kind of discretion, to be able to think about it.”

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush

Should he decide to run for president, Bush has a massive support network already in place.

Beyond his family connections and the extensive web of relationships Bush built as governor of Florida, he also has ties to foundations, corporate boards and Hispanic leaders.

And then there’s big money.

While there’s no proof yet that they would all contribute, there are plenty of rich people in close proximity.

Bush sits on the boards of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s family foundation and of Swisher Hygiene Inc., which is chaired by billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga.

He also chairs two foundations with high-powered boards - the Foundation for Excellence in Education and the Foundation for Florida’s Future.

Betsy DeVos, a charter school activist who married into the Amway fortune, is a director of the educational foundation. (Bush has another tie to the DeVos family through the National Constitution Center. He became chairman in January. Betsy DeVos’s brother-in-law, Doug DeVos, is the center’s executive committee chairman.)

Also on the educational foundation board are Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, and William Simon, president of Wal-Mart U.S. The foundation has received funding from the Walton family, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune.

Directors of the Foundation for Florida’s Future include J. Pepe Fanjul Jr., of the wealthy Florida sugar growers. Another director, F. Philip Handy, was a bundler for the McCain presidential campaign and adviser to Romney’s 2012 bid.

Bush’s network of support is so expansive that we broke it into four interactive Muckety maps:

  • Foundations
  • Hispanic
  • Corporate
  • Family

Jeb Bush’s foundation network

Jeb Bush and the Hispanic Leadership Network

Jeb Bush’s corporate ties

The Bush family and the White House

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