Lafferty: Jeb Bush’s Blue Colors

Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Which candidate running for president supported a $50 million partnership with Planned Parenthood, aided the war on coal and advocated for giving Washington bureaucrats more control over local schools? If you guessed Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, guess again.

The correct answer is Jeb Bush.

In 2010, Jeb Bush was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation. The organization was the brainchild of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was perhaps created to help New York’s nanny-statesman pass the time between pushing gun control and regulating Big Gulps.

During Bush’s nearly five years with the foundation, the organization swung far to the left, supporting a number of extreme liberal causes that are raising serious questions and suspicions about his self-described conservative bonafides.

With the release of the horrific Planned Parenthood videos, Bush jumped on the bandwagon, claiming to support defunding the organization.  But while he was on Bloomberg’s board, Bush had no problems at all with a major expansion and collaboration between the foundation and Planned Parenthood that included giving the pro-abortion organization tens of millions of dollars in new funding.

Bloomberg Family Foundation gave Planned Parenthood $50 million to expand abortion services around the world with the ultimate goal of unrestricted and free abortions for all mothers. Some of the money Planned Parenthood received during Bush’s Bloomberg tenure was even provided to a group that has admitted to performing “illegal abortions all over the world” according to one of the recipients, Maria Stopes International in Tanzania.

The Bush-Bloomberg left-wing alliance wasn’t limited to the abortion industry. The two also paired at the foundation to fight the war on coal. During Bush’s time at the Bloomberg Family Foundation, he and the rest of the board oversaw a $50 million grant to the far-left environmental group the Sierra Club in support of the group’s campaign to eliminate coal-fired power plants.

The Sierra Club called the grant from Bush and other directors of the Bloomberg foundation a “game changer” in its effort to eradicate coal, an important source of energy and jobs in America. In other words, the Bloomberg funding advanced an initiative that would be a body blow to middle- and low-income families across our country resulting in higher utility bills and lost jobs.

In fact, the Bush-Bloomberg backed Sierra Club was front and center again recently, praising President Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” which would raise energy prices for ordinary Americans. For a state like Ohio, where Bush and other Republican candidates recently debated, this costly plan would increase electricity prices by 16.4 percent and hurt the state’s economic competitiveness.

Support for one-size-fits-all education policies was also on Bush and Bloomberg’s agenda. In 2006, the pair lobbied Congress to support the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, which puts more power and control over our schools in the hands of Washington bureaucrats, rather than parents teachers and administrators.

In 2011, while governors across the country were seeking waivers from No Child Left Behind, Bush, then a member of the Bloomberg board, again trumpeted the act, calling for its reauthorization. With his repeated support for this federal power grab, it’s clear that Bush prefers more strings and regulations from Washington instead of allowing parents, educators and local elected officials to determine what’s best for students.

Bush resigned from the foundation in 2014, when he launched his political campaign for president. But resigning a leadership post does not erase one’s record.

Bush’s support for big-government mandates such as No Child Left Behind is nothing new. But his service as a director of a philanthropy that actively promoted extreme left-wing causes like abortion on demand and the war on coal calls into question his very political affiliation. After all, what sort of conservative Republican would go to work for an organization dedicated to spreading liberalism around the globe?

Perhaps in partnering with Bloomberg to advance the priorities of the Democratic party, Bush actually did Republicans a favor. Perhaps he revealed his true colors — especially his fondness for blue.

Andrea Lafferty is President of the Traditional Values Coalition