Jeb Bush Posts SS Numbers of 12K Floridians

Former governor made up to 330K emails public in the name of 'transparency'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2015 7:45 AM CST
Jeb Bush Posts SS Numbers of 12K Floridians
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pauses while speaking at a Detroit Economic Club meeting in Detroit, Feb. 4, 2015.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

It hasn't been a good week for the man who calls himself the "eGovernor." First former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accepted the resignation of PAC CTO Ethan Czahor after a series of offensive tweets by Czahor were uncovered. Now he's under fire for revealing personal info—names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers—of at least 12,000 Floridians, the AP reports. On Tuesday, Bush posted online between 275,000 (the number Bush's spokeswoman provided) and 330,000 (the number an independent audit found) emails he received during the eight years he was governor in what he says was "the spirit of transparency." "Some are funny; some are serious; some I wrote in frustration," he writes on the site. "But they're all here so you can read them and make up your own mind." But a portion of those emails contained the unredacted personal info—as well as intensely personal anecdotes and even requests not to publish the correspondence.

Gizmodo notes an email (which contained the sender's full name and email) that said, "Please do not make this email public to anybody. I do not want my privacy violated, especially by the media"; another citizen whose email was posted tells the Daily Dot she was "embarrassed" about an email she had sent about "illegal immigrants." Here's where Florida freedom-of-information laws get tricky: According to the Verge, Bush noted in his emails that "Florida has a very broad public records law" and "your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure." But a Florida attorney tells the Verge that SS numbers are "both confidential and exempt" from public disclosure. A spokeswoman for Bush, meanwhile, said in a statement that "this set of emails on our website is an exact replica of the public records on file with the Florida Department of State and are available at anyone's request under Chapter 119 sunshine laws," as per the Washington Post; she also tells BuzzFeed that they're filtering through the emails and redacting personal info. (More Jeb Bush stories.)

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