Straight face test? After burning through cash in presidential run, Jeb! to help congressman wanting finance reform

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

After spending close to $150 million on his failed presidential campaign, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is going to campaign for U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who has made clamping down on congressional fund-raising a priority.

Bush has kept a low profile since abandoning his White House bid in February without winning a single state, but burning through cash at an unprecedented rate. But Jolly’s re-election bid against Democrat Charlie Crist is bringing Bush out of early retirement.

“I’m excited David Jolly decided to run for his congressional seat and I plan on actively campaigning for his re-election,” Bush said. “Rep. Jolly has done what any congressman should do and that’s do the job that he was elected to do. I am proud to support him in this race.”

Jolly’s so-called Stop Act would  make it illegal for members of the U.S. House and Senate to personally solicit campaign donations. Jolly got a lot of airtime on CBS’ 60 Minutes in April for his proposal, which he said is aimed at blunting the demands put on members of Congress by party leaders to raise money for political campaigns.

Bush raised the lion’s share of his $150 million presidential war chest through his SuperPAC, Right to Rise. Jolly also has a SuperPAC, called FloridAmerican Conservatives.

Campaign financing wasn’t one of the issues Jolly highlighted in welcoming Bush’s help.

“Jeb worked tirelessly for all Floridians as governor and especially for children throughout Pinellas and the entire nation as an advocate for education reform,” Jolly said.

“We share this commitment to education, particularly when it comes to improving early childhood education and student readiness,” he added.


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