Shandwick caught in Jeb Bush letter flap

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s DC outpost has found itself embroiled in a controversy over the origins of a letter allegedly written by Florida governor Jeb Bush - but subsequently identified by the governor’s office as a forgery.

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s DC outpost has found itself embroiled in a controversy over the origins of a letter allegedly written by Florida governor Jeb Bush - but subsequently identified by the governor’s office as a forgery.

WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick’s DC outpost has found itself embroiled

in a controversy over the origins of a letter allegedly written by

Florida governor Jeb Bush - but subsequently identified by the

governor’s office as a forgery.



Circulated by Shandwick on Capitol Hill for client eLottery, the letter

details Bush’s supposed opposition to legislation that would ban

Internet gambling. The discovery that the letter was a fraud came only

days before a House vote on the issue.



’We’re mad as hell about this and we’ve agreed that we need to get to

the bottom of it,’ said Mark Day, president of Shandwick/DC’s media

department.



’When we heard of the problem, we immediately stopped using the letter

and have urged others not to use it.’



As part of its PR and lobbying efforts on behalf of eLottery, Shandwick

asked state governors to write letters to members of the House stating

their opposition to anti-gambling legislation. Critics of the proposed

laws claim that they infringe upon on states’ rights.



Shandwick received several replies to its request for letters from

governors (including the spurious Bush response), and released them to

members of Congress, Day said. He added that most public affairs firms

do not verify solicited materials of this kind.



Jeb Bush’s office became aware of the letter when his staff was

contacted for further comment on its contents.



’It was not authorized. It is not Gov.Bush’s signature and it is not

his position,’ said Bush communications director Justin Sayfie. He

conceded, however, that the confusion was understandable because the

letter was faxed on what appeared to be proper letterhead.



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