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
’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.