One of the Trump/Bush battles in Wednesday’s debate was over whether or not Trump gave money to Jeb Bush’s campaign to try to influence him to allow casino gambling in Florida. Bush said yes, Trump no. A report published by CNN on September first indicates that Jeb Bush’s version of the story was correct.
In 1998, Trump held high-dollar fundraiser for Bush’s gubernatorial campaign in Trump Tower and shelling out $50,000 to the Florida Republican Party. When Bush was inaugurated in 1999, he maintained his hardline stance against gambling in the state, “delivering a death blow to Trump’s hopes of building out a multi-million dollar casino endeavor with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and prompting him to abandon those plans.”
“It certainly had a chilling effect,” Doug Guetzloe, a Florida political consultant who worked for the gaming giant Bally Entertainment in the ’90s, said of Bush’s election. “Gov. Bush made it clear to everyone that he was not interested in having casinos in the state of Florida … the word definitely went through.”
(…) when Bush was elected in 1998, he made clear none of that would happen on his watch.
“I am opposed to casino gambling in this state and I am opposed whether it is on Indian property or otherwise … The people have spoken and I support their position,” Bush told the St. Petersburg Times, now Tampa Bay Times, in 1999, referencing the three failed referendums to approve casino gambling.
Trump did not personally lobby Bush for the gambling, he hired someone to do it for him.
Trump abandoned his hopes to expand the casino business in Florida not long after Bush’s election. Mallory Horne, a former Florida statehouse speaker and Senate president whom Trump had hired to lobby on his behalf of his gambling interests in the state, told the magnate that those prospects were dead, according to legal filings obtained in 2005 by Bloomberg Business in connection with a lawsuit Trump filed against a former associate.
So the evidence shows that Trump tried to buy Jeb Bush’s support on casinos and Jeb said no.