Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is considering a run for the White House. So he released 250,000 emails this week from his time as governor.
But Bush’s desire to be transparent may cause trouble for some of his former constituents.
Social security numbers have turned up in some of the newly released documents. Bush told reporters in Tallahassee the state was supposed to cover up such personal information.
“That was a matter of public record in the Department of State. So we just released what the government gave us,” Bush said. “If we have private information that’s out there, we’re going to take it off for sure.”
Bush's lawyer sent a letter to the state last May asking that personal information be removed before all of the correspondence was made public.
Public records exemptions apply to sensitive data, but that doesn't include names and home addresses.
“People have to be more careful about what information they put in an email, but the Department of State should have reviewed those records and redacted all exempt information,” says First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Petersen. “Social security numbers are exempt from public disclosure.”
A Bush spokesman says staffers are sifting through the emails and will strike any sensitive information.