Worse than Frank and Jessie James

By Noble Johns

(BNW) Not since Frank and Jessie James has this country seen two of the most thieving brothers in the history of America; George and Jeb Bush. They stole the U.S. presidency; they stole the stock market into ruins; they stole trillions from retired Americans 401 ks; they are trying to steal the oil wealth from the people of Iraq. Now, that thieving Jeb Bush has sunk to an all time low, taking money to bribe the U.S. Patent office.

Crooked Jeb was forced his week to released documents outlining a corrupt lobbying campaign by his office on behalf of a major Republican donor. The scheme was an efford efforts to get political appointees of his rotten brother, George, to overrule career employees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for a $50,000 bribe.

Prompted by a Freedom of Information request from the Florida Democratic Party, the disclosures add new details about the time and effort that Jeb and several of his top aides devoted to the matter, which centers on a trademark battle between Bacardi Rum and a foreign rival.

An inch-high pile of documents indicate that the process began early this year and picked up steam with an April 18 e-mail to Jeb from Jorge Rodriguez-Marquez, Bacardi's vice president for corporate communications. With a subject line reading "BACARDI NEEDS YOUR HELP. Importance: High," Rodriguez-Marquez complained about "U.S. government bureaucrats.'' He added, "Someone needs to tell PTO to stop interfering.''

A few hours later, Jeb forwarded a copy to his chief of staff, Kathleen Shanahan, with the comment, "this is ridiculous. let us discuss. Jeb Bush."

This e-mail set into motion a process that involved Shanahan; Nino Oviedo, who runs Florida's Washington office; Melissa Freedman, who works in the D.C. office; James E. Rogan, a former California congressman named by President Bush to head the U.S. patent office; Rogan's deputy, Jon W. Dudas, a political appointee; and such career PTO lawyers and staffers as Eleanor Meltzer and Lynne Beresford, according to the documents.

On March 18 another e-mail from Freedman to Oviedo describes Dudas making sure that Jeb and Bacardi were content with the process. "Jon Dudas, from PTO, called . . . to make sure the meeting we had with Eleanor Meltzer and himself has been helpful," it said.

For months, Rodriguez-Marquez pressed for action. On May 10, for example, he e-mailed Oviedo and Freedman: "If someone could have the determination and power to stop legal career bureaucrats from fabricating delays, this adverse and unfortunate government intervention . . . would end." Again, on May 13, he e-mailed Freedman: "Now it is time for those career bureaucrats at PTO who are not happy that Bacardi is right to move out of the way and let justice be finally delivered."

Lobbying by Rodriguez-Marquez and Jeb’s office, according to two sources close to the case, succeeded in winning the removal of a PTO lawyer who had been temporarily assigned to handle procedural questions and who had issued one ruling against Bacardi's interests.

A PTO spokeswoman denied that political pressure was involved in the transfer of David M. Mermelstein. In a lie that is typical of the thieving Bushes, she said he was taken off the case because his assignment was temporary. Mermelstein declined to comment. Bullshit!

Details about this corruption prompted an angry response from lawyers representing Bacardi's adversary in the trademark dispute, Havana Club Holdings S.A., which is a joint venture between the Cuban enterprise Havana Club Holdings and Pernod Ricard, a French firm. They are fighting for control of the brand name "Havana Rum."

Charles Sims, Havana Club Holdings's lawyer, claims, "Bacardi's attempt to bring political influence to bear on a matter that is supposed to be decided by administrative law judges on rules of law is grossly improper. It is a known fact that the law bars ex-parte communications," he said, referring to communications involving only one party to a dispute.

Moreover, on June 13, two weeks after Bacardi gave the Florida GOP $50,000, Jeb Bush wrote to Rogan on behalf of Bacardi. He asked Rogan to "take quick, decisive action" to resolve the trademark dispute in Bacardi's favor.

Rodriguez-Marquez said in a statement that the company's requests for help from the governor "have nothing to do with political contributions. . . . Florida businesses and citizens expect they may turn to the Governor's office when their legitimate and legally resolved issues are in jeopardy."

Elizabeth Hirst, spokeswoman for Jeb Bush, said campaign contributions played no role in the governor's actions. "When Governor Bush makes a decision,'' she said, "he is working of behalf of all the people of this state."

These two thieving brothers have given our country a bad name, and Poppa Bush should be ashamed of his two thieving sons. Well, maybe not because he’s the one who taught them the tricks of the trade.

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