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Sexual Politics & Family Values in Jeb’s Florida

 

There she goes again.

“She” is Florida’s answer to Bess Myerson, Cynthia Henderson.

Henderson is the former playboy bunny, corrupt agency head and, as David Margolick wrote in the July 2001 issue of Vanity Fair, Florida Governor Jeb Bush’ rumored paramour.

Henderson dissapeared from Florida’s political radar screen a couple of years ago, but made a stunning re-entry as witnessed by this headline which appeared in the July 30 St Pete Times:

“EX OFFICIAL ACCUSES HUSBAND OF THREAT.”

The headline no doubt made Florida Governor Jeb Bush cringe. After all his troubled cocaine addicted daughter Noel has been on the straight and narrow and just three months ago Henderson re-married.

Let’s roll the tape back a few years for some perspective.

Back in 2001 conservative columnist Robert Novack rocked Jeb Bush’s political world.

The ever snarky Novack titallated the Florida press corps and Jeb watchers everywhere after he reported in his column that the Republican camp was rife with rumors that Jeb wouldn’t run again due to “family problems.”

The family problem at hand was a well circulated, widely believed rumor of an on-going tryst between the preachy Florida Governor and one of his agency heads, a former Playboy Bunny named Cynthia Henderson.

Thanks to some fine reporting back then by Tampa Tribune investigative reporter Michelle Pellemans, Henderson, Jeb’s Diva for the the Department of Business and Professional Affairs, was shown to be involved in one shady dealing after another with those she was supposed to be regulating.

In the end, however, it was Pellemans and not Henderson who was out of a job. Pellemans was told to let up and eventually fired for insubordination by bureau chief John Wark who, Pellemans said, was feeling the heat from the Tampa Tribune’s attorney, a Jeb minion.

Ironically, Wark himself was canned after he assaulted reporter Dara Kamm in a drunken rampage two years ago and which made headlines in all Florida newspapers.

Speculation was rife that the reason Jeb kept Henderson around for was of a personal nature. And thus what became known around Tallahassee as “The Rumor” began its small run on the capitol politcal stage.

After months of whispering and upon learning that Vanity Fair was looking into the rumor, and trying to quell Novacks speculation he would opt out for “family reasons,” Jeb held a press conference and issued a Clintoneque denial that he was bedding down with Henderson.

Alas, there was no semen stained dress or Linda Tripp to provide smoking gun proof and the story faded.

In the July 01 issue of Vanity Fair’s David Margolick did report on the Jeb-Cynthia hook-up rumor–and more.

Margolick also wrote that Republican souces informed him that Jeb’s wife Columba confronted another possible “other woman,” Secretary of State Katherine Harris at the Governor’s mansion.

A reporter and lobbyist told me at the time that the press was investigating an alleged assignation between Miss Kitty Harris and W.

Like the Henderson rumor, the story was never confirmed, but believed by more than a few.

Suffice it to say, that without Harris, Al Gore would be President.

Miss Kitty of course is a congresswoman, a condom’s throw away from W.

As for Hef and Jeb’s former Bunny, Cynthia Henderson, well, as the above headline hints, Cyn is still hopping around, and unlike Washingonians, W and Harris, making love and not war.

Back to our headline.

According to the Times, “Henderson’s husband of three months, Bennett T. Eubanks…found her in bed with another man and allegedly threatened them with a crowbar.”

Henderson obtained a restraing order and proclaimedthe marriage a mistake.

Such is the state of what Ralph Nader calls gonadal politics in the great state of Florida.

Now if only the Dems could get Cynthia to throw a leg over Ralph…

 

 

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at jackm32301@yahoo.com

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