St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Two aging planes remain in state fleet
  • Marriage at last for longtime soul mates
  • State leaves millions for kids unspent
  • Pool safety law to go ahead
  • Bush, GOP return felon's funds
  • New state laws to debut
  • Ecstasy additive being blamed for overdose deaths in Florida
  • Spot check
  • Player charged in post-game fight
  • Senate fight gets close, personal

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

    printer version

    Bush, GOP return felon's funds

    The Texas governor's campaign said it didn't know about Braswell's criminal past.


    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 30, 2000

    TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Republican Party and presidential candidate George W. Bush will return $175,000 in campaign donations from a convicted felon who sells questionable pills and potions that claim to cure a variety of ailments.

    The decision to return the money came the day the St. Petersburg Times published a story outlining the background of A. Glenn Braswell, owner of Gero Vita International, a multimillion dollar mail-order business that sells cures for baldness, prostate cancer, arthritis, heart disease and other ailments.

    In addition to the $175,000 the Republicans have decided to return, the Florida Republican Party disclosed that it recently rejected an additional $100,000 check that Braswell presented at a South Florida fundraiser for George W. Bush.

    "We've had a longstanding policy against taking money from felons," said Dan Bartlett, a spokesman for the George W. Bush campaign. "It was news to us. We learned of it today from your story."

    Over the past two years, Braswell has given $150,000 to the Florida GOP and $25,000 to George W. Bush.

    In July, with the help of Republican fundraiser Ann Herberger, Braswell got Gov. Jeb Bush to write an article for his alternative health magazine, Journal of Longevity. Bush says he met Braswell at a couple of fundraisers in South Florida, but did not know much about him.

    The article published in the July issue of Braswell's magazine was significantly altered to make it appear that Bush was endorsing alternative medications like the ones Braswell sells.

    When the Times questioned the article, Bush's staff complained to officials at the magazine and its editor issued a letter of apology.

    Jamie Wilson, executive director of the state GOP, said he and Party Chairman Al Cardenas conferred Friday after learning more details about Braswell and decided to return all of his past contributions.

    Earlier this month Cardenas told the Times that he had not seen any information that would justify returning the contributions that had already been accepted.

    Cardenas said the party has no investigative unit that looks at who's who when it accepts contributions.

    Wilson said the party had already decided not to accept additional money from Braswell after the Times questioned the contributions earlier this month.

    "A determination was made to return his $100,000 check at a recent fundraiser in Miami," Wilson said.

    Braswell was invited along with many others, Wilson said.

    "Once this came to light, we decided not to deposit the check," Wilson added.

    Wilson said Gov. Jeb Bush was "extremely supportive" of the decision to return Braswell's money.

    "The governor was extremely disappointed by the addition to his article," Wilson said.

    Braswell served time in federal prison in the 1980s for mail fraud and perjury connected with the sale of a phoney cure for baldness and other drugs. Since then he and his companies have been repeatedly investigated by federal agencies that have attempted to block the sale of his products.

    Braswell's companies remain under scrutiny by the Food & Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk