Jeb Bush is out there touting what he apparently thinks is a big get: the endorsement of former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge:

 

Now, Jeb Bush can’t control who endorses him. But the fact that he’s touting this endorsement means that he’s glad to have it. What this basically means is that he is really excited to have the endorsement of one of Kermit Gosnell’s unindicted co-conspirators.

Think I’m being hyperbolic? Read the Grand Jury report from the City of Philadelphia Grand Jury that indicted Gosnell. Read how, again and again, they point out that Gosnell was allowed to operate for so long in the dark because the State Health officials were instructed not to actually conduct inspections because Tom Ridge wanted to protect his pro-abortion creds. Start reading on page 137 of the above linked .pdf and the fun goes on for roughly 60 uninterrupted pages.

As my colleague streiff noted at the time:

Contrary to the bleating of many feminists who are abortion fans this was not the result of restrictions on abortion. Rather, it was the forseeable consequence of the pro-abortion policy of then Governor Tom Ridge.

According to the Grand Jury report:

Under Governor Robert Casey, she said, the department inspected abortion facilities annually. Yet, when Governor Tom Ridge came in, the attorneys interpreted the same regulations that had permitted annual inspections for years to no longer authorize those inspections. Then, only complaint driven inspections supposedly were authorized. Staloski said that DOH’s policy during Governor Ridge’s administration was motivated by a desire not to be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

Not only did Ridge stop inspections of abortion “clinics” he tacitly allowed late term abortions to be performed in violation of Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act. In the case of Gosnell, Ridge’s administration was presented with more than ample opportunity to shut him down and refused to do so. Again from the grand jury report:

Indeed, in many ways State had more damning information than anyone else. Almost a decade ago, a former employee of Gosnell presented the Board of Medicine with a complaint that laid out the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedation; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street. The department assigned an investigator, whose investigation consisted primarily of an offsite interview with Gosnell. The investigator never inspected the facility, questioned other employees, or reviewed any records. Department attorneys chose to accept this incomplete investigation, and dismissed the complaint as unconfirmed.

Unfortunately, allowing clinics like Gosnell’s to operate were not an anomaly. Abortionists Stephen Chase Brigham and Harvey Walter Brookman also thrived in Pennsylvania under the Ridge administration. Not satisfied with merely allowing illegal abortions, Ridge permitted business to be drummed up for the abortion industry. In 1997 a Planned Parenthood brochure was sent under the postal frank of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare to all women receiving medical assistance from that department.

In short, neither Gosnell nor Brigham nor Brookman killed women and children in secret, rather they did it with the knowledge and approval of the State of Pennsylvania. When Gosnell finally has his day in court one can only hope that Tom Ridge and some of his key cabinet officials are seated at his side.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

And this is the man whose endorsement Jeb Bush is now touting. Is it no wonder he’s plummeting in polls of Republican voters.