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Rubio's Pattern of Self-Serving Deception

The bombshell news that career politician Sen. Marco Rubio has embellished his family’s background is offering a glimpse into Rubio’s long pattern of self-serving deception in an effort to fuel his political ambitions.  As Rubio’s political facade begins to crumble, we can’t help but wonder what unsavory details from this untested, unvetted politician’s past will emerge next?

If Rubio’s history of skirting the rules and playing fast and loose with the facts is any indication – there is definitely more to come:

Rubio Established A Pattern Of Exploiting Perks Of Elected Office And Subsidized His Lifestyle As He Climbed To Power. “These disclosures are just the latest to show how Rubio exploited the perks of political office and subsidized his lifestyle as he climbed to power. Previous Times/Herald reviews have discovered he double-billed the Republican Party of Florida and state taxpayers for $3,000 in travel   money he has since pledged to return. He also billed the Republican Party for meals on the same days he received a taxpayer subsidy to be in Tallahassee. And there are lingering questions about the extensive use of state party credit cards by Rubio and other Republicans.” [Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, 3/16/10]

Rubio’s Tenure As House Speaker Featured “Two Huge Taxpayer Rip-Offs That Rewarded Political Friends And Associates.” “Rubio is campaigning for the Senate as a fiscal conservative, yet his tenure as House speaker features two huge taxpayer rip-offs that rewarded political friends and associates: One is the $6 million set aside by Sansom for an airplane hangar for a friend and political contributor. Sansom now faces grand theft charges for that arrangement. The other is this unnecessary and luxurious courthouse that was originally slated to provide each judge on the appellate court with a 60-inch flat screen television and individual kitchens – accoutrements that have disappeared since the public attention.” [Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, 9/2/10]

Rubio Received $10,000 From The Taxpayers For Meals In Lodging Yet Rubio Regularly Dined Out At The Party’s Expense – Rubio’s Campaign Said He Primarily Used The Subsidy For Lodging. “Rubio received $10,000 for meals and lodging from the state in 2007 and 2008. Still, the credit card records obtained by the Times/Herald showed Rubio regularly dined out at the party’s expense – from a $14.24 bill at Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar, to $184.15 at Masa, an upscale ‘Asian-fusion’ restaurant. ‘It would be entirely inappropriate for Marco to use (taxpayer) money to pay for meals that were political in nature,’ Harris said. ‘As a general rule, the subsistence payments went to subsidize lodging for Marco and any time he spent money for a political meal he made sure that the party paid for it.’” [Herald/Times, 3/12/10]

Rubio Government Watchdog Said Rubio Has Established A Pattern Of Playing “Fast And Loose With The Rules,” And Said It Looked Like He Was Making Payment For His Car Payment. “Even as Rubio surged to the front of the Senate race as well as the national party’s starring lineup, he has been forced to defend personal expenses billed to his state Republican Party-issued credit card and two political committees he started with his wife. ‘It looks bad,’ Ben Wilcox, a board member of Common Cause Florida, a government watchdog group, said of the 2002 campaign check to the bank. ‘It looks like he’s making payment for his car out of his campaign expense. I certainly haven’t heard of this happening before. It seems to be a pattern with him in which he plays fast and loose with the rules and tries to go back and justify it once it’s pointed out.’” [Herald/Times, 10/4/10]

Rubio Secretly Inserted Language to Help His Friend In Transportation Contract Dispute. “House Speaker Marco Rubio says that he wasn’t ‘greasing the skids’ for a friend when he inserted language into a state budget plan that could have paved the way for his friend to bid on a lucrative project on Florida’s Turnpike. Mr. Rubio said that he was concerned that the turnpike project would be ‘anti-competitive’ and therefore hurt smaller bidders. This is a legitimate, honorable concern. Yet the circuitous and clandestine route that Mr. Rubio used to assert that principle lends credence to concerns that his real objective was to help a personal friend, South Florida fuel distributor Max Alvarez. No one should be naive here. Secretly inserting language into bills at the last minute is common practice. When an insertion — called a proviso — is innocuous, no one objects. If the proviso serves a common, worthwhile purpose, law-makers get a wink and an approving nod for being clever. The tactic should be universally rebuked, though, when it serves a narrow, selfish interest. … Inserting contradictory language into a bill when no one is looking is no way to vet a project of this magnitude. Mr. Rubio and House leaders should openly discuss the merits of these contract approaches.” [Editorial, Miami Herald, 4/9/08]

Former Republican Supporter Of Rubio’s Said Rubio Privately Acknowledged Having Once Put Remodeling Expenses On His Republican Party Credit Card. “A former supporter of Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio says Rubio acknowledged having once put home remodeling expenses on his Republican Party credit card. That supporter, Tampa political consultant Chris Ingram, says Rubio initially told Ingram he had paid for the costs, about $4,000 to $5,000, for new kitchen flooring but later denied both putting the charges on the card and repaying them. Ingram said he discussed the credit card issue with Rubio in August or September 2009. ‘I asked him in passing, is there anything that would cause you a problem,’ Ingram said. ‘He said somehow or another a charge for new flooring ended up on the RPOF (Republican Party of Florida) credit card.’” [Tampa Tribune, 9/23/10]

Rubio Stowed $600,000 Of Contributions In “Two Inconspicuous Political Committees” And Failed To Disclose $34,000 In Expenses Including $7,000 He Paid Himself. “About $600,000 in contributions was stowed in two inconspicuous political committees controlled by Rubio, now the Republican frontrunner for the U.S. Senate, and his wife. A St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald analysis of the expenses found: Rubio failed to disclose $34,000 in expenses including $7,000 he paid himself for one of the committees in 2003 and 2004, as required by state law.” [Herald/Times, 3/12/10]

Rubio Double-Billed Taxpayers And The RPOF For Eight Flights. “One day after the Herald/Times received travel records from the state, U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio’s campaign is admitting that he double-billed the Republican Party of Florida and state taxpayers for eight flights while he was House Speaker. ‘Earlier this week in response to a question from the media I stated that all my legislative travel during my tenure as Speaker was paid for by the Republican Party of Florida. However after reviewing hundreds offlights we identified 8 official state business flights which the state properly paid for. These flights total approximately $3,000.  Further, it appears several of these flights were also billed to the RPOF. Billing the Party was a mistake whichneeds to be fixed. So, out of an abundance of caution I am personally reimbursing the Party for the cost of all 8 flights. Background information: All 8 trips were within Florida.  Seven were between Tallahassee and Miami, and one was from Ft. Lauderdale to Tallahassee then to Miami. The Speaker of the House, like theGovernor, is eligible for complete reimbursement for all travel related to his official state duties.’” [Herald/Times, 2/26/10]

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