Now that questions by the national public are mounting regarding his meticulously shrouded political history, Marco Rubio again tries to explain his personal use of the GOP credit card, and about his best-buddy friendship with U. S. Rep. David Rivera, who is now under federal investigation by the FBI and the IRS.
So, Rubio darts straight over to FOX on April 30 for a friendly interview....
On his relationship with Rivera: "He's a friend. ... I know he's going through a tough time. We've all read the press reports. None of like to see that about anybody, much less a friend. And he's going to have to deal with those issues. ...
"I guess it's because I'm new to Washington. Maybe it's acceptable here, it isn't to me, to turn your back on friends when they are going through a difficult time, no matter what they may have done or not done. In his case, he's a friend and I'm going to give him the benefit of a doubt."
Rubio will appear at an upcoming fundraiser for Rivera, whom he lived with for a few months in Washington after the 2010 election. They now live separately.
About Marco's buddy David Rivera, one cannot help but take note of the numerous similarities in the stories of the political careers these two men share.
Unraveling Rep. David Rivera’s maze of campaign finances
By Scott Hiaasen and Patricia Mazzei
April 21, 2012
Miami-Dade prosecutors said (U. S. Rep. David) Rivera, (R-FL) “essentially live(d) off” campaign contributions for almost a decade while serving as a part-time state lawmaker, paying mortgages on four different properties and jetting around the globe though he never held a full-time job or earned more than $28,000 a year.
Newly released FDLE investigative reports show that Rivera used back-dated campaign records, a web of bank accounts and undisclosed loans, a batch of credit cards and misleading disclosure forms to disguise his finances from the public eye during much of his eight-year tenure in the Florida Legislature.
Rivera, once the powerful budget chief in the state House of Representatives, also collected at least $175,000 in undisclosed donations for a perpetual campaign as a Miami-Dade committeeman with the state Republican Party — money Rivera frequently used to pay for meals and travel, including plane tickets for his then-girlfriend, the records show.
Other expenses Rivera called “campaign related,” the records show, included $105 for show tickets at a medieval-themed casino in Las Vegas, and $360 for tickets to an off-Broadway show in New York. The title: Perfect Crime.
The FDLE also suspected that Rivera billed both his campaign account and his legislative travel account for the same expense — an accusation of double-billing that Rivera strongly denies.
More from Rubio's interview with FOX on April 30:
On his (Rubio's) use of Republican Party credit cards (background here) while a state legislator:
"At the end of every month, we would get those statements, we would see what was on there that was party related and the party would pay that. If it wasn't party related, I would pay that directly to American Express. Now, obviously, in hindsight, it looks bad, right? Why are you using a party credit card at all. Well some of these expenses were because the travel agent had the number ... and they billed it to that card instead of the other card. Sometimes it was just a mistake -- literally just reached for the wrong card. But it's important to understand I did not bill personal expenses to the Republican Party of Florida. The Republican Party of Florida never paid my personal expenses. Never. But look, I shouldn't have done it that way. It was lesson learned."
Oh! It was the travel agent's fault!
Harping on the same old song--- it's always 'somebody else's fault', according to Mr. Rubio.
The HuffPost has the slick little video clip.
This is the face of a con artist, dedicated to enriching himself by using his political position.
Records show Marco Rubio spent thousands with GOP credit card, February 25, 2010
Rubio said the party allowed him to put personal expenses on the card and the party reviewed his bill monthly.
"I was as diligent as possible to ensure the party did not pay for items that were unrelated to party business," Rubio said in a written statement. "There was no formal process provided by the party regarding personal charges."
But party spokeswoman Katie Gordon said the card was not supposed to be used for personal expenses. "The RPOF American Express card is a corporate card and is meant to be used for business expenses," she said when asked about the party's policy.
Records show Rubio sent payments to American Express totaling $13,900 for his personal expenses during his tenure as House speaker. But those payments were not made monthly. He made no contributions to the bill during one six-month stretch in 2007, the records show.
Though Rubio said he tried to pay all his personal expenses, at least some ended up on the party ledger, records show. Three payments to a Tallahassee property management group, which Rubio described as personal, were paid by the party, totaling $1,024, state and credit-card records show.
Rubio also booked six plane tickets for his wife using his GOP credit card. It was unclear how many, if any, of those trips his wife actually took; in some instances, she did not fly and Rubio was credited by the airline.
"My wife was the first lady of the Florida House of Representatives, and it is absolutely appropriate for her to accompany me to official events and party functions," Rubio said.
Who knew we had a "First Lady of the Florida House"? This guy is certifiable.
And what is that three-payment total of $1,024 on the GOP credit card for a 'Tallahassee property management group'? Would that have anything to do with the foreclosure proceedings on the house co-owned by Rubio and his best buddy David Rivera?
U.S. attorney, IRS and FBI investigating Florida GOP credit card use, April 21, 2010
Meanwhile, in a separate inquiry, the IRS is also looking at the tax records of at least three former party credit card holders — former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, ex-state party chairman Jim Greer and ex-party executive director Delmar Johnson — to determine whether they misused their party credit cards for personal expenses, according to a source familiar with the preliminary inquiry.
At this stage of the IRS investigation, agents are looking at federal tax records, state financial disclosure forms and other documents to see whether Rubio, Greer and Johnson may have personally benefited from using their GOP American Express cards without reporting or paying taxes on additional income.
Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 during the two years he served as House speaker, according to credit card statements obtained by the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald. The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, plane tickets for his wife and purchases from retailers ranging from a wine store near his home to Apple's online store. Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for his meals.
Rubio said the billings all related to party business — the minivan, for example, was damaged by a valet at a political function — and that he repaid the party for about $16,000 in personal expenses.
Asked during his campaign bus tour last week if he needed to amend his tax returns to reflect any party money that covered his personal expenses, Rubio said, "We don't believe it's income. It's not. . . . Whatever the law is, we're going to comply, but I don't think it's income.''
Did everyone catch that? Rubio charged over $100,000 to the Party credit card, but he "repaid $16,000" in personal expenses. What happened to the other $84,000+ on the tab, Rubio?
Rubio thinks none of this is "income".
Whew, THAT ought to wipe away all these unpleasant facts swirling around Rubio, so we should all 'just move along now'. Nothing to see here.
As Marco Rubio embraces national spotlight, he draws tougher scrutiny, September 14, 2011
Marco Rubio and David Rivera: Two peas in a pod, March 12, 2011
Rubio and Rivera
The following investigative article was written during Rubio's 2010 U. S. Senate campaign. It is a compilation of many of Rubio's deceptive spending practices over his years in the Florida House, including the years as Speaker in 2007-2008.
Among the items detailed in the piece:
Payments to himself. Payments to multiple relatives serving as "couriers". Large, repeated payments to credit card companies. Large, undetailed payments for "political consultants". Failure of Rubio and his wife (who was treasurer of Rubio's committee) to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in expenses over an 18-month period. $113,000 to Richard Corcoran, Rubio's former chief of staff. Double-billing the state of Florida and the GOP credit card for airline flights. Billing the GOP credit card for meals while at the same time receiving "subsistence" payment from taxpayers to cover food and lodging for lawmakers. And there is more.
This investigative article should be distributed far and wide:
Marco Rubio's lavish rise to the top
By Adam C. Smith, Beth Reinhard and Scott Hiaasen
March 13, 2010
Marco Rubio was barely solvent as a young lawmaker climbing his way to the top post in the Florida House, but special interest donations and political perks allowed him to spend big money with little scrutiny.
About $600,000 in contributions was stowed in two inconspicuous political committees controlled by Rubio, now the Republican front-runner 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.
• One committee paid relatives nearly $14,000 for what was incorrectly described to the IRS as "courier fees" and listed a nonexistent address for one of them. Another committee paid $5,700 to his wife, who was listed as the treasurer, much of it for "gas and meals."
• He billed more than $51,000 in unidentified "travel expenses'' to three different credit cards — nearly one-quarter of the committee's entire haul. Charges are not required to be itemized, but other lawmakers detailed almost all of their committee expenses.
Rubio's spending continued in 2005 when the Republican Party of Florida handed him a credit card to use at his own discretion. While serving as House speaker in 2007 and 2008, he charged thousands of dollars in restaurant tabs to the state party at the same time taxpayers were subsidizing his meals in Tallahassee.
Looks like living off of Other People's Money suited the Rubios just fine, thank you very much.
And what did Rubio's finances look like when he left the Speakership and the Florida legislature itself in late 2008?
For his last year as speaker, Rubio reported a net worth of less than $8,400, despite earning $69,000 from Florida International University, $45,000 from the state and $300,000 from Broad & Cassell. The father of four had more than $900,000 in debts, including two mortgages on properties in Miami and Tallahassee, a home equity loan and a student loan.
Eerily similar to his buddy David Rivera.... living off a mysteriously generous stream of "income", but claiming minuscule net worth at the same time.
Indeed, this sounds like a clarion call for the IRS and FBI.
All of this information was reported in the state's newspapers during the 2010 Senate campaign.
But, you see, the right wingers continuously screamed for months that Charlie Crist was a 'traitor' to the Party. That noise effectively blanketed the damning, investigative details about Marco Rubio's financial history that the state's newspapers continually reported, thereby ensuring that many voters would not hear about it.
AP, via Tampa Bay Times
Now, we have a lying con man sitting in the U. S. Senate, "representing" Floridians.
Rubio's "representation" includes a destructive path toward doing away with Social Security as we now know it; privatizing Medicare into a voucher system; raising the retirement age; reducing access to women's contraception via a law allowing a woman's employer to deny coverage of contraception by claiming a "religious or moral objection"; voting against the Violence Against Women Act; opposing a Dream Act that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; ramping-up aggression against Libya, Syria and Iran; fiercely defending Florida's
How'm I doing, Daddy?
Stellar record there, Mr. Rubio. Not.
The slick, glossy packaging of Marco Rubio, the newly designed front man for the next generation of conservative extremism, has been Jeb Bush's long term pet project.
And living off of Other People's Money, unchecked, has propelled Rubio on his way into increasing power.
Behold another seasoned, self-serving con artist, using an insatiable political ambition to rip people off throughout his entire career, from his days in the Florida legislature, including swinging his feet from the House Speaker's chair, and now propelled into the U. S. Senate by the Koch Brothers' unlimited money and the unlimited ignorance of those voters who are led around by the nose by right-wing propagandists.
What we want to know now is how is that IRS/FBI investigation progressing into Mr. Rubio's financial activities?
How much longer before justice makes an appearance for the people of Florida, as it confronts these two peas in a pod:
Marco Rubio and David Rivera.
From roommates to inmates.
Warning: These images may be closer than they appear.
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