Alex Leary and Adam C. Smith: "For a candidate promising to put America's fiscal house in order, Marco Rubio has a tough time keeping his own house tidy, plagued by questionable spending and sloppy accounting."
Florida's likely next U.S. senator has cut a complicated financial profile since he burst on the political scene more than a decade ago, fresh from law school. ...And then there's this:
As Rubio climbed the ranks, he began to use little-noticed political committees to fund his travel and other expenses and later had a Republican Party of Florida credit card.
What emerged, records show, is a pattern of blending personal and political spending. Over and over again Rubio proved sloppy, at best, in complying with disclosure requirements.
• He landed an unadvertised $69,000 teaching job at Florida International University when the school was slashing staff because of budget cuts. (His salary came out of privately raised funds.)"Marco Rubio's personal finances clash with call for fiscal discipline".
• Also in 2008, he got a job as a political analyst for the Spanish-language TV station Univision, which paid a second dividend: keeping his image in circulation as he pondered his next run for office.
• In June 2008, Rubio formed two businesses, his own law firm and Rubio Consulting, whose clients included Univision and Marin & Sons, a Miami consulting firm headed by a Tallahassee lobbyist. On his financial disclosure form, Rubio wrote "Marin & Sons retains Rubio Consulting to introduce their clients to potential business partners in the community. Rubio Consulting does not lobby before any governmental entity."
• He joined another consulting partnership called Florida Strategic Consultants that scored big contracts with Miami Children's and Jackson Memorial hospitals. Rubio said he was providing advice and access to a network of contacts he culled as House speaker. "I'm not a lobbyist," he insisted then. "It's not my forte."
RPOFers gettin' desperate
"A forged e-mail that attempts to show Democrat Alex Sink was linked to a 'pay to play' scheme with convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein has emerged in the highly-contested governor's race." "Forged e-mail is circulated anonymously in apparent attempt to taint Alex Sink".
West and Rubio for sale
"Out of a total of 345 contributions between Sept. 1 and Oct. 13, just five donors contributed 88 percent of the funds to American Crossroads, a “super PAC” affiliated with former Bush White House Senior Adviser Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie. Crossroads raised $14,778,673 in September and the first two weeks of October, according to Federal Elections Commission reports filed Wednesday. Five donors contributed $13 million of that."
At least some of that money is ending up in Florida, where the group is running ads supporting Marco Rubio’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and opposing the reelection of Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fort Lauderdale, with the claim that he supports “rationing” health care."Eighty-eight percent of American Crossroads funding since Sept. 1 came from just five donors".
Will South rise again?
"A funeral director may finally succeed in laying to rest Congressman Allen Boyd's political career, something several Republicans have never come close to accomplishing against the conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrat. Political newcomer Steve Southerland is benefiting from nationwide tea party enthusiasm for the GOP, an influx of negative advertising against Boyd by outside groups and discontent within the conservative 2nd Congressional District over the incumbent's support of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan and health care overhaul." "GOP funeral director wants to bury Fla. Rep. Boyd". See also "Democratically aligned PAC spends a hefty amount to oppose Southerland".
"Meek not mincing words"
"Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, is not mincing words when discussing his opponents in the highly publicized race for U.S. Senate." "Meek on Rubio and Crist: ‘We are dealing with spiritual wickedness in high places’".
Rivera's chickens coming home to roost?
"Allies of Democratic congressional candidate Joe Garcia filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to kick GOP candidate David Rivera off the Nov. 2 ballot for filing misleading financial disclosure forms as a state lawmaker. The suit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, says Rivera should be disqualified from running for office for violating state laws requiring public officials and candidates to file full and complete financial disclosure forms." "Democratic donor seeks to disqualify David Rivera from congressional ballot".
More Haridopolos hypocrisy
"Senate President-to-be Mike Haridopolos' new staffers — from top, former Department of Agriculture employees Terry Rhodes and Craig Meyer; and former clerk of the Florida House, John Phelps — will be earning six-figure salaries and collecting a state pension."
"Fla. Senate boss hires double dippers".
Scopes spinning in his grave
Kosmas challenger, RPOFer "Sandy Adams dismisses evolution in favor of 'the biblical teachings'" ("As a state legislator in 2008, Adams helped the Florida House pass 71-43 a measure that would have given public school teachers more room to question evolution.")
Wingnuts coming outs the woodwork
"Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum PAC have endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, in the hope that he can 'keep this state prosperous.'" "Conservative Favorite Phyllis Schlafly Backs Rick Scott".
Florida sliding into the sewer?
"Republican Allen West narrowly leads U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in a bruising battle for South Florida's 22nd Congressional District, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows." "West Winning Wild CD 22 Race, Poll Shows".
"Republican seeks to transform government with his business experience". "Gov. Rick Scott: An Outsider Tries to Tame Tallahassee". Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune warns about "The risk of choosing Scott".
Entrepreneurs in action
"SoFla health care operators charged in $200 million Medicare fraud case".
Rubio likes Dem idea
"The three candidates for the U.S. Senate from Florida agree that Social Security recipients should get a $250 bonus to make up for a lack of cost of living increases. Democrats are proposing the idea, which failed in the Senate this year when 12 Democrats and an independent sided with Republicans against it." "Florida Senate hopefuls support Social Security bonus".
"Rubio didn't attend the event, but later said he supports the bonus as long as it doesn't add to the federal debt." "Fla. Senate hopefuls support Social Security bonus".
Palin's wingnut crew
"Among those scheduled to attend the 3 p.m. rally at the Orlando World Center Marriott are Palin, a Tea Party favorite and soon-to-be TLC reality show star; Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele; U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio; U.S. Sen. George LeMieux; and Jeff Atwater and Adam Putnam, candidates for chief financial officer candidate and agriculture commissioner respectively." "Pam Bondi won't rally with Sarah Palin". Related: "Tea Party dredges up pain of segregation".
Bits and Pieces
Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".
We'll go with the "4.0 math major at Wake Forest"
"Rick Scott says he's running against a woman for governor in Alex Sink who is lock-step in line with the policies of President Barack Obama, and has become fluent in what Scott calls 'Obama math.'"
"I don't know what 'Obama math' is," Sink said. "What I do know, I was a 4.0 math major at Wake Forest University and I do know how to add numbers.""Rick Scott says Alex Sink practices 'Obama math' on budget plans".
The "The Truth-O-Meter Says" Scott's claims are "false".
Get ready, Florida
"Eyewitnesses Report Intimidation By Texas Poll Watchers".
"Locked in a furious electoral fight to the finish, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink have pulled dead even in the race for Florida's governorship, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows." "Poll: Scott and Sink Locked in Dead Heat".
"Lies, innuendo and prevarication"
Daniel Ruth writes about "television's answer to a Dante's media inferno of lies, innuendo and prevarication." "Will someone please make it stop ringing?".
Nancy Smith: "Martin County Still Remembers George LeMieux's Screw-Up".
"Rubio isn't burning any bridges "
"With a 20-point lead in the latest Sunshine State News Poll, Republican Marco Rubio isn't burning any bridges on his way to the U.S. Senate. Rubio, speaking to reporters after a campaign appearance in Port St. Lucie Thursday, tried to steer clear of the brewing conflict between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and fire-breathing conservative Jim DeMint of South Carolina." "Marco Rubio Steers Careful Course Between Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint".
Wingers at TaxWatch ...
... surprise no one: "Tax group calls development control proposal too expensive for state". See also "Florida TaxWatch Report: Amendment 4 Would Gut State’s Economy", "Early Turnout Favoring GOP" and "Study: Amendment 4 would hurt recovery".
Maitland housewives* hit the polls
"Republicans across Florida have mounted an early lead in returning absentee ballots [as they always do] and are showing up in greater numbers than Democrats since early voting began Monday." "As early voting opens, GOP has an edge in turnout".
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*A "Maitland housewife" is impolite slang for a wealthy individual who stays home, plays tennis, and is always first in line to vote for the first RPOFer in sight.
USF straw poll
"If it were up to University of South Florida students, Democrat Alex Sink would be Florida's next governor. They are evenly split, though, among the three candidates in the U.S. Senate race. More than 1,500 students participated in the straw poll on campus Thursday, three days before a nationally televised debate at USF among the senate candidates: Independent Charlie Crist, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek." "USF voters go for Democrat Sink but lean right otherwise in straw poll".
Atwater afraid to debate
"Ausley says GOP opponent in CFO race afraid of debate".
In case 'ya didn't know ...
... the The Orlando Sentinel thinks Taliban Dan is fabulous: "Penny-pinching Webster eyes Congress".
My wife, not me
"There is no valid evidence that Jim Norman was a party to a $500,000 investment venture between his wife and his political benefactor, Norman's lawyers argued in a written brief to a state appeals court Thursday." "Norman appeal: No proof that Hughes' $500,000 went to him".
Decision time for Charlie
"Independent candidate Charlie Crist is running low on cash for the final stretch of the Senate race." "Crist behind in polls and also in cash".
Clinton and Sink
"In his third stop at a Florida college campus in as many days, former President Bill Clinton on Thursday rallied about 600 voters at Miami Dade College." "Clinton campaigns for Sink". See also "Bill Clinton campaigns with Sink in Miami". See also "Bill Clinton rallies Miami students to support Alex Sink for governor".
"Sore Loser" provision
"Lawmakers could look at changes next year to make it more difficult for political candidates to switch parties mid-campaign, a proposal directly in response to Gov. Charlie Crist's defection from the Republican Party this past year." "Charlie Crist's switch to independent may change campaign laws".