Who is Marco Rubio?

Photo by Elena Tayem

Who is Marco Rubio? This is the question so many Floridians ask today. Republicans claim that he is a “Reagan Conservative.” Tea Partiers claim that he is one of them: anti-incumbent and opposed to Big Government.

Seriously, who is Mr. Rubio? Born in Miami to Cuban parents, he attended the University of Florida for his undergraduate degree but came to Miami for his law degree.  After interning for Ileana-Ros Lehtenen’s campaign, he served as a County Commissioner in West Miami.

In 2000, he was elected to the Florida legislature, soon to become a powerful and controversial House Speaker. His buddy David Rivera quickly became a powerful enforcer for him in the House, punishing Democrats who did not agree with the right-leaning court.

Rubio preaches conservatism, but when it comes down to personal spending, he is extravagant. Rubio has run up large expenses (over $50,000) on his Republican Party credit card, which he has declined to disclose. He ran up large expenses traveling in a private plane across the state and asking to be reimbursed.

According to a Central Florida newspaper, Rubio admitted to double-billing taxpayers for his expensive flights.  Recently, Rubio had a $134 haircut on taxpayers’ dime, unfathomable to many concerned taxpayers. The money Rubio spends does not completely leave his spheres of influence. He has spent over $13,000 on escort services and car rental services that went directly to his wife’s family.

Rubio has failed to address 20% of the money he has spent on the campaign, and now the IRS has decided to investigate his spending. Despite the generous campaign donations he receives from U.S. Sugar, the GOP, other lobbyists, and companies trying to take advantage of his candidacy, Rubio himself faces financial need. A home co-owned with House candidate David Rivera has fallen into foreclosure. Rubio reports his net worth as less than $8,400, despite receiving almost $400,000 in wages a year.

Clearly, all these facts do not add up. If you truly want a fiscally responsible candidate in office, Marco Rubio is not your man.

Jordan Lewis is the public relations chair for UM’s Young and College Democrats. He may be contacted at jlewis@themiamihurricane.com.