The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense


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Sunday, February 28, 2016

If Elected, Will Marco's Irresponsibility & Corruption Carry Into The White House?

Here's the Nonsense:  Marco Rubio is a great choice for Republican nominee.  He'd be a different and fresh change for American to have in the White House.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Marco Rubio is just another corrupt politician who shouldn't be anywhere near elected office.  He would be no improvement and just another politician there to serve his own self interest.

I've commented numerous times about the irresponsibility of Marco Rubio, but it seems that people never learn.  Americans hear of his poor handling of finances and defend him by saying that they like him because he's a regular guy just like them.  They buy into Marco's claim that he's a workaday American who's never made much money and his poor handling of money is only because he's trying to provide for his family just like regular Americans.  While uninformed people who refuse to do their homework may fall for this, the facts expose the phony that Rubio really is.

While the $2.29 million Marco and his wife, Jeanette, made during the 5 years from 2010-2014 isn't near as much as Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, made during the same period (the Cruz's made $5.05 million), it's still far more than the vast majority of Americans.  Averaging $458,000 per year, the Rubio's are certainly in a better financial position than most of us.  These income amounts were reported by the Tampa Bay Times here.)

While Rubio has spent his adult life often being shown to mishandle finances and defends those situations with a plea for understanding that he's just a regular guy.  But he's really not so regular.  In fact, he's quite privileged.

In a fascinating article written by Ken Silverstein for Observer.com, the real Marco Rubio is exposed once again.  And what we find there makes one wonder how anyone could trust this man to be our president.

Silverstein's opening two paragraphs are so thought provoking that they have to be quoted in their entirety:

"When it comes to sheer brazen corruption, chicanery and dishonesty there is one candidate who stands head and shoulders above everyone else and that is the right-wing Cuban-American and Tea Party darling Senator Marco Rubio of - naturally, the great State of Florida.

"Mr. Rubio's entire public image - the child of poor Cuban immigrants fleeing the repression of Castro's Cuba who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and even now is a simple Jose Sixpack and family man - is less tethered to reality than The Wizard of Oz.  For example, in his autobiography, An American Son: A Memoir, Mr. Rubio describes how he allegedly grew up poor and mowed the grass and walked dogs to make a bit of spare change.  Technically this may be correct, but most poor kids don't get paid by relatives heavily involved in narcotics trafficking and whose pets double as guard dogs for a drug cartel, as was the case with young Marco, a federal indictment shows.  (See these articles for more on young Marco's upbringing.)"

The article goes on to show how Rubio cashed in through his political career.  Silverstein writes, "So, for example, when Mr. Rubio became [Florida] House majority leader in 2003 he went to work in the powerhouse lobbying firm of Broad and Cassell, which is precisely the point where disclosure forms reveal a giant spike in his income."  (Florida rules allow politicians to hold office and at the same time work as consultants to law firms and lobbying firms.)

In 2008, two years before he ran for U.S. Senate, Rubio left the Florida House and became partner with Vivian Bovo, his former top aide, in Florida Strategic Consultants, which was another law/lobbying firm.  Silverstein tells us that Vivian Bovo is, "the wife of a notoriously corrupt Florida politician and lobbyist named Esteban Bovo, sometimes known as 'El Bobo.'"

While working at the firm Rubio got lucrative contracts from Miami Children's Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.  At the same time El Bobo was chairman of a subcommittee of the Florida House Budget Committee where he could appropriate money for those hospitals.

This is just the beginning of what Silverstein outlines for us in this article.

He goes on to tell of two highly suspicious real estate deals that Rubio was involved in.  The first one was the purchase of a house with financial help from chiropractor Dr. Mark Cereceda.  Silverstein gives these key details:

"In 2003, Mr. Rubio bought his first house (at 6247 14th Street SW in West Miami) for $175,000, putting zero money down.  He put it up for sale in 2005 but had difficulty selling it because of a weak local real estate market.  But gracias a Dios, Dr. Cereceda's mama, Nora Cereceda (now deceased), bought Mr. Rubio's house in 2007 for $380,000 cash, netting Mr. Rubio a profit of about $205,000.  Que suerte! Shortly after Mr. Rubio sold the house, he did a 180-degree rotation on a key insurance bill for which Dr. Cereceda had been lobbying.  Whereas he had previously been an outspoken opponent of the measure - indeed, he was described in one local press item at the time as 'the main holdout' - he ended up voting for the legislation, which required Florida drivers to purchase $10,000 worth of personal injury insurance."

The article notes that many of Dr. Cereceda's clients were drivers who paid him using insurance money.  He goes on to tell of Dr. Cereceda's arrest record and that in 2014 he was busted for running an illegal political contribution scheme in which he had his employees contribute to political campaigns in their names and he saw to it they were reimbursed.  Dr. Cereceda was also a big donor to Ana Maria Pando, a former Hialeah [Florida] branch country court judge, who wrote a letter on official letterhead to state authorities asking that Cereceda's company be reinstated after it got into legal trouble.  But Pando later was convicted of taking a bribe from Cereceda.

The second real estate deal is about Rubio's current house in Miami.  He purchased it in December 2005 for $550,000 with 10% down and a $495,000 mortgage.  Only 37 days later he took out a home equity loan for $135,000.  Jim Greer, the former head of the Florida Republican Party, was the CEO of U. S. Century Bank in Miami and gave Rubio very good terms.  It should be noted that later Greer went to jail for money laundering.

Rubio got the $135,000 home equity loan because U. S. Century Bank reappraised his home's worth to $735,000 just over a month after he purchased the property.  However, the Miami-Dade County assessors put the market value only $503,000 in 2006.

The article goes through a list of women who are close to Rubio, questioning just what their relationships have been.

And it details a home he owned in Tallahassee, FL while in the Florida House, that was the site of many rumors and was one of the poorly handled financial deals Rubio has had in his life.

It also discusses a possible bribe and the PACs he's had support him where people in charge were involved in highly suspicious activities including the treasurer who was involved in activities that caused federal authorities to look into involvement with money laundering activities for South American drug cartels.  There are also suspicious donations made by and consulting fees paid by these PACs that are outlined in the article.

The bottom line of the article, which should be read in its entirety for complete information, is that Marco Rubio's life, especially his finances, are not representative of what we should want for our leaders.  At best his character is questionable.  So, even though he has that little boy appearance and a smile that wins people over, his actions show that electing Marco Rubio would be no different than electing any of the same old corrupt politicians who've gotten us into the mess we are now in.