Corruption allegations against Marco Rubio are beginning to come out of the woodwork as investigations into the life of the presidential candidate find that Chris Christie isn’t the only Republican hopeful with sticky fingers. It turns out that Rubio has been using his party-issued credit card to finance his personal life, charging everything from $5000 for his home flooring to a $134 haircut and $765 at the Apple Store.
During his tenure in the Florida state House, he used his own home as a “political base” and racked up $85,000 in “operating costs” and another $65,000 on “administrative” costs. He hired his own wife as a “treasurer”, who billed $5,700 for “food and gas” on her own. Rubio somehow felt it was appropriate to charge $1500 at Walt Disney World and $412 at a music equipment store.
On top of all that blatant misuse of Party funds, “Rubio failed to disclose $34,000 in expenses — including $7,000 he paid himself — for one of the committees as required by state law,’ the St. Petersburg Times reported in 2010. He also hired relatives, paying them nearly $14,000 in ‘courier fees,’ and billed more than $51,000 in unitemized ‘travel expenses’ for himself, the Times — now known as the Tampa Bay Times — said.”
Corruption and nepotism seem to be a big part of Marco Rubio’s world. These allegations, coming so close after the exposure of his relationship with billionaire Norman Brahman, who has been financing Rubio’s political agenda and personal life for decades, paint a very dirty picture of the young Senator. For someone who feels obligated to slash public funding and decries government “handouts”, it is very ironic that Rubio has spent his entire career freeloading off of millionaires and treating the Republican Party’s finances as his personal bank account.
It’s the kind of hypocrisy that one can only find in the Republican Party. The very fact that their Senators are issued party credit cards in the first place is evidence enough that the entire organization is corrupt to the core, serving the interests of big money and reaping the benefits of their ill-gotten gains. As a tax-exempt organization, the Republican Party cannot allow their members to abuse their finances in such a lavish fashion. They have sold their souls to the monied elite, and its up to the Democratic Party to restore some presumption of integrity to our democracy.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.