Washington, D.C. is run by corrupt lobbyists for special interests. Lobbyists offer meals, travel, and expensive gifts to get what their clients want passed into law.
But have you ever heard of a politician working as a lobbyist at the same time?
In Florida, a bombshell new report has surfaced proving GOP Presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was both the Speaker of the Florida House AND a registered lobbyist. His own law firm once bragged about it on their website!
The Washington Post first reported that Rubio had registered as a federal lobbyist in the 2003 for the law firm Becker & Poliakoff. His campaign said the senator had no recollection of filing out the registration form, and a former associate who worked with Rubio at the law firm said that he could not recall Rubio lobbying the federal government. The associate described Rubio’s role to the Post as more of a coordinator and facilitator, but not a lobbyist.
A 2005 biography found by BuzzFeed News also describes Rubio’s role as more in line with traditional lobbying. That biography is for a second, different law firm, Broad and Cassel, to which Rubio had moved. One of the bullet points reads that Rubio, then the majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives, represented local governments before Congress.
Todd Harris, a Rubio campaign operative, told BuzzFeed News he didn’t know how the detail made onto Rubio’s page. “You can talk to every firm he’s every worked for and they will tell you he never lobbied the federal government,” Harris said.
Rubio’s bio page at Broad and Cassel also noted he had “represented multiple clients before local government on contract procurement and affordable housing land use issues.”
Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist for Becker & Poliakoff until 2005, according to the records first dug up by the Post. The firm, the Post noted, “had formed a joint venture with a Washington lobbying firm hired by Miami-Dade County to help find federal funding for Miami’s public hospitals.” In 2005, the firm sent a letter to the Senate saying he was no longer with the practice and asked for a revocation of his lobbying registration, noting it was an error and he hadn’t worked on Miami-Dade County project.
Rubio was also a registered lobbyist in Miami from 1997 to 2005.
Here is an archived copy (below) of the Broad and Cassel website, which noted Rubio’s extensive lobbyist experience during his same years in the legislature. WOW!
As former Mitt Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul once opined, Rubio is “a wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist and politician, always trying to scam the system for his personal benefit.” And, “With each passing day, voters are beginning to see the real [Marco] Rubio, a tax raising Miami lobbyist-politician who has used public office for personal gain and political donations as a personal slush fund.”
Rubio was certainly not shy of using his influence to supplement his income, a practice that continued after he was out of the Florida legislature.
For example, NBC News just learned that Florida International University paid him $69,000/year salary for less than 10 hours of teaching every week… far more than any other part-time lecturer. Whoa!
He began his teaching at the school as a Visiting Distinguished Service Professor at the Metropolitan Center, the school’s urban think tank. That position entailed co-teaching two classes with longtime friend and pollster Dario Moreno, as well as “conducting research, assisting with recommendations and developing a proposal for a demonstration project on affordable housing,” according to a release announcing his hire at the time.
For that, he would earn $69,000 — a salary that Moreno told the Miami Herald at the time was considerably more than the $52,000 another part-time visiting professor at the center was making.
It was a salary that raised eyebrows among some FIU professors, prompting questions at an FIU Faculty Senate meeting late last year.
“How do we justify paying him as much as we do to teach one course?” asked Amy Paul-Ward, an associate professor in the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, according to the FIU student paper. “I know there are qualified adjuncts in our school who we have trouble paying $3,000 to teach a course.”
These are serious questions that Republicans haven’t raised, but Hillary Clinton or Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will love digging into Rubio’s lobbying background during a general election.
What do you think about Rubio working as a lobbyist? Please leave us a comment (below) and tell us what you think.