Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Who Owns Marco Rubio?

And Why the Question Matters
Photo courtesy: Charles Krupa/AP/New York Times
          Yesterday -- November 23rd -- the New York Times had a major editorial entitled: "Senator Rubio's Stealthy Donors." It's a reminder that many democracy lovers are concerned about who actually owns Marco Rubio, a legitimate concern considering that unlimited and often unknown political cash donations, both domestic and foreign, can seriously purchase America's vulnerable democracy at the highest level, namely the White House. This is not picking on Mr. Rubio. From his days in Florida politics -- emerging from Miami's Little Havana neighborhood as an anti-Castro Cuban-American backed by the Bush dynasty and the Tea Party -- Rubio's lust for money is well-documented although mostly ignored by the mainstream media that fawns over the young, undistinguished Senator as their unabashed presidential favorite, and not just the right-wing Fox News. Earlier this summer the New York Times detailed in a major article startling financial shenanigans by Rubio ranging from questionable use of a Republican credit card to various real estate transactions, etc. The next morning Joe Scarborough, the former Florida congressman now a top anchor at MSNBC, flashed that article in front of the camera and loudly proclaimed that the damning revelations "would get Marco elected President!" Morning Joe might be right and he'll probably like yesterday's damning, and scary, New York Times editorial. It began with these words:
                    "Of all the abuses involving hidden political money sloshing through the presidential race, one of the most brazen is being perpetrated by campaigners for Senator Marco Rubio...."
            After that opening, the New York Times editorial yesterday went into alarming detail about the "the hidden political money" supporting Marco Rubio's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
          When the New York Times a while back reported in detail about some of Marco Rubio's financial shenanigans dating back to his political days in Florida, Joe Scarborough the next morning, in anchoring his MSNBC Morning Joe program, flashed that article to his viewers and sternly predicted that it would help get Marco Rubio elected President. Whether its usually left-wing MSNBC, always right-wing Fox, or middle-of-the-road CNN, network news operations in the U. S. will likely continue to promote the Rubio presidency till the very end. So, don't be surprised if Morning Joe holds up yesterday's New York Times editorial and sternly declares that it will help get Rubio elected. In an endlessly strange election campaign, the process is poorly served by the sheer incompetence and flagrant biases of the electronic "news" media.
         Incredibly, for the past six months billionaire businessman Donald Trump, a non-politician, has been the leading Republican presidential contender, apparently because American voters have finally tired of bought-and-paid-for politicians. Trump, and others, believe that multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul, owns Rubio. But that's debatable because, since he hit the Senate running for President, Rubio has spent most of his time courting what seems like every conservative or right-wing billionaire on the planet. While unabashedly doing that, of course, he has cast by far the fewest votes of any Senator.
      So, whether or not...or which...billionaire owns Marco Rubio is important -- especially considering Rubio's obvious hunger for cash and the unconscionable fact that America's two-party political system now allows unlimited cash donations. Does Sheldon Adelson, depicted in the upper-left in the above montage, own Rubio? Or Charles Koch, shown on the right? Or is it the billionaire auto mogul in Miami who has vowed he will spend whatever it takes to put Rubio in the White House? Or is it the shady and "brazen" organizations mentioned in yesterday's New York Times editorial? Or...maybe it's none of the above. But it is something that voters in a democracy should ponder and Rubio should confront.
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