A non-scandal in politics

Friday, June 12, 2015

A June 9 article in the New York Times, "Marco Rubio's career bedeviled by financial struggles," was a failed attempt at an expose of poor personal financial decisions of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R, Fla.), a declared presidential candidate.

The closest thing to a real scandal in the article was contained in a paragraph buried in the middle of the article, "As he rose in politics, he sometimes intermingled personal and political money, using a state Republican Party credit card years ago to pay for a paving project at his home and for travel to a family reunion, and putting his relatives on campaign payrolls."

Putting relatives on campaign payrolls seems to be a common practice. Assuming that he subsequently reimbursed any inappropriate charges to the state Republican Party, an assumption that seems reasonable since the article goes no further describing the incident, that mini-scandal will not likely have much future impact.

What the article attempts to expose is Rubio's supposedly bad personal financial decisions. He was struggling with debt until, "In 2012, financial salvation seemed to have arrived: A publisher paid him $800,000 to write a book about growing up as the son of Cuban immigrants."

This payment allowed Rubio to get out of debt and to buy a 24-foot boat for $80,000. The Times article questioned Rubio's judgment in buying the boat, but the purchase was made after he resolved his debts and had the cash to buy the boat.

There doesn't seem to be a scandal - or even a news story - here.