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Marco Rubio one of only five US senators given 100% by Koch Bros.

Barely a year in office and he already excels at taking orders from his big donors. The astroturf group called Americans for Prosperity, aka the political tool of the right-wing Koch brothers, ranks Marco Rubio with four other US senators at 100 percent and A+ for voting as commanded all the time. This link will take you to the Think Progress report on the AFP congressional scorecard.

Curious how Rubio stands out from his three Miami-Dade fellow Republicans in Florida’s US House delegation. The ethically challenged David Rivera (FL-25) gets along with a B grade from the Kochs, and the middling C is given to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-21). The entire scorecard is available here.


FL25: Luis Garcia announces for US House seat held by David Rivera

State Rep. Luis Garcia is in the Miami Herald today with his announcement that he’s running for the US House seat won last year by David Rivera.

As this blog reported recently, two others are thinking of running: Joe Garcia, who ran strong races twice for the seat but lost, and Annette Taddeo, who ran in 2008 for the FL18 seat long held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and also ran unsuccessfully for Miami-Dade County Commission last year. The two Garcias are not related.

The fact that candidates are perking up in public this early for an election still 16 months away has at least two foundations:

  • The investigations of Rivera’s finances and campaign funding make him a vulnerable first-termer;
  • Democrats are standing up to the tea party even in the face of evidence that such adherents as Republican US Rep. Allen West, a first-termer in FL22, is even more of a loose cannon than we thought.  His spat with Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, FL20, is in the papers daily.
West already has two Democrats vying to run against him in 2012, Patrick Murphy and Lois Frenkel. This is looking like a good cycle for political consultants.
And Joe Garcia can be found in the Miami Herald, too, on Wednesday, though not running for office (yet) but getting in a comment on a Republican gambit to stop travel to Cuba.

Ros-Lehtinen manages a bill to bellyflop defeat in US House

Very pleasing to see my representative in the US House, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, fail today. The story can be read here in The Cable blog from Foreign Policy magazine. As chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she was floor manager for this misbegotten bill trying to punish the United Nations, but even her own party was far from unanimous on her side. Republican Peter King of New York said denying the money would create a security hazard that could endanger tourists and UN employees, not to forget residents of New York.

It’s a particular misery to live in FL-18 and have Ros-Lehtinen be my representative. Usually it makes me feel way out of it. The English language seems broken, especially around the word represent. Today is a sort of rehab day.


FL-18: Ros-Lehtinen rejects bill to fight forced child marriages

The grinch of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, my member of Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, managed to squash a bill to commit the United States to fight forced child marriages. Here’s the story from The Cable. We see that her zeal to save money is greater than the goal of fewer forced child marriages in this world. How much was saved? About 30 cents per capita in this hard hard country.

FL-18 Callous: What other word applies to denying clean water?

There’s a story over on Huffington Post that puts my member of Congress in a poor light. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida District 18 is blocking action on a bill that aims to provide 100 million of the poorest people on earth with clean drinking water.

Part of the reason for this is, alas, way too few joined me in voting against her. People think Ros-Lehtinen is nice, that she does a good job bringing money back to the district. Is it nice to block action on a bill to help poor people get clean drinking water? Not at all. It is callous. Will she bring any money to the district when her party is against all expenditures that don’t fall into their ideological basket? No, I suspect that flow is going to run out.

So it will be interesting to see Ros-Lehtinen in her new role as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She no longer will be able to sit obscurely with the minority scrubs in the back rows. Her rulings and blockades will become news, and then maybe we will learn who pulls her strings, whether she knows much about the world beyond the 18th District, and whether any of her opinions stand up to examination.

Your blogger ran his Flip video camera last February when she spoke to the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club in Miami Beach — part of her constituency, which includes a lot of coastal southeast Florida in addition to some strongly Cuban neighborhoods and the Florida Keys. In just a few sentences she mangled the federal budget, on which her house of Congress has primary responsibility.


And please take the time to call her office and urge her to ease up on the poor people of the world who need clean drinking water. The number is 305-668-2285.

Recall efforts are all the rage in Miami-Dade

Following the drive against Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, there’s one — or five — against the commissioners who voted for the tax increase in question. Read about it at Eye on Miami.

Too bad we couldn’t have a recall for my member of Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-18’s misrepresenter. She’s also unfamiliar with the federal budget on which her house of Congress is the reigning authority. Witness the stuff she says about it in this video your blogger made of her some months ago.