The Rubio Scandal That Isn't...Again

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In the interest of “journalism,” the Washington Post recently rehashed as an old story about Florida Senator and presidential candidate, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ].  In fact, this old story had been covered by other news outlets like The New Yorker, Univision,  and The Guardian to name but three as early as 2011.  The story centers around Rubio’s brother-in law Orlando Cicilia.

Cicilia married Rubio’s sister, Barbara, and was convicted in 1987 of drug trafficking.  Surprise #1- drug trafficking in Miami, Florida.  Surprise #2- a Latino drug trafficker in Miami, Florida.  Of course, in 1987 Marco was a 16 year old high school student.  Cicilia was sentenced to 25 years in jail but got out in roughly half that time due to good behavior while in prison.  In short, Cicilia was a model prisoner who had paid his debt to society.  Although the cartel he worked for did some nasty things like kill a federal government informant and dismember his body, Cicilia was never charged with such deeds.

So he got out of prison in 2000 and joined a food company in Miami where he eventually worked his way up to head of that company’s sales team.  Eventually, Cicilia’s interests turned to real estate and he applied for a real estate license in Florida.  He applied to the Real Estate Commission in February 2002 and answered “Yes” to a question as to whether he was ever convicted of a felony.  That is, he did not try to hide anything.  The regulators wanted to know more and he responded with a letter outlining his drug trafficking conviction and sentencing.  Again, he hid nothing.  He then appealed to the Board at the insistence of a Board member.  As part of that appeal, he presented three letters of recommendation.

The first letter was from his boss at the food company.  The second was from a real estate executive who had known Cicilia for over 30 years.  The third was from then-state representative [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ].  Rubio’s letter stated: “I have known Mr. Cicilia for over 25 years.  I recommend him for licensure without reservation.  If I can be of further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.”  The smoking gun according to the Washington Post is that Rubio wrote this letter on his official legislative stationery and never revealed his family relationship.  Therefore, according to the newspaper, Rubio was using his influence in the legislature to get this license approved.

As the Rubio staff said then and they say now, as a legislator he wrote hundreds of letters of recommendations for a variety of people during his tenure.  The letter itself looks like a form letter- hardly a ringing, glowing endorsement of someone, or one where influence is being exerted.  By not revealing his relationship to Cicilia some watchdog groups complain, he was exerting influence.  In other words, Rubio is damned if did and damned if he didn’t.  Secondly, in Florida convicted felons are not barred from seeking professional licenses.  Where the Real Estate Board is concerned, they do regularly deny licenses to people convicted of fraud.  Such a conviction almost universally disqualifies an applicant.  Cicilia was NOT convicted of fraud.  In short, he was likely to receive the license whether Rubio wrote the letter or not.  There was nothing nefarious here; Cicilia did not try to conceal his conviction from the Board and provided additional information when requested.

But, the Leftist mainstream press is having a field day with this incident and blowing it completely out of proportion.  The presence of this Rubio letter is not a smoking gun.  If anything, it is a family member trying to help another family member out and is that such a bad thing?  The Post article ends with the fact that after Cicilia got his license, Rubio turned to him when he purchased his home.  Surprise #3: Rubio used a family member with a real estate license to help him purchase his home.  Surprise #4: Rubio helped a family member.

This story is not worthy of page 1 news in the Washington Post let alone a bathroom devoid of toilet paper.  It is yet another smear piece designed to cast a shadow over Rubio.  It is like the tasteless cartoon they ran depicting the children of [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] as monkeys.  It proves that the Leftist MSM will stop at nothing to tear down and denigrate anyone they perceive as being a threat to Hillary Clinton.  To add insult to injury, it is not even anything “new” or original other than the fact they obtained the letter written by Rubio.  This would be newsworthy if we discovered Cicilia was back to trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, that he was a wife-beater, that a young Marco secretly hid Cicilia’s drug money under his mattress… anything.  Instead, we get an old story disguised as “news” from a publication that should simply drop the pretense of being a newspaper and admit they are a lap dog of the Clinton campaign.