Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Marco Rubio blocked top level Latinos from appointments during the Obama years ... by gimleteye

NOTE: This post from March 11 was picked up by Spanish language radio. Good. The issue is in the hands of Republican voters now.

Marco Rubio voted against Sonya Sotomayor for the US Supreme Court.

Rubio Vs Sonya Sotomayor from Florida Democrats on Vimeo.

Rubio's blocking judicial nominees to the federal bench also made the news:
When it comes to filling judicial vacancies in Florida, it's time to ask Sen. Marco Rubio if he cares more about appeasing Republican leadership than ensuring his constituents have access to justice.

Yet again, a qualified judicial nominee whom Rubio claims to support is stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rubio refuses to do anything about it. In 2013, Rubio allowed Sen. Chuck Grassley, then ranking Republican on the committee, to put the brakes on Middle District of Florida Judge Brian Davis for nearly two years before he was confirmed. This time it's Southern District nominee Mary Barzee Flores whom Grassley (now the committee chairman) is holding up, but Rubio's response has been the same: stand idly by while the people of Florida wait for a judge.("Why won't Marco Rubio speed process for judicial nominee Flores?", Sun Sentinel, Sept. 16 2015)
There may be another case where Rubio obstructed a fellow Cuban American from advancement, and a Republican at that.

In a distinguished career, Jose Abreu served as one of Miami's most respected and competent civil servants. As Director of Miami International Airport, Abreu brought to an end a decade of turmoil around pay-to-play politics and lobbying involving contracts at the region's critical economic engine. In recognition of his capabilities and results, Former Governor Jeb Bush appointed Abreu to a key post: Florida Secretary of Transportation.

In late January 2013, Abreu was a final candidate for an open position in the Obama White House: the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He was invited to visit the president. Standing in Abreu's path: another Republican Cuban American from Miami: the junior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio.

Why wasn't Abreu appointed after being vetted by the White House?

Why would Rubio -- serving on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation -- bar a fellow Cuban American Republican from a Cabinet post? The intrigue is on several fronts. The Capital Hill Cuban blog blasted Abreu in February 2013, after the Brazilian multi-national firm, Odebrecht, was awarded to head a major new development called Airport City. The ostensible reason: Odebrecht had worked with the Cuban government on major infrastructure projects at the port of Mariel.

Political opposition to Havana has long been the organizing principal of Miami's Cuban American political elite. But there was another issue, at play.

At Airport City, Abreu had turned away an effort by Miami-Dade's power political player, MCM Construction, to insert itself in the bidding process after it had closed. MCM, owned by the Munilla family in Miami has a reputation for bullying its way into local government contracts.

According to the website OpenSecrets, in the 2016 election cycle MCM is one of the largest Republican donors from the construction industry. A June 2015 report by Center for Responsive Politics identified $58,400 in MCM Construction contributions. In November 2015, members of the Munilla family were listed as hosts of a Rubio for President fundraiser at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami, with Leadership Circle contributions at $27,000.

In 2013, the White House was willing to be inclusive despite the fact that one Republican cabinet official, Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel, had already upset fellow Republicans for refusing to embrace Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's call to obstruct every initiative of the president.

It stands to reason; the White House did not want a confirmation fight over Abreu. It also stands to reason that campaign finance heavyweight MCM Construction wasn't used to being blocked. Only one person could have stopped a Cuban American Republican from being elevated to a Cabinet office in the Obama White House: the Munilla's good friend; US Senator Marco Rubio.


Anonymous said...

Marco Rubio has been an absentee senator for Florida residents but also keeping and stopping qualified Floridian public servants from serving in our government. So lets stop him NOW! He is definitely a JUNIOR JUVENILE.

Anonymous said...

Abreu would have made a wonder Sec. of Transportation. Rubio is a corrupt snake.

Anonymous said...

It really makes no sense. Why run for the Senate when you did not want to serve there? Absent from voting on the floor, absent from committee meetings, absent from discussions that the other 99 senators have access to, absent from potential deals that coud help the state economically, absent from help us with issues that are critical to us. In fact he has the worse attendance record in the history ofthe US Senate. We have not had any representation since he was elected. Crist would have been much better. Floridians have no reason to vote for him for President.