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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio campaign spent $1,500 on sis-in-law's charity



Last Spring Marco Rubio’s momentum in the U.S. Senate race was threatened by a series of revelations about him repeatedly using GOP campaign donations to pay for personal expenses - everything from personal care products to a family reunion to groceries.

But if Rubio worried the revelations would damage his surging campaign or image as a fiscal watchdog, he sure didn’t show it. On March 31, the Miami Republican’s campaign wrote a check a $1,500 to St. John Neumann Catholic Preparatory School. It was listed as a “registration fee” on Rubio’s federal campaign reports.

When Miami-based Democratic blogger, Joy Reid, flagged the unusual expense on the Reid Report the Rubio campaign scoffed.
“It’s BS. His kids don’t even go there,’’ the campaign responded to a St. Petersburg Times inquiry. “It was to sponsor some event they were doing and as it turns out they couldn’t take money from a campaign so the check was never cashed and then voided.”

But more digging by the Reid Report shows there was a Rubio family connection: The money went to a school fishing tournament fundraiser organized by Rubio’s sister-in-law.

“He sponsored an event for a Catholic school the proceeds of which would be used for tuition assistance for needy children,” said Rubio campaign adviser Todd Harris. “It’s completely and totally permissable by law.... He gives to schools where he thinks there’s a need. Marco’s only regret in this is that the school ended up not being able to take the money.”

[Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 1:25pm]


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