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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio says he'll cooperate in Sansom case



BSecti_Crista_2279582 Marco Rubio said through a spokesman today that he would cooperate with the investigation into his handpicked budget chief, Ray Sansom.

"Through news accounts today, he learned that he is one of 60 potential witnesses that may be called to testify," spokesman Alex Burgos said. "If he is called and if he has any information that is useful, he'll be happy to provide it."

Burgos said Rubio was unavailable to comment. Sansom, R-Destin, served under Rubio as the House budget chairman in 2007 and 2008. In that time, he steered about $35 million in extra or accelerated money to Northwest Florida State College, where he would later take a $110,000 part-time job.

Although Rubio is only one of several dozen potential witnesses, he is the most high profile given his surging campaign for U.S. Senate. Rubio, who was not called as a witness in the criminal case against Sansom, has said that he delegated budget responsibility.

Rubio also said he was unaware a $6 million airport building Sansom funded was being eyed by a major GOP fundraiser, Jay Odom, for use with his corporate jet business. Even so, it's an potentially dicey situation for Rubio, who is challenging Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP primary. Crist, who did not veto the airport project, said he too was unaware of the Odom connection.

The Florida Democratic Party said Rubio's explanation is not enough. Spokesman Eric Jotkoff:

"While Speaker Rubio’s campaign can try to down play the fact that Speaker Rubio is being subpoenaed by Sansom today, since we know that Sansom’s defense will be that hangar-gate is just business as usual in Tallahassee -  that Sansom’s mentor Speaker Rubio did the same stuff with Turnpike contracts, jobs at FIU, and sweetheart mortgages, that Sansom did nothing wrong – we are not sure how much down playing this will work. Especially given the fact that it didn’t take a subpoena a year ago to get Speaker Rubio to defend Sansom."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:18pm]


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