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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Norman Braman charity Marco Rubio's wife works for wasn't very giving in 2013

In a profile of Jeanette Rubio we reported how the charity she works for paid her at least $54,000 in 2013.

But another figure stands out: $250.

That’s how much the Braman Family 2011 Charitable Foundation gave out that year, the most recent year for which form 990s are available. The charity reported assets worth more than $9 million, and its lone donation went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in New York.

In an interview last week, Debi Wechsler, who is Norman Braman’s daughter and works on the charity, said that was a time when her parents were doing more philanthropy on their own and that Mrs. Rubio was involved. (That was echoed by others familiar with the Braman operation.) We subsequently asked her for more information, and will update this blog when she replies.

Despite little charitable giving in 2013, the foundation still reported $149,237 in “misc airplane trips for charitable purposes.”

That year, Jeanette Rubio accompanied her husband on an official trip to the Middle East. A news release stated she was traveling at “no taxpayer expense,” and Rubio’s office said she was traveling in concert with her work for the Braman charity. We're told Mrs. Rubio took one other trip that year, flying with the family to Boston to for a project involving Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Braman’s relationship with the Rubios has gotten attention recently, in the pages of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times and the New York Times, which revealed Braman gave Florida International University $100,000 to fund a teaching job Rubio took here after leaving the state House in 2008.

Rubio defended the ties in a recent interview with MSNBC. "Norm Braman is a great man, a pillar of the South Florida community and someone who I’m personally close to,” he said. “I’m very proud to be associated with him."


[Last modified: Monday, May 18, 2015 6:18pm]


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