I suppose curiousity always gets the better of me and despite not really wanting to fall into the trap of buying politicians biographies choosing instead to cull the internet for opinion and hoping to arrive at some balanced appraisal, I did shell out the few bucks for Marco Rubio’s An American Son, mostly because I was on a flight from Miami to NYC and figured it would an easy way to pass the time.
As expected Rubio’s biography was tedious and un-noteworthy. The actual writing, for someone who claims to have done it himself is far from anything that might suggest he has any gift for rhetoric or oratory skills, something that we might hope for in a president. Ultimately he seems very plain vanilla, uninspiring and no more or less qualified than any other junior member of congress, albeit with a somewhat delusional neocon point of view.
Perhaps the most enlightening pages of the book come in the acknowledgements where Mr. Rubio explicitly thanks The Fanjul brothers, with a second nod to Norman Braman and then a final shout out to Jesus Christ. In the post Citizen’s United world we would all really like to know who is bankrolling our politicians and thereby whose interest they will be beholden to.
I happen to agree with many of Braman’s positions and causes, but I am adamantly opposed to the idea that Rubio basically owes his entire existence to one man. As the NY Times reported in 2008 Rubio had a net worth of $8,000 and by 2013 he had $450k in liabilities. Braman has personally bankrolled Rubio and Rubio’s wife, actually giving them jobs, they are and or have been employees of Braman. While the only overtly obvious muscle Rubio has pulled for Braman is getting the $80 million for the University of Miami Cancer Center approved, the relative ease with which it was accomplished bodes ominously.
Rubio got his superpac up and running in April of this year, I think it would be reasonable to expect that both Braman and the Fanjul’s, among many others have given their strong financial support. While I wholeheartedly support cancer research, I think my views on renewable energy and the environment would be in direct opposition to Braman / Fanjul / Rubio interest. Indeed Braman helped to kill expansion of public transport in Miami and the Fanjul’s well, they own sugar, cutting down and draining the everglades, sugarcane and all that, among other very questionable business practices.
Irregardless of Rubio’s politics, I know for certain that I don’t agree with the interests that are bankrolling him.