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Marco Rubio's quarter billion dollars of earmarks

Republican U.S Senate front-runner Marco Rubio brags on his website that he didn't officially request budget pork in his last four years as a leader in the Florida House.

But during Rubio's eight years in office -- including the final two when he was House speaker -- he unofficially helped push loads of hometown spending: $250 million, according to a Herald/Times analysis of little-known budget documents.

The budget items linked to Rubio from 2000 to 2008 are part of a list compiled yearly by the governor's office to track hometown spending.

Most of Rubio's budget items benefited his home county of Miami-Dade -- from a $50,000 grant sought for a Coral Gables park to $80 million for a University of Miami genomics project. A total of $25 million in requests were vetoed by the governor.

The amount of budget money connected to Rubio attests to his skill as a lawmaker, but also contrasts with his campaign image as a tight-fisted spending hawk crusading against ``earmarks'' that have plagued the budget process in Washington.

The budget items also shed light on times when Rubio's public job as a legislator dovetailed with his private interests.

Big government spending has emerged as a top issue for Republicans this election year, with Crist and Rubio battling over who spent more taxpayer money. The list shows that Crist didn't veto much from Rubio --just $3 million.

Full story here


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That veto pen Shucking Chuckles so proudly brags about from his first year as Governor should have been used every year since and as heavily as it was back then. Had he done that and not embrace Obama's stimulus package he wouldn't be facing flat out rejection by conservatives in his ego-driven race away from the hard responsibilities of his current leadership job as Governor and toward the personal glory hole of the U.S. Senate.

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