When Marco Rubio served in the Florida House, he failed to disclose a generous home loan from a bank in 2006. More than a year later, Rubio double-billed taxpayers and the Republican Party of Florida for about $3,000 in flights that he later sorted out. And after he was elected to the U.S. Senate, his official online biography incorrectly said his parents fled Castro's Cuba.
Now comes the latest example of sloppy -- at best -- paperwork problems from Rubio: failure to "refund, reattribute, or redesignate these contributions within the appropriate timeframes," according to the Federal Elections Commission.
Total amount: $210,173.
Total fine: $8,000.
This repeated pattern of billing and paperwork errors is the grist of political-attack campaigns. It's also the very type of suprise-a-day problems that will keep Mitt Romney's presidential campaign from asking Rubio to join the ticket. After all, top Romney advisers also worked for Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 when he ran against Rubio -- whom they tried to frame as a "slick" rule-breaking Miami pol.
This fine, a settlement, was reached in March. Details were just made public and were reported by Politico. This is a civil infraction, not a criminal one, and resulted in part from the fact that Rubio's campaign was swamped with donations from across the nation as he rocketed to political stardom in 2010.
But, the FEC said, even after the campaign was notified of problems, more cropped up. From the FEC:
"Respondents contend that although they refunded all contributions noted in the refenal, an internal audit of the Committeefinancialrecords demonstrate that the actual amount of excessive contributions not refunded, reattributed or redesignated timely was $61, 958. Respondents acknowledge that an additional $22,400 in contributions clearly stated on the check or transmittal device that the funds were a joint contribution, but the Committee failed to send the letter requesting written verification of the joint contribution pursuant to 11 C.F.R. § 110.1(k).
"Respondents acknowledge some designations and/or attributions were lost during transition from one compliance vendor to another, due to the fact that some data was sent to both vendors and each assumed the other was dealing appropriately with the information. In addition to the new compliance vendor, the Committee attested that all relevant reports were amended following their internal audit and reconciliation."