Marco Rubio’s Tallahassee Home With Disgraced Congressman David Rivera Stirs Up A Whirlwind Of Questions
This brick-fronted house down the street from the Florida Capital is like many middle-class homes in Florida’s capital. Except Senator Marco Rubio owns it with disgraced Miami Congressman David Rivera. Rivera is currently under investigation for violating federal campaign finance laws
The house has become a financial and political liability for Rubio. It hangs from his neck like the Albatross in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Rubio may seek re-election to the U.S. Senate or the GOP nomination for President.
Rubio and Rivera became friends in 1992. The two worked on the congressional campaign of Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Rubio and Rivera soon began climbing the ladder of power in the Florida House. The two of them decided to buy a home together in 2005. They bought a house at 1484 Bent Willow Drive for $135,000.
Rubio and Rivera financed the house with a 100% sub-prime 5/25 interest only fixed/adjustable rate mortgage (see below),
The two bought the house in March 2005 when Rubio was about to be sworn in as Speaker of the Florida House.
He was nominated by Rivera. Rivera later served as chairman of the Florida House Rules Committee during Rubio’s leadership.
Marco Rubio Faces Foreclosure
A Deutsche Bank MBS Trust began foreclosure proceedings against Rubio and Rivera in 2010. The timing could not have been worse for Rubio. He was in the middle of running for the United States Senate.
The house still stands as a stubborn reminder the problematic relationship between Rubio and Rivera. It also calls into question Rubio’s ability to manage his personal finances.
The friendship between Rubio and Rivera has frayed after Rubio went to Washington. Rubio’s clout in Washington grew. Rivera has been plagued by scandal since going to congress.
Rubio and Rivera put the 1,228-square-foot house up for sale last week. They are attempting to short sell it for $10,000 less than they paid for it in 2005. It is highly unlikely that the house will sell before next month.
Rubio’s critics are already wringing their hands in anticipation. They hope to hear of any revelations that may come from the federal investigation of Rivera. They also plan to point to their status as roommates when Rivera was allegedly engaged in illegal campaign activities.
Rivera’s Ethics Problems Could Haunt Marco Rubio
Craig Smith, a top adviser for the Ready for Hillary Super PAC told Politico:
When you run for president, voters and the press have an insatiable appetite for people’s histories, what they’ve done, who they are. It raises questions about his judgment, about the kind of people he would bring with him into government, into a campaign.
Rivera’s ethics issues sound like something out of the TV show, House of Cards:
In Rivera’s ethics case, investigators with the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement testified before an administrative law judge at a hearing that records showed Rivera was essentially living off political committee funds and failing to disclose the money as income. Rivera also arranged a contract worth $1 million between a Miami dog track and a company owned by his mother to lead a 2008 election campaign to legalize slot machine gambling in Miami-Dade County. Rivera later acknowledged accepting at least $132,000 as part of the arrangement. But he didn’t list the money on his state financial disclosure forms.