Florida Man Buys State: Koch Impacts in the Sunshine State:
The Koch Network’s Early And Longstanding Support for Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio Was The Keynote Speaker Of AFP Foundation’s 2013 “Defending The American Dream Summit” In Orlando. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are among headline speakers announced for the ‘Defending the American Dream Summit’ conference the conservative action group Americans for Prosperity Foundation plans for Orlando in late August.” [Orlando Sentinel, 7/29/14]

AFP Gave Rubio A “100 Percent Score” On Its Scorecard In 2013. According to the Tampa Bay Times Blog, The Buzz, “Last week, two groups issued vote scorecards that put Rubio squarely in the conservative camp. Americans for Prosperity gave the Florida Republican a 100 percent score on issues it rated.” [Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz, 2/25/13]

AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien: “We Are Pleased To Announce Senator Rubio Is The Only US Senator To Receive A Lifetime Rating Of A+.” According to the Tampa Bay Times Blog, The Buzz, “‘The AFP Scorecard is the best way for our activists to keep a close eye on Washington, and confront them when they don’t vote responsibly,’ said AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. ‘We are pleased to announce Senator Rubio is the only US Senator to receive a lifetime rating of A+.’” [Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz, 2/25/13]

AFP Florida Director Adam Guillette Called Then State House Speaker Marco Rubio “A Strong Ally” As Rubio Considered A Revenue And Spending Cap. According to the St Petersburg Times Blogs, “House Speaker Marco Rubio is pursuing legislation similar to the revenue and spending cap considered this afternoon by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. ‘Speaker Rubio is a strong ally,’ said Adam Guillette, Florida director of Americans For Prosperity, a group that worked with TBRC Commissioner Mike Hogan. Guillette said he had planned to meet again with Rubio tomorrow but is putting it off until later in the week or next week.” [St. Petersburg Times Blogs, 2/11/08]

More Than 300 Protesters Joined Rubio In A “Public Spectacle… Choreographed By A Handful Of Anti-Tax Groups” To “Demand Additional Tax And Spending Cuts.” According to the St. Petersburg Times, “More than 300 protesters, most making a 10-hour bus ride from South Florida, staged a rally with House Speaker Marco Rubio, and even moved into the House chamber as his guests, to demand additional tax and spending cuts. ‘It’s not over, and we’re going to win,’ the West Miami Republican pledged to wild applause. About two dozen protesters eventually flooded Crist’s first-floor office demanding answers. Crist was working at the Governor’s Mansion, so Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp fielded their questions. They left dissatisfied. ‘If we need to come next time and sleep out here in our camping gear, we will do it,’ said Angelo Garcia Jr., 45, of Miami. But the public spectacle – choreographed by a handful of anti-tax groups – was only one level of the property tax battle being waged Tuesday in Tallahassee.” [St. Petersburg Times, 3/26/08]

  • St. Petersburg Times: Anti-Tax Protestors Were “Doting” Towards Rubio And Asked Him If He Would Run For Miami-Dade Mayor. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “Rubio used the lobbyists’ effort as a rallying cry Tuesday, urging his doting audience – at one point he was asked if he was going to run for Miami-Dade mayor – to unite behind the plan but to also fight for another proposal, which would cap property taxes at 1.35 percent of taxable value. More than 150,000 citizen petitions have been collected with the aim of putting it on the November 2010 ballot.” [St. Petersburg Times, 3/26/08]

Rubio Supported The Taxpayer Protection Amendment. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “Amid Tuesday’s commotion, members of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission were being intensely lobbied on a proposal to be discussed today that would amount to the strictest cap on taxes ever in Florida. The 25-member panel has the power to place items on the November ballot. The plan, similar to ‘taxpayer bill of rights’ legislation enacted in other states, would limit revenue collection at all levels of government to no more than population growth plus inflation plus 1 percent. New fees or taxes would need voter approval, while exceeding the cap would require two-thirds approval by a city council or other governing body. ‘This is the most substantial tax reform legislation in the history of the Sunshine State,’ said Adam Guillette, Florida director for the tax group Americans for Prosperity, which has been involved in crafting the proposal. ‘It ensures fiscal responsibility from both state and local government,’ Guillette said. ‘And most importantly, it puts an end to boom-and-bust budgeting.’ [Marco] Rubio, who appointed some of the members to the commission, was actively pursuing support for the plan Tuesday.” [St. Petersburg Times, 3/26/08]

The Koch-Controlled Libre Initiative and Marco Rubo

The Koch-Controlled LIBRE Initiative’s National Strategic Director Jose Mallea Was Rubio’s Former Campaign Manager. According to The Nation, “Rubio was introduced by César Grajales, the South Florida field director for the LIBRE initiative, a Koch-funded campaign to attract Latino voters to the GOP. Rubio’s former campaign manager, Jose Mallea, is the group’s national strategic director.” [The Nation,9/4/14]

Politico: LIBRE National Strategic Director And Former Marco Rubio Campaign Manager, Jose Mallea, Will Be Hired As Jeb Bush’s Hispanic-Outreach Adviser. According to Politico, “Marco Rubio’s longtime friend and 2010 Senate campaign manager is about to be hired as a Hispanic-outreach adviser for the senator’s likely Republican 2016 rival, Jeb Bush, sources familiar with the decision tell POLITICO. JoseMallea’s hiring by Bush’s Right to Rise political committee is a one-two punch for the former governor: It underscores the depth of loyalty Florida Republicans have for Bush and it shows his intense interest in turning out the Latino vote.[…] Mallea, who refused comment, plansFriday to resign his post as the national strategic director for the LIBRE Initiative, a Latino-outreach organization tied to the influential Koch brothers. He was hired after the initiative was founded nearly four years ago.” [Politico, 5/1/15]

James Madison Institute And Marco Rubio

Rubio Has Longstanding, Deep Ties to Koch-Affiliated James Madison Institute

Political Blogger Peter Schorsch: “Men Such As Jeb Bush And Marco Rubio Owe Some Part Of Their Careers To The Path “Blazed” By James Madison Institute Founder Dr. J. Stanley] Marshall. According to an opinion by political blogger Peter Schorsch in the Sun-Sentinel, “He [James Madison Institute Founder Dr. J. Stanley Marshall] became the Barry Goldwater and the William Buckley of Florida’s conservative movement. He created a home for conservative political thought in a state that had come to be dominated by men such as Reuben Askew and Lawton Chiles. Men such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio owe some part of their careers to the path Marshall blazed. Marshall ran for office himself and lost badly but proudly, challenging the education establishment he has feuded with his entire career. But again, it’s not about what Marshall did.” [Peter Schorsch – Sun Sentinel, 3/18/13]

JMI Held A Luncheon With Then-House Speaker Designate Marco Rubio In March 2006. According to the Spring 2006 James Madison Institute Newsletter, “JMI members and guests gathered at the Pensacola Cultural Center on March 3 to hear from House Speaker Designate Marco hear from House Speaker Designate Marco Rubio as he discussed the upcoming legislative session and his views on the critical issues facing Florida.” [James Madison Institute Newsletter via archive.org, April 2006]

Sen. Marco Rubio Spoke At The James Madison Institute’s Co-Sponsored CPAC Regional Event In 2011. According to a post on The James Madison Institute’s website, “The James Madison Institute will co-sponsor the first ever Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) regional event: CPAC Florida 2011 on September 23, 2011 in Orlando. For more information, visit the CPAC Florida website–nine Presidential candidates are confirmed to speak and other confirmed guest speakers include Grover Norquist, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Allen West, and JMI’s own Bob McClure!” [Post via JamesMadison.org, 2011]

In 2013, Rubio Delivered A Televised Greeting To The James Madison Institute’s 25th Anniversary Gala. According to the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz blog, “If Ayn Rand were alive and living in Florida, she would have paid $125 for a ticket and attended The James Madison Institute’s 25th anniversary gala Wednesday night. Most of the state’s conservative heavyweights were there: Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, House Speaker Will Weatherford. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a televised greeting to the institute.” [Buzz via TampaBay.com, 3/14/13]

  • Rubio Said In Greeting “We Encourage (JMI) To Continue To Be A Source Of Ideas And Inspiration, Not Just In Florida, But Hopefully That Will Spread Across The Country.” According to the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz blog, “Marco Rubio: ‘Most of the innovation in this country is happening at the state level. I know that first hand from having served there… Whether it’s curriculum reform or school accountability, regulatory and tax reform. So we encourage (JMI) to continue to be a source of ideas and inspiration, not just in Florida, but hopefully that will spread across the country.’” [Buzz via TampaBay.com, 3/14/13]

Rubio Visited The James Madison Institute’s Headquarters In 2013. According to the James Madison Institute’s flickr album titled, “Sen. Marco Rubio visits JMI Headquarters,” the Senator visited the James Madison Institute’s headquarters in Tallahassee on August 12, 2013. [James Madison Institute Album via Flickr.com, 8/12/13]

  • At The James Madison Institute’s Headquarters, Rubio Spoke About The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. According to an opinion by J. Robert McClure, the president and CEO of The James Madison Institute, in Newsmax, “As U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pointed out during a recent talk at The James Madison Institute’s Tallahassee headquarters, because of this the PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] will also cause serious ripple effects throughout the U.S. economy. For one thing, it’ll mean that consumers will have less money to spend on other things – dining out, movies, dry cleaning, transportation, housing, etc. These ripple effects will be among the PPACA’s many unintended consequences.” [J. Robert McClure – Newsmax, 8/29/13]

Rubio On The Passing Of The Founder Of The James Madison Institute: “Florida Is A Better Place Because Of Dr. Marshall’s Contributions, And So Are Those Of Us Who Knew Him.” According to a press release from Senator Marco Rubio “U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Dr. Stanley Marshall, former Florida State University President and founder of The James Madison Institute: ‘Dr. Marshall was a man of many talents, and we mourn the passing of this great Floridian. He succeeded in both business and academia, and still found time to enjoy the quiet pastures of his cattle ranch. Florida is a better place because of Dr. Marshall’s contributions, and so are those of us who knew him.” [Marco Rubio Press Release, 6/9/14]

Rubio: “Dr. Marshall’s Leadership Of Florida State University And Founding Of The James Madison Institute Are Crowning Achievements.” According to a press release from Senator Marco Rubio “Many will rightly celebrate Dr. Marshall as a visionary who advanced bold ideas in the public square. After all, Dr. Marshall’s leadership of Florida State University and founding of The James Madison Institute are crowning achievements in this regard. But we know his marriage to Shirley and their children and grandchildren will forever be his most prized legacy. Our prayers are with them as they mourn his passing, and we join the rest of a thankful state in honoring his extraordinary life.” [Marco Rubio Press Release, 6/9/14]

Gov. Jeb Bush Hosted A “National Excellence In Action Summit At Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort With His Foundation For Excellence In Education, And The James Madison Institute” In June 2008. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Everyone seems to be talking about change these days. This week, that includes a group of education reformers, with former Gov. Jeb Bush leading the way. Bush is launching a national initiative to make education reform a top priority for the country’s next president. He’s hosting a national Excellence in Action summit at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort with his Foundation for Excellence in Education, and The James Madison Institute, a conservative research group.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/20/08]

  • Then-Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio On The June 2008 National Excellence In Action Summit: “I Appreciate The Innovations That Have Come Out Of This Conference.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, then-Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio stated the following on education reform and the National Excellence In Action Summit, “I think there needs to be a societal change. I appreciate the innovations that have come out of this conference.” [Orlando Sentinel, 6/20/08]
James Madison Institute Chairman and Former Board Member of Citizens for a Sound Economy Said He Was Recruited” To “Boost House Speaker Marco Rubio’s Crusade For Swapping Property Tax Bills With Higher Sales Taxes.”

JMI Chairman Charlie Hilton Claimed He Was “Recruited” To “Boost House Speaker Marco Rubio’s Crusade For Swapping Property Tax Bills With Higher Sales Taxes.” According to The News-Press, “Republican political campaign manager Brett Doster, under a newly minted electioneering organization organized those political-action groups and more like them, Floridians for Property Tax Reform. The source of money for that ‘grass-roots’ activity won’t be public record until financial reports are filed in mid-July. Anecdotally, some of the support has come from groups such as the Latin Builders Association. One of Doster’s co-chairs is Panhandle entrepreneur Charlie Hilton, founder of the conservative James Madison Institute, a longtime advocate of capping government growth. He said Doster recruited him to boost House Speaker Marco Rubio’s crusade for swapping property tax bills with higher sales taxes instead.” [News-Press, 5/29/07]

  • Hilton Said He Met With Rubio “Several Times” To Talk About The Tax Reform. According to The News-Press, “‘That was something inspired by the Speaker and some leaders in the House who wanted some support,’ said [JMI Chairman Charlie] Hilton, who said he has met several times with Rubio to talk about the tax reform.” [News-Press, 5/29/07]
  • JMI Sent “Their Own Lobbyists To Tallahassee” And “Turned Out Members To Fill Chairs At Property Tax Hearings Across The State.” According to The News-Press, “‘The James Madison Institute, FreedomWorks, and the Republican Liberty Caucus all have sent their own lobbyists to Tallahassee as well as turned out members to fill chairs at property tax hearings across the state.” [News-Press, 5/29/07]

Charles Hilton Was Also A Board Member of Citizens for a Sound Economy. [Citizens for a Sound Economy, 11/15/03]

Gov. Jeb Bush Met With JMI’s Founder About Property Rights Reform Around The Time State Rep. Marco Rubio’s House Select Committee Considered Taking Up Property Rights Legislation. According to The News-Press, “A House committee run by Rep. Marco Rubio is considering amending Florida’s definitions of words such as ‘blighted’ and ‘slum’ to make it tougher to condemn private property. Such a move would go a long way to appease private property rights activists unsettled by this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that expanded government’s ability to condemn property for redevelopment. But it concerns planners who say the power is an important tool to address specific needs. The high court ruled the city of New London, Conn., could lawfully seize private property from residents who refused to sell and turn it over to private developers. Rubio’s Select Committee to Protect Private Property Rights meets Wednesday. Among its members are Reps. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral; and Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach. Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday he will allow Rubio to take the lead. ‘I trust his judgment on this,’ Bush said. ‘He’s a really bright lawyer that I think will make some good recommendations.’ Bush met Monday with Stan Marshall, founder of the James Madison Institute. The Tallahassee-based conservative think tank has made property rights a major focus since the June court ruling, and will gather its own experts later in the week to come up with recommendations for ‘safeguarding private property rights in Florida.’” [News-Press, 9/13/05]

  • Bush Allowed Rubio To “Take The Lead” On The Property Rights Reform Initiative And Said He “Trusted His Judgment.” According to The News-Press, “Rubio’s Select Committee to Protect Private Property Rights meets Wednesday. Among its members are Reps. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral; and Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach. Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday he will allow Rubio to take the lead. ‘I trust his judgment on this,’ Bush said. ‘He’s a really bright lawyer that I think will make some good recommendations.’” [News-Press, 9/13/05]