When Marco Rubio was majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives, he used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker who had been released from prison 20 months earlier, according to records obtained by The Washington Post.If history is any indication, Rubio will skate on this. Voters have given a pass to many presidents with questionable relatives -- go here for a quick rundown on ethically challenged and/or shiftless presidential brothers such as Billy Carter, Neil Bush, and Roger Clinton, not to mention Clinton brothers-in-law Hugh and Tony Rodham. The public just doesn't hold candidates accountable for their no-'count relatives, even if the candidates have tried to use clout to help those relatives.
In July 2002, Rubio sent a letter on his official statehouse stationery to the Florida Division of Real Estate, recommending Orlando Cicilia “for licensure without reservation.” The letter, obtained by The Washington Post under the Florida Public Records Act, offers a glimpse of Rubio using his growing political power to assist his troubled brother-in-law and provides new insight into how the young lawmaker intertwined his personal and political lives.
Remember, a lot of people have dodgy kinfolks. There's nothing odd about having a drug dealer in the family, for Republican voters or anyone else in America. I think most Americans assume that pulling whatever strings you can to help troubled family members is the decent thing to do. And yes, I realize this is Miami Vice-level crime, not tawdry street dealing:
Rubio also declined to say whether he or his family received financial assistance from Cicilia, who was convicted in a high-profile 1989 trial of distributing $15 million worth of cocaine. The federal government seized Cicilia’s home; the money has never been found.But when we're voting for president we shrug this sort of thing off all the time. We probably will with Rubio.