Marco Rubio: The Final Koch Puppet On The Koch Stage In Columbus

August 24, 2015

Expecting for Marco Rubio to make news as the last candidate at the Koch/AFP summit? Think again. Rubio is no novice to delivering his carefully crafted argument to his favorite constituency: Charles and David Koch.

As one of the five on the Kochs’ shortlist, Rubio has had many opportunities to show his deep allegiance to the Kochs “libertarian” causes in hopes they’ll spend part of the $900 million they said they’ll spend in 2016 on his campaign.

Recently, Rubio’s taken every potential opportunity he can to suck up to the Kochs, but just like every other candidate this weekend, his Koch ties run long and deep. Additionally, Rubio’s been a strong supporter of the Koch agenda — opposing the Ex-Im Bank, fighting against net neutrality, blocking a raise to the minimum wage, and supporting tax cuts for rich special interests like the Kochs.

In his relentless attempt to win over the Kochs, Rubio has completely disregarded that what’s good for the Kochs is bad for families across the country. In conjunction with the AFP Defending the American Dream conference in Columbus, Bridge Project also released a new report, “O-H-I-O Koch! Koch! Koch!: How The Kochs Have Polluted Ohio With Their Business & Politics,” detailing the extensive damage done by the Kochs’ subversive Ohio operations.

Over the course of the weekend, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and now Marco Rubio have all tried to assure the Kochs that they’ll be unwavering supporters of their agenda.

So if you were hoping for a candidate to be something other than a Koch puppet, better luck at the next Republican cattle call, but don’t get your hopes up.

The Kochs And Marco Rubio

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 MarcoRubio, 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 RubioAnd 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 Is 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]

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 MarcoRubio as he discussed the upcoming legislative session and his views on the critical issues facing Florida.” [James Madison Institute Newsletter via, 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, 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, 3/14/13]

  • RubioSaid 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, 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, 8/12/13]

  • At The James Madison Institute’s Headquarters, RubioSpoke 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 RubioOn 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 RubioTo “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]

Koch Primary

Hightower: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, And Scott Walker “Are Shamelessly Scurrying To The Money Throne To Kiss The Koch Ring, Do A Song & Dance, Grovel And Pledge Fealty” To The Koch Agenda. According to an opinion by columnist Jim Hightower in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, “The black-robed corporatists’ freakish Citizens United ruling has already let the KBParty amass their unprecedented electioneering fund, setting them up as the Godfathers of tea party Republicanism. Supposedly proud candidates for governor, Congress and even such presidential wannabes as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker are shamelessly scurrying to the money throne to kiss the Koch ring, do a song & dance, grovel and pledge fealty to the brotherhood’s extremist plutocratic agenda.” [Jim Hightower – Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 2/27/15]

The Kochs “Identified Five Candidates Who Have The Right Message And ‘A Good Chance Of Getting Elected’”: Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, And Marco Rubio. According to USA Today, “[Charles] Koch, his brother David and their team have identified five candidates who have the right message and ‘a good chance of getting elected,’ he told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview at Koch Industries’ headquarters. They are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.” [USA Today, 4/21/15]

CNN: “Marco Rubio Courted New Hampshire Voters Allied With Two Powerful Organizations At The Center Of The Koch Brothers’ Sprawling Political Network During Campaign Events On Thursday.” According to CNN, “Marco Rubio courted New Hampshire voters allied with two powerful organizations at the center of the Koch Brothers’ sprawling political network during campaign events on Thursday.” [CNN, 6/25/15]

Rubio Defended His Events, Saying “People Buy Into My Agenda, I Don’t Buy Into Theirs… My Stands Are Not Influenced By My Contributors, I Hope My Stands Influences My Contributors.” According to CNN, “‘People buy into my agenda, I don’t buy into theirs,’ [Marco] Rubio told reporters in Exeter after appearing at the Concerned Veterans for America event. ‘My stands are not influenced by my contributors, I hope my stands influences my contributors.’” [CNN, 6/25/15]

CNN: “Outside Of The Koch Events, Voters Seemed To Have A Different View Of The Groups’ Sway.” According to CNN, “But outside of the Koch events, voters seemed to have a different view of the groups’ sway. At a town hall in Salem, a voter asked what he [Marco Rubio] would do to stop corrupting influence of money in politics.” [CNN, 6/25/15]

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, And Marco Rubio Are “On Bended Knee Before ‘Oligarchs’ Like The Koch Brothers.’” According to Politico, “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he’s frightened by the prospect of his party’s top candidates – from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker to Marco Rubio — appearing on bended knee before “oligarchs” like the Koch Brothers.” [Politico, 8/3/15]

Rubio Has Appeared At Several Koch Sponsored Speaking Events

“Immigrant Experience” Dinner

The Koch Conference’s Final Speaker Was Sen. Marco Rubio, Who Gave The Closing Speech At The “Immigrant Experience” Dinner Instead Of The Gathering’s Usual Last Speaker, Charles Koch. According to The Nation, “On the last night of theKoch brothers’ secretive donor retreat in June, wealthy conservatives sat down to ‘The Immigrant Experience’ dinner, as it was dubbed internally. Usually Charles Koch delivers ‘the final battle cry,’ a Koch operative told the audience. But this year the closing speech was given by a special guest: Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator from Florida and prospective 2016 presidential candidate.” [Nation, 9/4/14]

  • Charles Koch “Wrapped Up” The Koch Conference By Thanking Rubio For “All He’s Doing To Try To Preserve And Enhance Our Free Society.”According to The Nation, “Charles Koch wrapped up the evening by thanking ‘Marco’ for ‘all he’s doing to try to preserve and enhance our free society.’” [Nation,9/4/14]
  • The Nation: The Event “Illustrated The Close Relationship” Between Rubio And The Koch Brothers, “Who Gave More Money To Rubio In 2010 Than To Any Other Candidate For National Office Outside Of Their Home State, Kansas.” According to The Nation, “[Sen. Marco] Rubio said little to surprise or offend. (A full transcript is here.) Still, the event illustrated the close relationship between the senator and the Koch brothers, who gave more money to Rubio in 2010 than to any other candidate for national office outside of their home state, Kansas.” [Nation, 9/4/14]
  • Rubio Is “One Of Only Five Senators Who Have Earned A Perfect Score For Their Voting Record From AFP.” According to The Nation, “In turn, Rubio has supported the Kochs’ agenda by spreading skepticism about climate change science, and by advocating for other antiregulatory policies that would boost the Kochs’ bottom line. He is one of only five Senators who have earned a perfect score for their voting record from AFP.” [Nation, 9/4/14]

Concerned Veterans For America

CVA Is Co-Hosting An Event Where Sen. Rubio Will “Offer Specific Policy Targets For Rebuilding Each Branch Of The Armed Services, Heightening Cyber And Space Capabilities, And Reforming Components Of The Military Personnel System.” According to a press release from Sen. Marco Rubio, “On Wednesday, September 17, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will address the need to build American defense capabilities for the 21st century, in light of the current global crises and attempts to diminish American military strength to historic lows. Rubio will offer specific policy targets for rebuilding each branch of the armed services, heightening cyber and space capabilities, and reforming components of the military personnel system. The event is hosted by the John Hay Initiative, in association with Concerned Veterans for America and The Project for the Common Defense.” [Rubio Press Release, 9/11/14]

Sen. Marco Rubio Spoke At A CVA Event About “The Importance Of American Leadership In The Global Arena” Which Was “In Line With The Principles Espoused By CVA’s Strength And Security Project.” According to press release, “On September 17, 2014, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the importance of maintaining American strength as a deterrent to aggression and violence around the world. In line with the principles espoused by CVA’s Strength and Security Project, Sen.Rubio spoke about the importance of American leadership in the global arena. As put by the Senator on the uniqueness of America’s role abroad: ‘The world needs American Strength just as much as our people and our economy do. No other nation can deter global conflict by its presence alone. No other nation can offer the security and benevolence that America can. No other nation can be trusted to defend peace and advance liberty.’” [CVA Press Release, 9/17/14]

Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich will headline CVA’s “Fixing Veterans Health Care Summit.” According to a press release from Concerned Veterans for America, “Today, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) announced the addition of Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) as well as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to the growing list of prominent lawmakers and policy experts set to headline the Fixing Veterans Health Care Summit and react to the findings of CVA’s bipartisan Taskforce report which will be released at the event on Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.” [Concerned Veterans for America Press Release, 2/11/15]

CVA: “Senator Marco Rubio Has Been An Early And Outspoken Advocate Of Bringing Long-Overdue Accountability To The Department Of Veterans Affairs.”According to a press release from Concerned Veterans for America, “Senator Marco Rubio has been an early and outspoken advocate of bringing long-overdue accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and was the lead Senate sponsor for the VA Management Accountability Act in 2014, which served as the basis for many of the important reform and accountability provisions included in the final compromise bill the president enacted.” [Concerned Veterans for America Press Release,2/11/15]

WMUR: “Marco Rubio Will Return To New Hampshire” In June “As The First Speaker In The Concerned Veterans For America’s New ‘Veterans And Military Town Hall’ Series In The Granite State.” According to WMUR, “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will return to New Hampshire later this month as the first speaker in the Concerned Veterans for America’s new ‘Veterans and Military Town Hall’ series in the Granite State, has learned.” [WMUR, 6/3/15]

Sen. Marco Rubio Will Be Speaking At A Town Hall Event Hosted By Concerned Veterans For America. According to, “Florida Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who recently announced his candidacy for president, will be in Exeter next week for a Town Hall event focused on military and veterans’ issues. According to the senator’s office, Rubio will be at Exeter’s historic Town Hall to speak on these issues, hosted by the group Concerned Veterans for America.” [, 6/15/15]

Rubio Introduced A Bill To “To Increase The Liability And Accountability Of VA Administrators.” According to, “The United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs changed the mileage requirement for veterans unable to seek timely care from nearby official veteran medical facilities from a straight-line, or ‘as the crow flies,’ to the actual driving distance to other hospitals. The act became law in August 2014, with Rubio’s sponsorship. Rubio also introduced a bill in January attempting to increase the liability and accountability of VA administrators after last year’s widely-publicized VA scandals.” [, 6/15/15]

Freedom Partners Chamber Of Commerce

Four Leading Republican Presidential Prospects Are Expected To Appear At The Annual Winter Gathering Of Freedom Partners Chamber Of Commerce. According to Politico, “Four leading Republican presidential prospects are expected to appear this weekend in the California desert before an exclusive gathering of rich conservatives convened by the Koch brothers’ political operation, several sources tell POLITICO. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin received coveted invitations to speak to the vaunted network assembled by the billionaire industrialist megadonors Charles and David Koch, the sources said.  The meeting, set to be held at a Palm Springs hotel, is the annual winter gathering of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the nonprofit group that oversees the network of fiscally conservative groups formed with help from the Kochs and their operatives.” [Politico, 1/19/15]

Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul And Marco Rubio, And Gov. Scott Walker “Received Coveted Invitations To Speak To The Vaunted Network Assembled By The Billionaire Industrialist Megadonors Charles And David Koch. According to Politico, “Four leading Republican presidential prospects are expected to appear this weekend in the California desert before an exclusive gathering of rich conservatives convened by the Koch brothers’ political operation, several sources tell POLITICO. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin received coveted invitations to speak to the vaunted network assembled by the billionaire industrialist megadonors Charles and David Koch, the sources said.  The meeting, set to be held at a Palm Springs hotel, is the annual winter gathering of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the nonprofit group that oversees the network of fiscally conservative groups formed with help from the Kochs and their operatives.” [Politico, 1/19/15]

New York Times: Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, And Marco Rubio Are Expected To Attend The Koch Summit. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Cruz, Mr. Paul and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have all received invitations to the event and are expected to attend. Other invited Republicans include Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who is not expected to make it because of a scheduling conflict.” [New York Times, 1/20/15]

Gov. Scott Walker Was Also Invited, And Jeb Bush Received An Invitation But Is Not Expected To Attend Due To A Scheduling Conflict. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Cruz, Mr. Paul and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have all received invitations to the event and are expected to attend. Other invited Republicans include Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who is not expected to make it because of a scheduling conflict.” [New York Times, 1/20/15]

New York Times: Sen. Marco Rubio “Has Been A Frequent Speaker At American For Prosperity Summit Meetings” Including “A High-Profile And Carefully Chosen Speaking Slot” At 2014’s Summer Seminar. According to the New York Times, “Another prospective presidential candidate who has been popping up at Koch events in recent years is Mr. Rubio. He delivered the closing speech at last year’s summer seminar — a high-profile and carefully chosen speaking slot — and has been a frequent speaker at American for Prosperity summit meetings.” [New York Times, 1/20/15]

Huffington Post: Marco Rubio “Played Coy When Asked If He Plans To Meet With The Koch Brothers” At Their Retreat But “Noted That Many Of The People Expected To Attend” Had Been Supporters Of His 2010 Run For Senate. On Wednesday, [Marco] Rubio played coy when asked if he plans to meet with the Koch brothers while at the retreat. But he noted that many of the people expected to attend had been supporters of his upstart run for Senate in 2010. ‘Any time I have a chance to speak to people about my agenda to move forward,’ said Rubio, ‘I’m going to take that opportunity.’” [Huffington Post, 1/21/15]

Hill: “Many Republicans Point” To Marco Rubio’s Appearance At Freedom Partners’ Winter Meeting “As The Moment When He Cemented His Standing As A Leading National Security Voice Among The 2016 GOP Field.” According to The Hill, “Many Republicans also point to Rubio’s January appearance at the California winter meeting of Freedom Partners, the conservative, free-market group aligned with Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch, as the moment when he cemented his standing as a leading national security voice among the 2016 GOP field.” [The Hill, 5/14/15]

Americans For Prosperity

Sen. Marco Rubio Spoke At A Lunch Hosted By AFP, Where He “Voiced Strong Opposition To ‘Net Neutrality’ Laws.” According to The Washington Post’s Post Politics blog, “Later in the day, [Sen. Marco] Rubio spoke at lunch hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. There, he voiced strong opposition to ‘net neutrality’ laws, which Republican politicians generally oppose.” [Post Politics via, 5/1/15]

Advocating For The Koch Agenda

Export-Import Bank

Freedom Partners Praised Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Marco Rubio For Their Opposition To Reauthorizing The Export-Import Bank. According to the Washington Times, “Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit group with ties to the billionaire philanthropists Charles and David Koch, applauded four potential GOP presidential contenders on Tuesday for supporting the end of the Export-Import Bank. ‘Former Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Marco Rubio’s opposition to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is a clear sign that opposition to the bank extends from the grassroots all the way to some of the most prominent figures in national politics,’ Freedom Partners President Marc Short said in a statement.” [Washington Times, 3/3/15]

Marco Rubio Was Scheduled To Join AFP CEO Luke Hilgemann And Vice President Brent Gardner For A Press Call On Ex-Im Bank. According to The Washington Times, “They made their point clear in a open letter: 56 free-market organizations — from Americans for Prosperity to Citizens Against Government Waste — have spoken out against reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. ‘By paying foreign companies to buy American exports, the Export-Import Bank tilts the playing field away from mid-sized and small businesses in favor of large, politically connected corporations,’ the coalition says, noting that the Ex-Im does not use ‘fair-value accounting’ which could ultimately cost tax payers $2 billion. […] Sen. Marco Rubio agrees with them, and will join Americans for Prosperity CEO Luke Hilgemann and vice president Brent Gardner for a press call on Thursday, followed by a forum in May. It’s fantastically complicated, however. The Ex-Im’s annual conference gets underway Thursday as well, while its charter expires June 30. Fans and foes alike are chiming in about its future.” [Washington Times, 4/22/15]

Headline: “Marco Rubio: I Would Love To Win Support From The Koch Brothers In 2016.” [Washington Times, 4/23/15]

Sen. Marco Rubio Participated In A Conference Call Hosted By AFP In Which They “Made The Case Against Reauthorizing The Export-Import Bank.” According to The Washington Times, “In a conference call hosted by the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity, Mr. Rubio was asked about a report in USA Today in which Charles Koch said that he and his brother David, who run the sprawling Koch industries, are open to supporting Mr. Rubio in the presidential race. […]The comments came toward the end of a conference call in which Mr. Rubio and leaders of AFP made the case against reauthorizing the Export-Import bank.” [Washington Times, 4/23/15]

Sen. Marco Rubio Spoke To AFP-NH “About The Export-Import Bank, Which The Koch Groups Fiercely Oppose.” According to CNN, “Later in the day, [Marco]Rubio spoke to the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity about the Export-Import bank, which the Koch groups fiercely oppose. The bank, which uses federal money to incentivize U.S. companies to manufacture products in the U.S., is up for a re-authorization vote before Congress at the end of the month.” [CNN, 6/25/15]

AFP: Senator Marco Rubio Made “The Case For Ending The Export-Import Bank” And Credited AFP For “The Emergence Of The Issue.” According to an AFP web post, “Senator Marco Rubio addressed hundreds of Americans for Prosperity volunteers in Manchester last week, making the case for ending the Export-Import Bank and attributing the emergence of the issue to the group’s year-long efforts.” [, 6/29/15]

  • Sen. Rubio On Ex-Im Bank Becoming A National Issue: “I Think That’s Really What’s Driven It Is The Fact That Groups Like AFP And Others Have Made It A Priority To Inform Americans About It.” According to a web post from AFP, “With the group’s encouragement, numerous high-profile figures voiced their opposition to the bank including: Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Scott Walker, Governor Rick Perry, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, and many others. Senator Rubio gave credit to AFP, saying: ‘Only in the last couple years as outside groups have paid attention — not just to its existence but to how it’s actually working– has it risen to a level of consciousness in the political realm. So I think that’s really what’s driven it is the fact that groups like AFP and others have made it a priority to inform Americans about it.’” [, 6/30/15]

Climate Change

Sen. Marco Rubio “Did Not Disagree With The Science Of Climate Change” But Insisted That The New Rules Would “Make The Cost Of Electricity High For Millions Of Americans.” According to The Hill, “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) did not disagree with the science of climate change, but focused on how the new rules would hurt the economy. ‘It will make the cost of electricity high for millions of Americans,’ he said, adding that while a billionaire wouldn’t mind the increase in energy costs, a single mother would.” [The Hill, 8/3/15]

Rubio Questioned The Effectiveness Of President Obama’s Rules, Adding That Major Developing Countries Like China And India Will Still Emit Large Amounts Of Greenhouse Gases. According to The Hill, “Rubio also questioned the effectiveness of the rules, saying that major developing countries like China and India will still emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases. ‘The bottom line is that American energy will allow millions of people to improve their standard of living, just as it has eradicated poverty for millions of people around the world,’ he said.” [The Hill, 8/3/15]

Support From Koch Financed Groups

LIBRE Initiative

Garza: Marco Rubio Is “A Top-Tier Candidate, Who I Think Brings Innovative Ideas. I’ve Been Impressed By Him, And Obviously A Lot That He Has Expressed, His Narrative Is One That Is Common To Us.” According to Latin Post, “Speaking about U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Garza said, ‘I think it’s exciting for the Latino community to have one of their own, who is a top-tier candidate, who I think brings innovative ideas. I’ve been impressed by him, and obviously a lot that he has expressed, his narrative is one that is common to us, that we relate to: picked himself up from the bootstraps, his dad was a bartender and his mother was working in a hotel as a maid. I think we can all relate to that.’ ‘The fact that he shares our American experience and our struggles as folks who had to come up from the bottom and up the economic ladder, I think he has a unique perspective on things; he has a shared language and a shared culture. I think that position is very well moving forward.’” [Latin Post, 4/28/15]

Garza: The LIBRE Initiative “Is Working To Expand School Choice Across The Nation.” According to an op-ed by LIBRE Initiative executive director Daniel Garza for The Hill, “Students across the country deserve the benefits of school choice. My organization is working to expand school choice across the nation.  It’s our hope that Clinton will join the ranks of the presidential candidates who support school choice, such as Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Our next president must be someone who understands the importance of promoting school choice opportunities in all 50 states.” [Daniel Garza – The Hill, 6/9/15]

Garza: “It’s Our HopeThat Clinton Will Join The Ranks Of The Presidential Candidates Who Support School Choice,” Like Govs. Scott Walker And  Jeb Bush, And Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, And Ted Cruz. According to an op-ed by LIBRE Initiative executive director Daniel Garza for The Hill, “Students across the country deserve the benefits of school choice. My organization is working to expand school choice across the nation.  It’s our hope that Clinton will join the ranks of the presidential candidates who support school choice, such as Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Our next president must be someone who understands the importance of promoting school choice opportunities in all 50 states.” [Daniel Garza – The Hill,6/9/15]

Garza: Marco Rubio “Was Going To To Introduce Legislation For The Dreamers Before He Got Short Circuited By Barack Obama’s Executive Action.” According to an interview of LIBRE Initiative executive director Daniel Garza on Press Play with Madeleine Brand, “I think Jeb has a great narrative on that one, he’s got a good track record as well. He has stood strong in that position. I think Marco Rubio has shown leadership, after all he was the one who was gong to introduce legislation for the DREAMers before he got short circuited by Barack Obama’s executive action. And he’s the one who actually led the effort on the Senate side for reform. So he’s shown leadership on the issue, and I think that’s very strong. I think Also Rand Paul has been very comfortable in minority communities, outreaching. And Chris Christie, who got 51% of the Latino vote, predominantly Puerto Rican, that’s a tough nut to crack in the Latino community.” [Press Play with Madeleine Brand – KCRW, 6/23/15]

Concerned Veterans For America

CVA Supported Legislation Filed By Sen. Marco Rubio In The Senate And Rep. Jeff Miller In The House To Make It Easier For The Secretary Of Veterans Affairs To Fire Workers. According to, “Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has filed legislation to make it easier for Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald to fire workers and lengthen new workers’ probationary period from a year to 18 months. Rubio filed the bill on April 23, the same date that House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, another Florida Republican, filed identical legislation on the House side. […]The new bills do have the backing of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Concerned Veterans for America.” [, 4/28/15]

Hegseth Praised Marco Rubio’s “Efforts Towards Working To Improve The Department Of Veterans Affairs.” According to the Daily Signal, “Pete Hegseth, the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, introduced [Sen. Marco] Rubio and praised his efforts towards working to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs.” [Daily Signal,6/26/15]

Generation Opportunity

Generation Opportunity: “Many Young Americans Can Sympathize With Rubio” On The Issue Of Student Loans. According to a Generation Opportunity web post, “A New York Times article last week attacked Senator Marco Rubio for having student loan debt – among other things, like speeding tickets. With regard to student loans, however, many young Americans can sympathize with Rubio.” [, 6/15/15]


Individuals Associated With The Koch Network Have Donated To Rubio

“Individuals Affiliated With” Koch Industries Collectively Were Sen. Marco Rubio’s 10th Largest Donor Since He Won His Senate Seat In 2010, Donating $37,200 Total. According to Yahoo, “That probably explains why Rubio’s donor list to date includes many more corporate contributors than either Cruz’s or Paul’s. Here’s a list ofRubio’s top 10 donors since he first ran for the Senate in 2010, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics. Keep in mind that these are mostly contributions from individuals affiliated with each group, rather than single-sum donations from the group itself: […] [10.] Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by conservative activist brothers Charles and David Koch: $37,200. (Koch has donated $17,000 to Sen. Paul since 2010.)” [Yahoo, 4/13/15]

Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2010 U.S. Senate Campaign Manager Is Now An Official With The Libre Initiative. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Jose Mallea, who managed Marco Rubio’s blockbuster 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, has a new title: Beer maker. […] Mallea worked on Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential bid and is an official with the Libre Initiative.” [Tampa Bay Times, 8/28/14]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation