Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Rubio in Tampa tomorrow in aftermath of Mass. vote
Posted Jan 19, 2010 by William March
Updated Jan 19, 2010 at 07:37 PM
Marco Rubio will campaign in Tampa Wednesday, in the aftermath of a Massachusetts Senate election that will be either a major win or a significant loss for Republicans nationwide.
Rubio contends that a GOP win there will be positive sign not just for Republicans overall, but for his own primary campaign against Gov. Charlie Crist for the GOP Senate nomination.
In a news release Tuesday, Rubio hinted at a comparison between his own campaign and that of Scott Brown, the Massachusetts GOP candidate who has surprised the political world by surging into competition with Democrat Martha Coakley in one of the nation’s most Democratic-oriented states.
Rubio called Brown, “an anti-stimulus, anti-ObamaCare, anti-tax Republican who has promised to ... stand up to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda”—exactly what Rubio says about himself. He called Coakley “a once-heavily-favored, former state attorney general who supported the failed Obama stimulus and would be a solid vote for other Obama agenda items like cap-and-trade”—just what he says about Crist.
He said a Brown win “should be a major cause for concern in Charlie Crist’s world.”
Rubio will speak Wednesday morning at a ribbon-cutting for Everest University, a for-profit career education institution that offers extensive online degree programs, and will attend a fundraiser in Plant City Wednesday night.
The corporate owners of the school, formerly known as Florida Metropolitan University, have a history of contributing to conservative Republican candidates and causes. But the school has also been investigated in the past over allegations that it misled paying students as to whether the credits they earn could transfer to other universities, and has paid settlements to state authorities in Florida and California.
The Plant City fundraising event has a long list of sponsors, including several prominent East Hillsborough conservative political activists—Dan Raulerson, Sam Rashid, Mike Sparkman, Rick Lott, Frances Hardee, Ken Buchman and numerous others.