Tags: Marco Rubio | rubio | wife | traffic | citations

NYT's Big Scoop: Rubio Has 4 Minor Traffic Violations in 18 Years

Image: NYT's Big Scoop: Rubio Has 4 Minor Traffic Violations in 18 Years
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and his wife, Jeanette. (Joe Readle/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:01 PM

The New York Times is being ridiculed by pundits and the Twitter-verse alike for publishing a lengthy story Friday detailing how Sen. Marco Rubio was cited four times in 18 years for minor traffic violations, while his wife received 13, as a conservative site reveals the paper's information may have come from a liberal research firm.

"This NYT story may have been meant to be light-hearted, but that’s not really an excuse for it," National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru said. "Troubles behind the wheel? The man has gotten four traffic citations in 18 years, based on the Times' exhaustive reporting."

A detailed examination of the Rubios' past as revealed in the Miami-Dade and Duval County court records, dating back to 1997, shows the couple has a combined 17 citations, reports the Times. But, Rubio, who is a top hopeful for the 2016 GOP nomination, only had four citations during those 18 years.

On Friday, just after the Times' "scoop" came out, The Washington Free Beacon reported the information for it was obtained by the liberal firm American Bridge, and not the reporters, Alan Rappeport and Steve Eder, whose bylines were on the article, or an additional researcher, Kitty Bennett.

Instead, the Miami-Dade County court records were pulled in person by American Bridge representatives on May 26, photos of the docket entries on the county's website and reported by The Free Beacon show.

The Times reporters did not reply to The Free Beacon for comment on the information from the county's dockets about Rubio or his wife, Jeanette Dousdebes.

"Senator Rubio's license has always been in good standing," his attorney, Alex Hanna, said in a statement provided by the Rubio campaign to the Times. "This matter was resolved by the court system and at no point was the license suspended by the D.M.V."

Twitter revved up quickly to ridicule the story as well, and a new hashtag, #RubioCrimeSpree, is gaining traction.

A tweet from Instapundit.com asked:


Jeff Dunetz tweeted:


From Emily Zanotti, who posted several examples of Rubio's "crimes":


David Jack Smith wrote:


And a tweet identified as coming from Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley observed:


The Times report notes that the Rubios received tickets for violations that include speeding, driving through red lights, and careless driving. Rubio in 1997 was charged with careless driving by a Florida Highway Patrol officer and took voluntary driving classes.

He returned to traffic school in 2009 after he was pulled over for speeding in Duval County, and in 2011 was alerted that his license was facing suspension when a traffic camera caught him running a red light. Hanna paid a $16 fee to delay the suspension, and that case was dismissed.

His last violation, in 2012, was a ticket for failing to obey a stop sign that was dismissed.

Dousdebes faced suspension three times for speeding and careless operations charges, and sat in traffic school several times. She was charged with lacking insurance documentations once.

After Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010, the couple started handling their tickets differently, hiring Hanna, a Miami lawyer to handle traffic violations. Hanna has helped get the senator's last two citations dismissed and seven of his wife's last eight cleared.

His wife, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, was also involved in a fender bender this year after sideswiping a Porsche while driving Rubio's Ford F-150 truck to a donor event in Miami Beach. The Miami Herald reports the police did not make a report, calling the incident "minor."

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The New York Times published a lengthy story Friday detailing how Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, have a long court docket in their home state of Florida — a history of minor traffic tickets and hours spent in traffic school.
rubio, wife, traffic, citations
709
2015-01-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:01 PM
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