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Of Senators And Crocodiles: The Florida Senatorial Race

In what appears to be an attempt to balance his anti-research stance, Marco Rubio put his name on a bill which sounds good: Senate Resolution 36. So where's the money for it?
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On August 30th, the Florida primary for Senator will take place. Almost certainly, the Republican winner will be Patrick Murphy for the Democrats, and Marco Rubio for the Republicans.

Rubio looks good on TV, and gives an impression (false) of being a moderate. At first, the Republicans were excited about running him for President. But then they saw him in action.

Remember the GOP Presidential candidate debates, and how Rubio got flustered when Chris Christie calmly took him apart? Rubio kept mumbling the same robotically-memorized slogans, even as Christie said, "See? There it is again!"

If you missed that revealing encounter, check out the video.

It is a five-minute video, skip ahead to the fourth minute.

Rubio is also well-known for flip-flopping on his immigration stance. He first proposed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and then, when the ultra-conservatives opposed it, he abandoned the path to citizenship, and cheerfully adopted what amounts to a Big Wall approach.

He was against Trump (at first) even making giggly comments about the size of his hands -- and then changed his mind and endorsed him.

For political purposes, he claimed to have fled Cuba to get away from Castro -- which was factually inaccurate, Castro not being in power back then.

He promised to be in the Presidential race exclusively, and would absolutely not run for Senate -- but then he got wiped out by Trump (not even winning his own state) which apparently changed his mind.

So I do not trust his word a whole lot.

There are also personal reasons why I could never support Marco Rubio.

For the past 22 years, my son Roman Reed has been paralyzed, resulting from a college football injury. We passed a law named after him, called the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, which developed possible therapies to fight paralysis. One therapy involves stem cells.

What does that have to do with Florida's senate race?

One candidate, the Democrat, Patrick Murphy, is a strong supporter of stem cell research. He supports "Full federal funding of embryonic stem cell research...

"It was American ingenuity that cured polio, and we have long produced the world's most advanced medical research. By failing to fully fund further research of this scientific breakthrough, we run the risk of falling behind other nations in the race to cure life-threatening illnesses."
("Issues", Nov 7, 2006)

And Marco Rubio? He would, according to his own statements, vote to prohibit embryonic stem cell research.

He has also voted against stem cell research.

Even worse, Marco Rubio appears to be a "personhood" supporter. "Personhood" is the bizarre belief that every union of sperm and egg is entitled to full legal protection.

If put into law, personhood would ban embryonic stem cell research, make abortion illegal at any stage -- and even some common forms of birth control.

In what appears to be an attempt to balance his anti-research stance, Rubio put his name on a bill which sounds good: Senate Resolution 36: "A resolution designating September 2011 as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month."

Only catch? The bill comes with no money. Zero, zip, nada. If you look up the bill, notice the small print on the right: "Cost Estimates." Click on that, and you will see: "As of 8/16/2016, a cost estimate for this measure has not been received."

In five years, not one nickel.

This to me is Marco Rubio: nice words, a big smile, and emptiness underneath.

Will it be easy to defeat Rubio?

No. Because he supports cutting taxes on the rich, he has no problem getting super PAC support, and is strongly recommended by the oil billionaire Koch brothers' network.

So what should we do about it?

If you agree that a new Democratic President deserves a Senate that will support her, rather than attempt to block every move she makes--consider donating a few bucks to Patrick Murphy, the Democratic rival to Marco Rubio.

Do it now, before the chores of daily life sweep you away.

Here is the address. Donate.

And remember that big smile of Rubio's, all those huge white chomping teeth.

They remind me of an old saying: "God made the crocodile ugly, so children would not want to play with it."

Rubio is a smiling crocodile.

Don C. Reed is the author of "STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond: How Ordinary People Can Fight Back Against the Crushing Burden of Chronic Disease", available now from

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