During surprise visit, Marco Rubio decries Global Ministries Foundation properties

Rubio Senate

Sen. Marco Rubio ended the week with a trip to Riviera Beach, where he again called attention to the tenement conditions in a Global Ministries Foundation property.

Rubio, who has made multiple visits to Jacksonville over the last year calling attention to longstanding issues at Eureka Garden, made a similar visit to Stonybrook Apartments, a Section 8 complex acquired by GMF earlier this decade, yet not significantly improved.

From crack pipes in the courtyard to malfunctioning air conditioning units, the scene was all too familiar to Sen. Rubio.

“We have been to Global Ministries buildings at Eureka Garden in Jacksonville — same conditions. Sen. [Bill] Nelson and I did a surprise visit to a facility in Orlando — same conditions. This building here is actually, believe or not, a little bit worse than the ones we’ve seen in other places. It hasn’t received as much attention other than from local officials. So I have been on this issue now for a number of months,” Rubio said Friday, “and one of the things I asked for is an investigation of Global Ministries, the slumlords who run these facilities.”

The visit in Riviera Beach was a surprise, said Rubio, “because if they knew we were coming here today, they would do what they did in Jacksonville. If they knew we were coming they’d put up a bunch of banners, they’d have a hundred people come out pretending to be a work crew, they’ll do cosmetic fixes.”

Rubio believes there is cause for a criminal investigation of GMF: “we need to find out where that [HUD] money went because they didn’t use it to fix up this building.”

Rubio has been criticized for developing an election-year interest in remedying GMF blight; however, that’s not consistent with his actions on this front.

He wouldn’t talk politics when asked to by the Palm Beach Post Friday.

And that deliberate de-politicization of GMF visits is consistent with his actions in Jacksonville, where he showed no interest in talking about the presidential race, and in fact was incensed at NBC for doing a segment on his feelings on Donald Trump instead of the federally subsidized squalor.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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