Let's start with the premise that the fact that Florida Senator Marco Rubio got a handful of traffic tickets over nearly 20 years is not a big deal. And the fact that his wife got quite a few more, well, who cares?
Still, that is one of the big stories in today's New York Times.
Perhaps more interesting, however, is the media squabble that is unfolding with the Washington Free Beacon reporting that the New York Times got its traffic ticket story from Democratic research firm American Bridge.
The Beacon reports: Records show that each of the citations mentioned by the New York Times were pulled in person by American Bridge operatives on May 26, 2015. . . .Neither of the reporters, Alan Rappeport and Steve Eder, appeared on the docket records for any of the traffic citations for Rubio and his wife. An additional researcher credited in the New York Times, Kitty Bennett, also does not appear on any of the court records.
Note the word "operatives." Makes it all sound very shady.
Frankly, it is more surprising that the Times needed two reporters and a researcher to work on a simple traffic ticket story.
Here's a snippet from the Times story:
According to a search of the Miami-Dade and Duval County court dockets, the Rubios have been cited for numerous infractions over the years for incidents that included speeding, driving through red lights and careless driving. A review of records dating back to 1997 shows that the couple had a combined 17 citations: Mr. Rubio with four and his wife with 13. On four separate occasions they agreed to attend remedial driving school after a violation.
Now there is nothing at all unusual about reporters being fed information from outside groups. Happens every day. What the Beacon is doing is trying to make the Times appear to be working with Democrats. Of course this ignores the fact that when Republican leaning groups give the Times similar information against a Democrat it would also be published.
What really seems odd is that the traffic ticket story seems silly and may actually help Rubio's presidential campaign. This just helps him with his "I'm just one of you" image that he is cultivating.