Marco Rubio Steals Away One Of Jeb Bush’s Big Donors

Marco Rubio, CPAC 2015
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

It might be true that Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are close amigos, but could a contentious Republican presidential primary race create a schism between the long-time political allies?

According to Politico, it appears Rubio has undermined Bush by stealing away one of his key donors in the Florida panhandle.

Florida shipbuilder Brian D’Isernia was supposed help out with a $100,000-per-person fundraiser for Jeb Bush, but a scheduling conflict arose, and the D’Isernia couldn’t attend the event.

That’s when D’Isernia was approached by a Rubio staffer or “go-between” that obviously pushed for the ship magnate to support his or her boss.

D’Isernia hosted a fundraiser for Rubio at his home on Monday, leaving some to believe that Jeb has left in the lurch.

But the hope that D’Isneria will help out Jeb is still a possibility, as the money he donated and help raise for Rubio was for he Senate re-election committee and leadership PAC.

This maybe true, but everyone knows that any and all monies raised and deposited in any particular federal account can be transferred into another new federal account. So basically, when Rubio announces his presidential candidacy on April 13, D’Isernia would have indirectly donated to Rubio’s presidential campaign.

D’Isernia could still donate to Bush, or any other presidential candidate, if he chooses to do so.

But wait, there is a twist to D’Isernia’s support of Rubio.

According to the Politico, D’Isernia ” is competing for a multi-billion dollar contract from the Coast Guard, an agency Rubio helps to oversee as the chairman of a key Senate subcommittee.”

Eastern Shipbuilding, one of D’Isernia’s major holdings, is one of three companies the Coast Guard selected in February 2014 to design prototypes for the Offshore Patrol Cutter. The Coast Guard plans to select a winning design for what will be a fleet of at least 25 vessels — each estimated to cost at least $484 million.

Rubio, who plans to announce his presidential bid next week, has oversight of the Coast Guard as chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction over the agency’s budget.

“This is a contract worth as much as $10 billion over the long haul, and the last thing D’Isernia wants is to have a senator angry with him,” said a source with direct knowledge of the fundraising efforts.

In the brutal competition for Florida’s GOP donors, the 71-year-old D’Isernia is a highly sought-after target.