In the anxious weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Florida House hurriedly assembled an elite group of lawmakers to develop plans to keep the state safe. It was little surprise that Marco Rubio, a promising and charismatic young lawmaker from Miami, secured a coveted position on the committee. Rubio did not give the job the attention that legislative leaders expected. He skipped nearly half of the meetings over the first five months of the panel’s existence, more than any of his colleagues, according to Florida legislature records. He missed hours of expert testimony and was absent for more than 20 votes — prompting the state House speaker who had given him the assignment to express concern, the committee’s chairman said.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.