All the way back in March, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was kicked out of his Tampa Bay office because, according to the building’s owners, the number of converging protesters presented a security risk to the other tenants. Four months later, the Senator has still not found a new office in the Tampa area.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio’s staff is working on it and in negotiations with various landlords in one of the biggest cities in Florida. Coverage of Rubio’s old lease not being renewed keyed landlords in to the fact that protesters were likely to follow the senator to his new digs. The two-person staff in Tampa has improvised by meeting constituents in public spaces like coffee shops and libraries.
However, not having a set office space raises some troubling issues:
The arrangement raises questions about the logistics. Constituent services often involves working with documents that contain personal information. Where are those files being stored? Is there a security concern about staff toting them back and forth to meetings? If so, how is that being addressed? And where is staff working when they’re not with constituents?
When asked by the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio’s office did not answer these and other questions.
In March, Rubio was asked to vacate his Jacksonville office because protesters were disrupting a pediatric clinic next door. However, he was able to find office space in a nearby courthouse soon after.
While protesters have made it clear that Rubio’s Tampa staff have been open to meeting with constituents, Rubio most certainly is not. He’s repeatedly declined to hold town halls because people will “heckle and scream at me.”
(via Tampa Bay Times)