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Reply #2: Marco Rubio: 'No reason to release my earlier credit card statements.' [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 10:14 PM
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2. Marco Rubio: 'No reason to release my earlier credit card statements.'
What are you hiding, Rubio?



Rubio: No reason to release my earlier credit card statements

September 17, 2010


Adam Smith reports:



He did not talk to reporters after the Univisin debate in Miami Friday, but GOP Senate hopeful Marco Rubio did take some questions at the West Miami opening of a Republican Party of Florida office. And the focus of the questions was not on the debate. What, we wanted to know, did Rubio think of the audit released earlier in the day of the party's books?

"The audit confirms what we've been saying all along, and that is that we acted appropriately," Rubio said. "In those instances where there were charges on Republican Party credit cards that were not politically related, I paid for them out of my own pocket -- at the time, not after the fact."

Would Rubio be willing to have the party release his American Express credit card reports from before Gov. Charlie Crist, running against Rubio as an independent, began leading the RPOF in 2007?

"Its a party decision," Rubio said. "No one ever questioned spending at the party before Jim Greer took over. There were tight fiscal constraints in the party before that time. There was never a spending problem until Charlie Crist put Jim Greer in charge of the RPOF."

Then Rubio turned the focus on the economy.
"The most important announcement today has nothing to do with this audit," he said. "The most important announcement today is that unemployment in Florida is at 11.7 percent. That a million Floridians are out of work."




We think the first 2 years Rubio held a party credit card are significant. Rubio doesn't, apparently. No siree, nothing to see about his purchases in 2005 and 2006, when he was Speaker-Designate.


It's actually quite laughable that after all of the hoopla about the RPOF "audit" released today by avowed Crist enemy John Thrasher, it actually comes up short of finding any actual evidence of inappropriate charges by Crist. Now that Thrasher has released all of these lies and innuendo, he hopes the damage has been done. This has really been a transparent attempt to use this piecemeal audit as a weapon against Crist.



Thrasher: No Crist smoking gun in audit

Central Florida Political Pulse blog
Posted by Aaron Deslatte

September 16, 2010


TALLAHASSEE The long-awaited forensic audit of the Republican Party of Floridas books has found that hundreds of thousands in spending on travel, meals, and other luxurious living racked up by indicted former chairman Jim Greer was inappropriate. The GOP could even opt to go to court to get its money back.

But the audit ordered last spring after Greers secret fundraising contract and lavish spending were revealed did not connect any of those dollars to Gov. Charlie Crist, even though the current chairman said Wednesday the governor had to know this was going on. ((( :eyes:)))

It seems to me to affirm the concerns we have been talking about for over a year, said RPOF Chairman John Thrasher, a state senator. ((( :eyes:)))

Thrasher said that the party will release the audit of the nearly $7 million in credit-card expenses run up during Greers three-year regime on Friday. Besides questionable spending by Greer and his hand-picked former director Delmar Johnson, the report also identified questionable expenses by former House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, including a trip he took with his family to Europe. ((( :think:)))

But the 43-page audit by the Atlanta firm of Alston & Bird will give a pass to other lawmakers who held party plastic, Thrasher said, and none of the expenses can be directly tied to Crist who plucked Greer from obscurity to make him state chairman in 2007.

Thrasher said the report categorizes expenses by Greer and Johnson that auditors found werent related to party business, other expenses that were probably not related, Greers air travel, and a slice of donor money funneled through a shell company he and Johnson created called Victory Strategies. Greer is facing felony charges of theft and money laundering related to Victory Strategies.

Thrasher said Wednesday that neither appears to have the financial means to pay the party back. In July, Greer tried to reimburse the party for some expenses, but his check for $7,339.21 bounced.

Although none of the spending can be directly tied to Crist, Thrasher said it was clear that Greer and the governor were traveling together ((( :eyes:))) to New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and even to the Fisher Island home of Crists wife on the party dime.

Theres certainly enough there that in my view, the people most interested in this would be the Internal Revenue Service for unjust enrichment, Thrasher said ((( :eyes:)))

The decision to release the report completed weeks ago was made after a hurried conference call Wednesday with the partys executive committee, and came as numerous critics as well as the partys U.S. Senate candidate, Marco Rubio called for its release.

Marco Rubio, appearing Wednesday at Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, said the party should immediately make the full audit public.

Yes, now, he said, after delivering his stump speech to about 200 supporters. Thats why the audit was done. Its to clear the air, especially for the future of the party.

Rubio was among GOP leaders caught up early this year in the partys American Express card controversy. As incoming Florida House speaker, Rubio used the card for thousands of dollars of personal expenses. Both Rubio and the party say though he used the party Amex, he paid the bills.

But Thrasher said most party leaders received a clean financial bill of health. ((( :wow:)))

That brought a quick response from attorneys for Greer and Johnson, who scoffed at the notion that only Crist and their clients men no longer tied to the party were implicated in any wrongdoing. Greers attorney, Damon Chase, also pointed out that early this year Thrasher and other GOP leaders signed documents saying spending under Greer was appropriate.

Were they lying then when they said everything was proper Chase asked, or are they lying now when they say its not?

Crist campaign spokesman Danny Kanner also (responded) by calling on the party to release all of Rubios credit-card records not just the expenses he incurred while Greer was chairman of the party.

Now that Republican party bosses have ended their partisan charade, they must immediately release all of Marco Rubios credit card records dating back to when he was Speaker-(Designate) to determine the extent to which he charged the party for personal expenses like family reunions and real estate payments, Kanner said.




That's what we all want to know as well, Mr. Kanner.



From the audit:


.....

We note, however, that the increased level of spending during Greers tenure was
not inconspicuous to the leadership of the RPOF. For instance, much of the increased
spending related to fundraising events, meals, travel, and entertainment that involved
Republican elected officials and other members of the State Executive Board and
Executive Committee.

.....

Moreover, it is possible that Greer fell out of favor because of his relationship with Governor Crist and the underlying political currents at the time.





This is a classic political witch hunt aimed at Governor Crist, engineered by John Thrasher, Jeb Bush's hit man.






Just for the record:

Charlie Crist bashed by RPOF audit. Dean Cannon, Jeff Kottkamp get a pass

September 17, 2010


.....

The Republican Party of Florida issued what it said was an independent audit of its books -- and it just so happens that the "key findings" of the audit in an RPOF press release conveniently take its former leader and current Enemy No. 1, Gov. Charlie Crist, to task for being a spendthrift.

Also, RPOF decided to limit the audit to the 2007-2009 period, when Crist led the party. Nothing before or after.

That means an examination of the likely large charges by former House Speaker and current Crist opponent Marco Rubio is absent. So all that money incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon dropped at steak houses near his house? And the secret severance agreement with Jim Greer he and other leaders signed saying Greer's expenses were OK? Not much. Future House Speaker Chris Dorworth's appearance in Vegas with Greer? Barely a mention. And indicted former House Speaker Ray Samson's trip to jolly ole London? It seems absent as well (from the press release but not the audit). And speaking of Disney, what about Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's trips to the Magic Kingdom and his whitewater (white-washing?) rafting? It's not in the audit at all.

.....



Sen. Fasano: Fla GOP routinely picked up others' spouse expenses, September 17, 2010


Former Rubio budget chief Ray Sansom finds RPOF-paid electronics in 'storage'

September 17, 2010


Ray Sansom, the indicted former speaker of the Florida House whose American Express charges set off the controversy at the Republican Party of Florida, found in "storage" two laptops, DVD players, GPS units, computer accessories and a camera, according to the audit released today.

They were just some of the $10,486 Sansom spent at Best Buy using the party card. His lawyer said that he was asked to use the party card "in order to ensure that such items were not state owned and/or being used for political purposes."

Of the "storage" finds, "He offered to return them to the RPOF," the report states, "but given their age and unknown condition, the RPOF has agreed not to take the items back." (Delmar Johnson gave back a GPS unit and camera but in both cases he returned different, cheaper units than he purchased.)

The audit leaves many questions unanswered, such as when Sansom discovered the items and when he offered to give them back. Also auditors do not say why they flagged scores of expenses "primarily not related to RPOF business."

That includes a $2,112 for an Apple computer purchased in New York City, $320 in Cole Haan luggage, and thousands at Best Buy.

In all, Sansom spent $1,389 on books, newspapers and magazines, including Sports Illustrated and People.

"For all of Sansom's charges at Books-A-Million, Barnes & Nobles, Bookland and Borders, he indicated through his counsel that they were for suggested reading for House members, staff and others. Sansom, however, did not provide us with any further information about the charges."

The report also recounts how Sansom took his family with him to London as part of a Republican trip and adds that he brought along Melanie Phister, then an RPOF staffer who helped Sansom with House campaigns.

.....



Let's not forget that Ray Sansom was Marco Rubio's hand-picked former budget chief.



How about it, Rubio? Your friends won't be able to hide your 2005-2006 RPOF credit card purchases when you were Speaker-Designate for much longer.





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