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St. Petersburg Times: Rubio's dubious expenses demonstrate attitude of entitlement

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-26-10 12:52 PM
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St. Petersburg Times: Rubio's dubious expenses demonstrate attitude of entitlement
Today's editorial, rocketing around Florida and the nation:

St. Petersburg Times

February 26, 2010

Why should a powerful state legislator use political contributions to shop at the neighborhood wine shop, visit a tony Miami barbershop and repair the family minivan? That is the question former House Speaker Marco Rubio should be answering rather than whining about how his profligate spending became public. The Republican U.S. Senate candidate's defense of his use of a political party credit card for private expenses reflects a sense of entitlement that is all too pervasive among elected officials in Tallahassee.

It is becoming increasingly clear why the Republican Party of Florida is still resisting calls even from within its own ranks to release statements for the American Express credit cards it distributed to its top leaders until last year. While state law requires the statements to be part of a political party's quarterly finance reports, an indefensible 2005 ruling by state elections officials enables the parties to shield them.

Rubio's statements between 2005 and 2008, first reported by the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald, are the latest documents to reflect a culture in which top Republicans mixed personal and political spending with little regard for whether the expense was truly election related, as required by tax law.

Records show Rubio directly paid American Express about $13,900 over the 25 months he held a card out of more than $100,000 in expenses. ....//... includes $2,976 to rent a car in Miami for five weeks and $3,000 to a Tallahassee property management group.
Other dubious expenses paid by the party: $765 to Apple's online store for "computer supplies," $68.33 to a wine store just a mile from Rubio's home, and $412 to a Miami music equipment store. The party also paid $1,000 to a Miami garage, // .....

Rubio did not explain why he used a party credit card for personal expenses when his 2008 financial disclosure shows he earned $414,000. He instead complained that the credit card statements became public. But how they became public is not the issue. The real issue is that all statements for credit cards handed out by the state Republican Party should have been public all along. Perhaps then Rubio would have acted more responsibly.

Money contributed to the state Republican Party for the purpose of influencing elections bolstered the personal lifestyle of an elected official holding one of Florida's most powerful offices. That is not the purpose of political contributions. New Republican Party chairman John Thrasher, a state senator from St. Augustine, needs to release all of the credit card statements if the party is to move forward. The Internal Revenue Service also should be knocking on the party's door to see the books.

And another curious detail about what Rubio was doing with his GOP credit card is buried in this article:

Rubio wrote Thrasher that he had a party American Express card from February 2005 until November 2008, during which time he was speaker designate and then speaker of the Florida House.

The leaked records, however, cover only the last 25 months of that time, Rubio's tenure as speaker, during which the party paid $109,618.45 and Rubio paid $16,052.50, he wrote.

What happened during the first 20 months that Rubio possessed this GOP American Express card?

Does anyone really think that the new Florida GOP Chairman John "I have a problem with ethics" Thrasher is going to forge ahead with opening the books on possible criminal activity by the party of Jeb Bush? Especially when it involves Jeb's young apprentice running for that US Senate seat against Jeb's despised enemy?

Send in the IRS.

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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-26-10 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. It gives me great pleasure to surmise this will be a huge problem
for Rubio down the road....
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-26-10 01:25 PM
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2. This is good too.

Daniel Ruth
Term limits put clueless newbies in charge in Tallahassee

By Daniel Ruth, Times Correspondent
In Print: Friday, February 26, 2010

This is the best Republicans can do? Really?

Speaker-to-be Chris Dorworth's finances are such a mess he makes Ralph Kramden look like Bill Gates. And yet Dorworth's fellow House Republicans recently elected him to be the leader of the chamber come 2014, assuming he isn't living in a box down by the Wakulla River by then.

Or put another way, Republicans in the House have opted to elevate an individual to one of the three most powerful political posts in the state who is facing foreclosure of his $1.2 million home, a $2.7 million legal judgment against him and even had his driver's license temporarily suspended and failed to pay highway tolls.

This is the party of financial restraint, fiduciary responsibility, balanced budgets?

And now Chris Dorworth, R-Iceland, is going to preside over a chamber that helps craft a nearly $67 billion budget? Isn't this a bit like putting Dick Cheney in charge of the American Civil Liberties Union?

Of allllllll the Republicans serving in the House, this was their only choice, the only alternative, the absolute head and shoulders cream of the crop, above all other contenders they could pick?

If nothing else proves the old adage that Florida is a state with California issues and a Mississippi legislature, this is it.

He speaks of formers speakers, such as 11 year old Marco Rubio.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-26-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Rubio's One Hundred Dollar Haircut ---When Clinton and Edwards
got these "pricey" haircuts, my gosh, it was 24/7 Cable
News creating "breathless" commentators. Oh, I forgot
they were Democrats. The haircuts occured long before
we knew of their more serious personal problems.

If it is a Democrats it is real news--I guess.
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daa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-26-10 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is the entire republican philosophy nt
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-27-10 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. Marco Rubio: 'Double-billing of flights was in error'
It's starting to look like a torrent.

Marco Rubio: Double-billing of flights was in error

February 26, 2010

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio said Friday he mistakenly double-billed the Republican Party of Florida and state taxpayers for eight plane tickets when he was speaker of the Florida House.

Rubio, who served as speaker in 2007 and 2008, said he would personally repay the party about $3,000 to cover the flights.

``Billing the party was a mistake which needs to be fixed,' Rubio said in a written statement sent to the The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times. ``So, out of an abundance of caution, I am personally reimbursing the party for the cost of all eight flights.'


``Of the hundreds of flights taken by Marco, we could find only eight flights between 2006-2008 which were paid for the state,' said the campaign statement. ``Therefore, Marco's policy of having the party pay for his travel may have saved taxpayers as much as $32,000 in travel costs.'


Typical diversionary tactics by Mr. Rubio.

He doesn't want us to notice the multiple violations of the IRS rules that the the Party credit card may not be used for personal expenses.

Wonder how cash-strapped, hard-working Floridians who donate to the Florida Republican Party feel about their donations padding the lifestyle of Marco Rubio?

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