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Marco Rubio under scrutiny for racking up nearly $110 thousand on GOP credit card.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 02:33 PM
Original message
Marco Rubio under scrutiny for racking up nearly $110 thousand on GOP credit card.
Edited on Thu Feb-25-10 02:39 PM by seafan
Just like we all suspected.

Jeb's young apprentice is coming under increasing scrutiny.

And Jeb's newly hand-picked Florida Republican Party Chairman John Thrasher just couldn't block the tsunami curling over Rubio's back.

Florida GOP's slow-motion death spiral is quite spectacular.

Records show Marco Rubio spent thousands with GOP credit card

By Beth Reinhard and Scott Hiaasen, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
St. Petersburg Times

February 25, 2010

Marco Rubio (Getty Images)

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills, repairs to the family minivan and purchases from a wine store less than a mile from his West Miami home to the Republican Party of Florida while he was speaker of the Florida House, according to records obtained by the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald. ..... Those expenses include a $1,000 charge at Braman Honda in Miami for repairs to the family car in January 2008. Rubio said the minivan was damaged by parking attendants at a political function and that the party agreed to cover half of his insurance deductible. The party also paid $2,976 for him to rent a car in Miami for five weeks.


"I was as diligent as possible to ensure the party did not pay for items that were unrelated to party business," Rubio said in a written statement. "There was no formal process provided by the party regarding personal charges."
But party spokeswoman Katie Gordon said the card was not supposed to be used for personal expenses. "The RPOF American Express card is a corporate card and is meant to be used for business expenses," she said when asked about the party's policy.
IRS rules for political parties, which are tax-exempt, require that their donations go exclusively toward influencing elections.

Records show Rubio sent payments to American Express totaling $13,900 for his personal expenses during his tenure as House speaker. But those payments were not made monthly. He made no contributions to the bill during one six-month stretch in 2007, the records show. ..... Rubio's campaign could not find records to explain many of these expenses Wednesday night. But Rubio stressed that GOP staffers also may be responsible for some expenses, since they also had access to the credit card.


Rubio also booked six plane tickets for his wife using his GOP credit card. It was unclear how many, if any, of those trips his wife actually took; in some instances, she did not fly and Rubio was credited by the airline.
"My wife was the first lady of the Florida House of Representatives, and it is absolutely appropriate for her to accompany me to official events and party functions," Rubio said.


On Wednesday night, Rubio sent a letter to (FL GOP Chairman John) Thrasher accusing his GOP rival in the hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist, of leaking the credit card documents to the press.
"It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former chairman Jim Greer or someone working for him and were leaked to the media by the Crist campaign," Rubio's letter said. "These actions are an appalling act of political desperation."


No evidence, you see, but Rubio is just certain, you know, that it must have been Charlie, who leaked Rubios's records to the press. But, if all these thousands of dollars of charges are legitimate, why is Rubio so hopping mad? Remember, Rubio, if ya didn't do anything wrong, ya have nuttin' to worry about, eh?

We will see.

Rubio also billed the GOP for expenses in Tallahassee during the legislative sessions in 2007 and 2008. The bills include nearly $4,100 in restaurant tabs during the 2007 and 2008 sessions from a $409 bill at a Macaroni Grill to a $7.09 charge at a Chick-fil-A.
When Rubio became speaker, he spent about $400,000 in tax dollars to remodel offices and build a members-only dining room so lawmakers rushing to meetings or in the throes of negotiations would not have to leave the Capitol to eat.
The GOP also paid more than $7,000 for Rubio's flights between Tallahassee and Miami during the 2007 and 2008 sessions, the records show.

In his statement, Rubio said he "erred on the side of caution'' to save taxpayer dollars by charging these items to the party.
"This decision ultimately saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars and avoided the appearance of taxpayers subsidizing my political activity," Rubio said.



Jeb! Jeb! Save me!

That mean old Charlie Crist must've done this!

February 24, 2010

TALLAHASSEE - Senate candidate and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio released a torrid letter Wednesday accusing Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign of leaking Rubio's state Republican Party American Express statements showing nearly $110,000 in charges over 25 months.

Rubio also justifies the charges as legitimate travel to promote the Republican Party of Florida, help Republican candidates and participate in county party fundraisers around the state.

"It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former Chairman Jim Greer, or someone working for him, and were leaked to the media by the Crist Campaign," Rubio wrote to newly elected Chairman John Thrasher.


Reached at home, Thrasher, who replaced Greer last Saturday, said he had no idea who had access to the statements.

"It's unfortunate they were leaked. They're internal documents of the party," Thrasher said. "We're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Rubio pointed out only top party officials had access to the statements and noted Greer was picked by Crist to run the party. Crist, who says he never carried a party charge card, has previously said the statements should be released.

"These actions are an appalling act of political desperation. The idea that the former chairman of the RPOF, or those working for the Governor, would selectively leak internal RPOF documents is disturbing. But sadly it is not surprising because these are the very men who put the party in the mess it is in today," Rubio said. "The Florida GOP under Jeb Bush was never run with this sort of arrogance, mismanagement, lack of integrity and lack of leadership."


Uh, Marco? Your mentor is running the FL GOP again. Who's your daddy?

So what does Governor Crist have to say in response?

From a newly issued Crist campaign press statement:

It seems that when youre a member of the Florida House and still working as a lobbyist for special interests, every expense is political, even the trip to the local liquor store paid for by Republican donors, said Andrea Saul, communications director.

A clear pattern is emerging in Speaker Rubios unfortunate behavior. The lobbyist-politician whines and plays the victim while continuing to make every effort to hide the facts surrounding his personal financial gain while in office.

Fact: In four years, Speaker Rubio made $1.2 million dollars from his law/lobbying firm. When will he come clean about how he profited from his clients business before state government?

Fact: It has been 3 days and counting since Speaker Rubio refused to release records that would help explain his relationship with his handpicked budget chief, Ray Sansom.

Our next Senator must serve Florida as a strong and effective voice for six long years, Saul concluded. It would be devastating for Floridas next Senator to be facing unanswered questions as to his financial dealings while a lobbyist and lawmaker. Speaker Rubio must stop stonewalling and come clean with the specific details of his various financial arrangements that resulted in over a million dollars of personal income while in office.

Yes, Rubio. Let's also take a look at your role in Ray Sansom's troubles, whose criminal trial is looming for steering millions of state dollars toward the benefit of a crony in return for a lucrative kickback. You must remember him... you picked him to be your budget chief when you were House Speaker, so don't play dumb. That's really getting old.

Rubio, you were on the hot seat to testify in Sansom's ethics hearings to be held by the House Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, but lucky for you, Sansom resigned from the Florida House this past Sunday, and the very next day, this committee took just three and a half minutes to end the entire House investigation on Sansom. Ya still have some friends, buddy.

But, you're not off the hook, Rubio, because your ex-budget chief Sansom's criminal trial is dead ahead. And you are a prime witness as to just what your right-hand man was doing with state money while you were his boss.

It's also laughable that Sansom's attorney is whining that bloggers played a role in toppling her poor, put-upon, surely innocent client.

Are you up for a little truth for the voters, Rubio?

The stink of Republican corruption in Florida government has now caught the attention of many.

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rubio looks to be crookeder than a dog's hind leg
The question is, will Florida Republicans care? And if Rubio becomes the Republican nominee for governor, will anyone in Florida care? Or will they just say that because Rubio won the primary, he must be okay, and besides, everyone does it, and what's the big deal, it wasn't like he was blowing taxpayer money. Another four years of hideously bad governance for Florida, but I'm beginning to be convinced that the people of the state don't give two hoots.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. so, how many hookers? there always is hookers.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. He's got the booze in there
It'll probably take a forensic accountant to suss out the hookers and blow, but any disbursements for "consulting" work to Miss Fifi LaFlame would be a good place to start.
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damyank913 Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well how much do you think it costs to rent a Lear Jet?
A yacht, a limo 365 days a year. Be reasonable, a guys gotta represent...
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Young oversealous RW whippersnappers should learn
that senior men always have the power to destroy grifters and hypocrites. This is freaking priceless. Go Charlie Crist!! Now I understand the Thrasher resignation on Monday. Thanks. :rofl: :popcorn:
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Thrasher resigned from Chair of Senate Ethics and Election Committee (as a two-time ethics violator)
.... and vitriolic hater of Democrats and the vile lib'rul media. But Jeb shoehorned Thrasher into the Chairmanship of the Florida GOP last Saturday at least. :eyes:

John Thrasher
(photo credit:

Interesting how the Jacksonville story title below refers to the committee Thrasher resigned from as the "Senate elections" post, when the actual position is named the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. You see, Thrasher is a two-time ethics violator and the Republicans were hoping we wouldn't notice. He hardly had time to swing his gavel.

New Florida GOP chairman drops Senate elections post

By Brandon Larrabee
February 23, 2010

TALLAHASSEE - Sen. John Thrasher has resigned as chairman of the Senate committee overseeing elections laws after being named chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, asked Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, to find a replacement committee chairman shortly after his election to the GOP post Saturday, Atwater spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said.

Thrasher followed up with a brief letter Monday. The two-sentence letter does not specify why Thrasher chose to step aside, but the first-term senator had come under fire from Democrats for branding them "the enemy" in remarks to the GOP on Saturday.

He could not be immediately reached for comment Monday evening.

Democrats pounced on Thrasher's remarks as a sign he could no longer objectively lead the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, said the comments were offensive and called for Thrasher's removal from the elections panel and another committee.

"Unfortunately, John Thrasher is no longer fit to serve as chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee nor serve on the Reapportionment Committee," Lawson said in a statement issued by his office. "Both positions require bipartisan cooperation, and John Thrasher has demonstrated that he is incapable of conducting himself in such a manner."

(bold type added)

Boy, that Jeb Bush is a flaming failure at judging character--- or maybe not.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Please send this to KO and Rachel
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. Same stain different sheet. n/t
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catzies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. (Slightly off-topic) Scott Hiaasen must by Carl's son. Chip off the old block.
May there always be a Hiaasen in investigative journalism in Florida. :thumbsup:
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. Turn out the lights the party's over.....
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