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February 24, 2010

  • Florida's Leaders Battle It Out, Pt.2
      What's the policy?


    Party leaders have a different story to tell about the use of the party's American Express credit card. According to party spokesperson Katie Gordon, party members are prohibited from using the party's credit cards for personal expenditures. Gordon says it is a Corporate card and therefore, "is meant to be used for business expenses." Under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, donations given to the party are to be used exclusively toward influencing elections and donations are used to pay the party's credit cards. Therefore, only charges relating to the political expenses and the elections are to be placed on the card.

    The Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times released the following list of expenditures from Rubio's Florida Republican Party's credit card use that was covered by the party as political expenses:

    $765 at Apple's online store for computer supplies.
    $25.76 from Everglades Lumber for supplies.
    $53.49 at Winn-Dixie in Miami for food.
    $68.33 at Happy Wine in Miami for beverages and meal.
    $78.10 for two purchases at Farm Stores in suburban Miami.
    $412 at All Fusion Electronics, a music equipment store in Miami, for supplies.

    When questioned, Rubio's office was not able to provide documentation detailing the credit card expenses. Rubio justified some of the expenses by saying that he was not the only individual who used the party's credit card. He said that other members of the staff had access to the card and were responsible for some of the expenses.

    More than a half dozen Florida lawmakers received Republican Party credit cards during recent years. The cards were designed to use for political expenses, however, it appears that some of the leaders may have been spending donor's funds to support personal expenses. Recent allegations that former party Chairman, Jim Greer and Executive Director Delmar Johnson used the party's card to support their lavish lifestyles started the revolt which has lead to the election of new leadership over the past week.

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