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  • Warring Chambers End Session 1, May1, 2015
    Friday is the constitutional scheduled end to legislative session – but work stopped earlier this week because of a healthcare budget battle. As Matt Galka tells us, even with both chambers not getting anything done, there’s still plenty of political drama, and no love lost, between the two sides. Day 60 of legislative session typically […]
    Matt Galka
  • What Passed? 1, April30, 2015
    Capitol chaos may have overshadowed what actually got done this session. Matt Galka looks at some of the bills that are only the governor’s signature away from becoming law. It’s quiet at the Capitol. The last two days of legislative session are usually filled with a flurry of last minute lawmaking. But the House quit Tuesday […]
    Matt Galka
  • Democrats Keep Hammering GOP House Majority 1, April30, 2015
    Here’s their latest release: Democrats continue to hammer House Republicans in vulnerable districts over their early exit this week and are now dropping thousands of mailers in nine swing districts, a day after announcing they were targeting those same districts with robo-calls. “In Tallahassee, Manny Diaz lets the Tea Party pull his strings,’’ reads the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Senate Democrats File Writ, Seek Return of House 1, April30, 2015
    Update: Supreme Court orders House to respond by 10:00 Friday Morning. See the Order here.   A dozen Senate Democrats walked from the Capitol across the street to the Supreme Court today and filed suit, alleging the Florida House acted unconstitutionally when it adjourned early on Tuesday. The Constitution says neither House may adjourn for […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Senate Says House Should Come Back 1, April29, 2015
    Signs pointed towards the Florida Senate ending session today after the Florida House quit yesterday, but that’s not the case. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida isn’t any closer to a budget with two chambers clearly at odds. The end of the 2015 legislative session is playing out more like a soap opera than a […]
    Matt Galka
  • Legislative Meltdown Helps Environmentalists Regroup 1, April29, 2015
    Dozens of bills considered important will not pass this year in Tallahassee because the House went home three days early.  As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the State Senate met today anyway, and passed some bills to make a point. State Senators used the day to approve the House’s top priority, a massive water bill. But […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Legislative Meltdown is History Making 1, April28, 2015
    The Florida House called it quits today, ending the 2015 Legislative session three and a half days early in an intractable dispute over expanding health care. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, lawmakers still face a June 30th deadline to pass a state budget. Just after 1, House Speaker Steve Cristifulli told his members that negotiations […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fracking Legislation Could Survive Session Shutdown 1, April28, 2015
    Most bills died when House members called the 2015 session quits on Tuesday, but one of the bills that could still be alive is legislation regulating fracking. It cleared the House yesterday and was expected to be amended by the Senate today, but now with the House having gone home, the Senate will either have […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • House Approves Online Voter Registration 1, April28, 2015
    The biggest news out of the Florida Capitol today was the House calling it quits three days early, but before they did, they managed to get some work done. As Matt Galka tells us, the chamber passed an online voter registration bill – without support of the Governor’s top elections official. Online voter registration could […]
    Matt Galka
  • Amendment 1 Lost in the Budget Shuffle 1, April27, 2015
    A standoff over healthcare money has left the state without a spending plan, but as Matt Galka tells us, environmentalists are worried they’re going to become a casualty because of the budget battle. 75 percent of voters approved Amendment 1 in November. The constitutional amendment directs the state to use tax dollars to buy environmental […]
    Matt Galka

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Crist to Rubio: Welcome to the NFL

February 25th, 2010 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is catching heat tonight for using campaign cash to pay for personal expenses. Rubio charged 110-thousand dollars on a Republican Party credit card. He says he repaid all charges that werent related to promoting the Republican brand. As Whitney Ray tells us, hes also blaming his US Senate rival for the leaked credit card statements.

If you contributed money to the Republican Party of Florida your donation may have bought former House Speaker Marco Rubio a 400 dollar meal at the Macaroni Grill, a 130 dollar haircut or a 3-thousand dollar car rental.

Over a two year period Rubio charged nearly 110-thousand dollars on an RPOF credit card, according to a newspaper report. His Senate campaign manager says he reimbursed the party for all personal expenses.

Shortly after the story broke, Rubio released a campaign video in an attempt to change the subject. Then he claimed his primary rival Governor Charlie Crist leaked the credit card statements to the press. Crist bristles back.

The people have a right to know how people spend there money, how they comport themselves, how they conduct themselves before they put themselves up for public office. Thats happened to the speaker. He apparently doesnt like it. Thats too bad. Welcome to the NFL, said Crist.

But there may be more than just political penalties tied to the spending allegations. Florida Democrats are calling for a federal investigation into 3.6 million dollars charged on Republican Party credit cards.

Crimes probably were committed at the RPOF, that there was illegal activity at the RPOF, said Eric Jotkoff, a spokesman for the Florida Democrats.

A spokesman for the IRS would neither confirm nor denied they were investigating the Republican spending scandal.

The party has also denied requests from its own members to release the spending statements to the press. On the day the partys former chairman announced his resignation, a paper shredding truck was spotted outside party headquarters.

Rubios campaign manager told us the former speaker was unavailable to answer questions about the spending because he was out of the state.

Sink on Questionable Spending and Ethics Reform

The Democratic frontrunner in Floridas governors race is calling for more transparency in campaign spending.

Alex Sinks plan would ban gifts from lobbyists, increase transparency into the spending of campaign contributions and require state workers to attend ethics training. Sink is releasing her plan as former House Speakers Marco Rubio and Ray Sansom are both catching heat over thousands of dollars spent on RPOF Credit Cards. Sink says more transparency would help donors know how their contributions were being used.

We ought to be having reporting on any credit card transactions at political parties. Im going to require our state employees not to take any gifts at all from lobbyist or vendors, said Sink.

Sink says if she is elected governor she will push for more protection for whistleblowers working in state government who are more comfortable sharing their stories with a journalist than rather than reporting to their own agency.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Politics, Sink, State News | 2 Comments »

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