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  • DOE says Test Scores Will Count, Superintendents Cry Foul 1, September1, 2015
    Test scores from this spring will count says the State Department of Education after a new report ordered by lawmakers has been released. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, school superintendents say the report points out too many problems to ignore. After thousands of students were unable to take standardized tests this past spring, state […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Solar Amendment Gets Day in Court 1, September1, 2015
    Florida Supreme Court Justices asked tough questions today about the intent of a proposed constitutional amendment that would let businesses install large solar arrays on their roof tops and then sell extra power to their neighbors. The measure is opposed by all of the states big power generators, and after the hearing Steven Smith of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Arrest Made in FSU Attempted Abduction 1, September1, 2015
    A 35 year old man is in custody in the state Capitol tonight. Antoine Warren was driving on the FSU Campus late Monday when he approached a young woman and asked if she was waiting for an Uber driver. The woman got into his car, but after driving aimlessly, the man tried to assault the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Ethics Commission Staff Seek Financial Disclosure Compliance 1, August31, 2015
    Hundreds of public officials across Florida are about to be fined twenty-five dollars a day because they have failed to file required financial disclosure information. The information was due July first, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us the grace period to file the financial snapshot for almost a thousand people who have yet to file […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Tracking TS Erika 1, August28, 2015
    Watching and waiting. That’s what state officials and Floridians are doing as all eyes are on Tropical Storm Erika and it’s still to be determined path towards Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, the Governor has already issued a state of emergency. The effect Tropical Storm Erika will have on Florida is still very unclear.  […]
    Matt Galka
  • A Small Panhandle Dairy Fights State Over “Natural” Skimmed Milk 1, August28, 2015
    A small panhandle dairy 50 miles west of the State Capitol has been fighting the state for three years over whether or not it can sell it’s skim milk without being forced by the state to add vitamins to the milk. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, A federal judge may soon make the call. Ocheese […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hurricane Ready 1, August27, 2015
    State officials are tracking Tropical Storm Erika as it makes it’s way potentially toward Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, it could turn into a hurricane, and the Governor says after all these years of Florida being hurricane-free, people still need a plan. Emergency management officials briefed Governor Rick Scott on the latest information for […]
    Matt Galka
  • Former Co-workers Still Stunned over Journalist’s Shooting 1, August27, 2015
    Former Florida Co workers of Virginia Shooter Vester Flanagan got together last night to share stories and support. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, for one of those co workers, it is a feeling of but for the grace of god she was not also a victim. Tallahassee TV-40 Alumni who worked with Vester Flanagan circulated […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Virginia Shooter had Tallahassee Ties 1, August27, 2015
    Vester Flanagan, the man who has been identified as the shooter of a Roanoke Virginia news crew while they were live on the air this morning worked here in Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Flanigan had a rocky relationship with a Tallahassee television station and the people who worked there.  Vester Flanagan, who used […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hunters Could Outnumber Bears 1, August26, 2015
    Bear hunting season in Florida will be in effect in about two months. Officials say it’s an effort to help maintain the bear population, but as Matt Galka tells us, wildlife advocates are concerned about the amount of people who have already bought a permit. The woods could get a little more crowded in October. […]
    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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