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  • FAMU in Leadership Limbo 1, August24, 2016
    Following an unsatisfactory performance evaluation, Trustees at the historically black Florida A & M  Univeristy voted seven to five against extending the President’s contract for a year. The contract is set to expire in April, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, what happens next is anything but clear. A board evaluation of the President Elmira […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Florida Counties Big Part of Harvard Law Death Penalty Study 1, August24, 2016
    A new study from Harvard Law shows a decline in the death penalty in America since the 1970’s, but as Matt Galka tells us, some counties in Florida aren’t fitting into the trend. Only 16 counties in the country imposed 5 or more death sentences between 2010 and 2015. And four of them are right […]
    Matt Galka
  • Charlie Crist is a boogeyman for many in GOP primaries 1, August23, 2016
    Former Governor Charlie Crist isn’t on the ballot until November in his effort to become a Congressman in his hometown of St. Petersburg, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the former Republican turned Democrat could be a factor in multiple  primary races next week. As Governor, Charlie Crist had sky high approval ratings, but now, […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Solar Push Heading into Primary 1, August23, 2016
    Early voting is in full swing and the primary is next week, but as Matt Galka tells us, voters will be deciding on more than local elections with a group of environmentalists pushing a constitutional amendment. Florida voters have a solar choice in the August primary. On the ballot – Amendment 4 – which gives […]
    Matt Galka
  • FPL seeking one point three billion for “good service” 1, August22, 2016
    A months long hearing into whether Florida Power and Light should be allowed to increase its rates by one point three billion dollars a year began today in the state Capitol. FPL spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood says the company has earned the increase because it’s done such a good job keeping rates low. “We have worked […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Third Grade Retention Policy on Trial 1, August22, 2016
    Parents from six counties (Orange, Hernando, Sarasota,Broward, Osceola, and Pasco)were in court today challenging a star law that requires the retention of third graders who don’t perform well on state assessment tests. As Mike Vasilinda tells us,  the parents told the court their kids were not given alternative ways to be promoted as star law […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Opting Out Law Suit takes unusual turn 1, August19, 2016
    Legal gymnastics played out in a Federal Court today in a lawsuit by parents whose kids opted out of state tests last spring and were held back.  As Mike Vasilinda tells us, a state court judge is on track to decide as early as next week if kids who dan’t take a standardized test can […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Task Force Makes Dozier Recommendations 1, August19, 2016
    The Dozier School for Boys – the panhandle reform school and site of alleged child beatings, sexual abuses, and murders – still stands. But as Matt Galka tells us, a statewide panel was appointed to try and come up with a proper memorial, and in their final meeting – solutions were hard to come by. […]
    Matt Galka
  • Pharmacy Flap Could Limit Patient Access 1, August18, 2016
    More than 650 thousand Floridians receiving Medicaid in Florida are being told that after November first,  they can only use big chain pharmacies to have prescriptions filled. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the policy of two providers has locally owned drug stores crying foul. Massy Pharmacy is a locally owned business in Quincy Florida…25 miles […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Citizens Insurance Seeking Rate Increase 1, August18, 2016
    Nearly half a million Floridians have a state-run Citizens property insurance policy, the so called “insurer of last resort.” As Matt Galka tells us, Floridians who are sticking with citizens could be paying more next year. A rate hike for Citizens customers? Policy holder Joe Walsh from Monroe County told state regulators ‘no way’ Thursday. A […]
    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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