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  • Memorial Day Travel Heaviest in Ten Years 1, May21, 2015
    More Americans are expected to travel this weekend than anytime in the last ten years. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, expect more traffic and a bigger police presence this weekend. The weekend traffic has already started flowing. ”33 million people”  Thats the number of Americans AAA says will be traveling this weekend. Can you guess […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Disaster Ready 1, May21, 2015
    Florida has been lucky since 2005 when it comes to avoiding hurricanes, but every year could be *the* year the state gets hit again. As Matt Galka tells us, state officials are always at the ready. Florida’s emergency operations center was a flurry of action Thursday. Two hurricanes had just walloped Florida. Luckily it was only […]
    Matt Galka
  • Hope for the Developmentally Disabled in Special Session? 1, May20, 2015
    The hopes of thousands of parents of children with learning disabilities were dashed when state lawmakers went home early. The kids were promised brighter futures by top lawmakers, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us Governor Rick Scott may be rekindling some of that hope. Senate President Andy Gardiner is the father of an 11 year […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Rick Scott’s Money Machine 1, May20, 2015
    Governor Rick Scotts Lets Get to Work Committee has raised more than two million dollars since last years election. The fundraising continues. Scott was asked why. “I think its important to continue to talk about what’s important to our state. You know, education funding tax cuts, to continue to grow jobs and bring companies here, […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Rick Scott’s Political Future 1, May20, 2015
      Governor Rick Scott has hinted that he is considering a run for the US Senate in 2018 or perhaps a Presidential run in 2020. In tallahassee today, Scott was asked about his future political plans, and responded like most political figures thinking about a higher office. “I got three years and seven or eight […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Standing Up for the Flag 1, May20, 2015
    Viral videos of people disrespecting the American flag have caused one patriotic Floridian to take action. Matt Galka tells us about the Panhandle woman launching her stars and stripes campaign in the run up to Memorial Day. This video from Valdosta State University, a Georgia school about 20 miles north of the state line, showed […]
    Matt Galka
  • Budget Showdown Produces List of “What if’s” 1, May19, 2015
    State agencies are raising a myriad of things government would not be able to do if July first comes and goes without a new state budget. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the list of what state government would stop doing is 65 pages long. The Department of Revenue says child support payments would stop because […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hospitals Say “No” to Profit Sharing 1, May19, 2015
    With a looming 2 billion dollar budget hole over healthcare money to be decided in a special session, the Governor is pushing hospitals to crunch their numbers and re-evaluate spending. But as Matt Galka tells us, hospitals are pushing back. Florida is set to lose out on a 2 billion dollar healthcare program that helps […]
    Matt Galka
  • Tourism Shattering Records 1, May18, 2015
    If you think you’re seeing a lot more out of towners walking around the state, you’re not imagining things. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida tourism is shattering records, but experts say we can’t fall behind on basic needs if we want the visitors to keep coming back. Ray Pettit and his wife Cindy were […]
    Matt Galka
  • Budget Deadlock? Been there. Done that 1, May15, 2015
    The state budget only provides money until the end of June and state lawmakers remain deadlocked over health care spending. They will return to the Capitol in June, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, state government hasn’t faced a shutdown over budget disputes since 1992. Signs like this one appeared on state buildings on the […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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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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