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  • Juvenile Citations 1, March30, 2015
    Lawmakers are pushing a bill that could cut down on juvenile arrests and hopefully still set kids on the right path, but as Matt Galka tells us, retailers are worried it could end up costing them. Edward Barnes says an arrest when he was a kid sent his life barreling down the wrong path. “By […]
    Matt Galka
  • Florida Aviation Expert says Lufthansa Dropped the Ball 1, March30, 2015
    Pilot too inexperienced   Florida Aviation analyst Jay Rollins spent 25 years as a Captain flying International routes for American Airlines. He now teaches aviation at a south Florida flight school and at the University of Miami. Rollins says the co-pilot of the ill fated Germanwings flight should never have been hired with 600 hours. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Class Size Changes 1, March27, 2015
    Florida voters put class size limits into the constitution in 2002. As Matt Galka tells us, a bill passed by the Florida House would give schools a break for exceeding the class size numbers, but opponents say that’s not what voters wanted. A little more than a decade ago, Florida voters put caps on class […]
    Matt Galka
  • Uniforms Coming to a School Near You? 1, March26, 2015
    The Florida House of Representatives has given tentative approval this afternoon to make it easier for school districts to adopt standard uniform policies for kindergarten through eight grade. Under state law, uniforms are already allowed, but this legislation offers an encouragement. The legislation offers a ten dollar per student incentive for districts th […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hitting a Donkey with a 2X4 1, March26, 2015
    One lawmaker likened legislation making major changes in the body that regulates high school sports in Florida to hitting a donkey on the head with a 2 x 4. The House Education committee today passed legislation requiring a complete shakeup of the governing organization, reorganizing its board and membership, allowing students to attend any school. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Cards on the Table 1, March26, 2015
    Destination resort casinos, the future of greyhound racing, and renewing the compact that allows blackjack in certain places around the state. All were topics of discussion for lawmakers today, and as Matt Galka tells us, the odds are against getting many of the proposals to pass. A four hour long workshop saw legislators diving into […]
    Matt Galka
  • Turf wars: Nurses vs. Doctors. Round one to the Nurses 1, March25, 2015
    A turf war over your health care options is heating up at the State Capitol. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it has to do with giving Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners more authority at the expense of doctors. Elizabeth Markovich isn’t a doctor, but she has a Doctorate degree in nursing and more than 15 years […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • A First for Political Theatre: Bag Monster 1, March25, 2015
    Take a look at this. He’s called a bag monster and he was walking around the state Capitol today to dramatize the harm done by plastic bags. According to the Surfrider Foundation, the average family uses 500 plastic bags a year that end up in land fills or in our waterways.Holly Parker says the Foundation […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hillsborough County Comes to the Capitol 1, March25, 2015
    A pirate stormed through legislation offices today passing out beads and posing for pictures with lawmakers and staff as part of Hillsborough day in the State Capitol. The annual fest fed cuban sandwiches to more than a thousand people and offered stunts from the Museum of Science along with exhibits from the Lowery Park Zoo […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Taxis are Uber Mad 1, March25, 2015
    The boom of ride sharing services through smart phones has ruffled some feathers in the traditional cab company community.  As Matt Galka tell us, taxis say ride sharers are breaking the rules, and the legislature is trying to fix that. Tom Villaverde says he used to work 80 hours a week selling cars. “And I […]
    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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