Florida GOP will release all credit card records
Democratic Party of Florida spokesperson Eric Jotkoff reacts to the state GOP credit card scandal and news that Republican Party of Florida will release all of its American Express statements from the three years Jim Greer was chair.
Over the course of the last several years, weâve seen Republican politicians like Marco Rubio and Dean Cannon charging literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses to live large on the Republican Partyâs American Express cards, and showing the Republican Party has been little more than a slush fund to allow Republican politicians to live large. Over the past several weeks, The Orlando Sentinel, and the St. Pete Times, Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau, and other news outlets have been reporting on the details of this. And each credit card statement that was leaked, it was so explosively shocking.
It started with, actually, disgraced Speaker, now indicted Speaker, Ray Sansomâs credit card statements coming out during the investigation into him last year, before he resigned. And now we see Marco Rubio, we see Dean Cannon, we see Jeff Atwater and others. And thatâs why, thatâs why this move is good. But what weâve learned over the course of the past several days is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the IRS, and other federal law-enforcement authorities currently have the Republican Party of Florida, and these stained Republican politicians, under criminal investigation over their spending, and allegations that they didnât pay taxes on the money that they were supposed to. So, while itâs nice to see that the Republican Party is finally heeding the calls of the Florida Democratic Partyâwhen we demanded over a year ago that they release their AmEx billsâunfortunately, theyâre just simply doing this because they know that all this is going to come out in the criminal investigations anyway.
Q. The Republican Party of Florida had a meeting today, and they said they will release all American Express statements during the three years that Jim Greer led the party. How do you think that will play out in the elections?
Well, I think that what weâve seen is that these same Republican politicians who have led our state down the wrong path, while theyâve been excessively spending on these slush funds, to live large, theyâve been running our state government the same wayâwhether it be the slush funds, whether it be excessive spending, whether it be not using the funds for appropriate stuff. And itâs wrong, and thatâs why we are, Florida Democrats, are standing up to change the way Tallahassee works, to end business as usual. And what we see is that Marco Rubio spent over a hundred thousand dollars on the Republican Party AmEx card, including for that infamous $134 haircut, including to fix his familyâs minivan, and a lot of other stuff.
Weâve seen dozens and dozens of these politicians; yesterday, The Associated Press reported that twenty-seven Republicans had these cards. And many of them had âem at the same time Charlie Crist was governor. As governor, he was head of the Republican Party; it was his hand-picked chairman who signed off on all of this spending. So itâs clear that both of them are to blame.
In the governorâs race, we see Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has over the course of the past year continued to refuse to investigate, dragged his heels on it, worked to block investigations into the Republican Party, and actively said that they should police themselves. And thatâs wrong. Heâs helped cover it up, and heâs been involved in the backroom deals that led to these federal criminal investigations. And so itâs clear that while the politics are less important than the actual, than cleaning up this Republican corruption thatâs plagued Florida, itâs clear that all of these guys are to blameâthe Republican politicians who have run our state down the wrong path over the course of the past several years.
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