Rubio Credits Greer for Card Leaks While Crist Charges Back
Marco Rubio stated that he would release his RPOF credit card expenses if other GOP leaders did the same thing. Unfortunately for Rubio, his got released for him.
Rubio blames ousted Republican chief Jim Greer for releasing the statements toThe Miami Herald, this situation also places new state Republican chief John Thrasher in a bind. Rubio is insisting that he did nothing wrong and sent a letter to Thrasher blasting Greer and Crist allies for leaking this information.
The Crist campaign quickly fired back at Rubio, listing more than 40 newspaper quotes to build a case that Rubio is a lavish spender despite his talk about fiscal conservatism. Gov. Crist bashes Rubio on a host of issues including remodeling his House office, pushing for earmarks, supporting $800,000 for adding artificial turf to flag football fields in Miami-Dade, tax subsidies going to the Florida Marlins for a new stadium, and supporting pay raises for legislative staff. Crist also attacks Rubio for misusing Republican funds, including a 7 minute DVD that cost $175,000 and various expenses for Rubios 100 Ideas program and book that cost the partymore than$500,000.
Thrasher will also have to answer whether the $13,900 that Rubio spent on the American Express cardon personal charges was a violation of RPOF policy. Katie Gordon Betta, the party spokeswoman, is clearly on the record saying that theAmerican Expresscards the party provided political leaders were for business and not personal expenses.
While this is clearly a headache for Thrasher after only four days on the job, help is on the way. Thrasher hired Ronnie Whitaker to serve as executive director for the RPOF. Whitaker brings an impressive combination of state and national experience to the post. Originally from Crescent City and a poli-sci grad from FSU, Whitaker has been around a while on the national scene, serving as communications director of the Republican Party of Virginia and at theRepublican State Leadership Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also put in time on Capitol Hill, working as an aide for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-TX. He also worked as a legislative aide for two members of the Florida delegation in the U.S. House-Ander Crenshaw and Dan Miller. Whitaker has also been helping with Alan Benses Victory 2010 fund with the RPOF.
At least Whitakers salary is not adding to Thrashers headache. Whitaker is making $100,000. Thats a whole lot less than the $408,000 his controversial predecessor Delmar Johnson was hauling in.
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