Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Rubio Won't Release Credit Card Records

Marco Rubio was interviewed by the Florida Times-Union editorial board. Rubio was asked about Republican activist Chris Ingram giving Tampa Tribune political reporter William March emails of Rubio telling Ingram he has four years of records of spending on the Republican Party of Florida American Express card.

In one e-mail he provided, Ingram
mentioned the remodeling costs. Rubio's responses don't mention those costs, but say he paid any personal charges himself.

In an e-mail dated Dec. 24, Rubio responds to Ingram, "I have the statements now. It is all mostly a bunch of commercial airlines, rental cars, hotels and travel restaurants. Any personal charges were paid by me directly."

In an e-mail the day before, Rubio said, "This has been addressed. There is no issues with my card. (I spent less in 4 years than Sansom did in 2.)" – a reference to former House Speaker Ray Sansom, who also had a party credit card and has been indicted on charges he misused state funds to help a political supporter.

According to Ingram, Rubio told him he used the Republican Party of Florida credit card for about "$4,000 to $5,000" for new flooring for his home. The St. Petersburg Times has documented Rubio's lavish RPOF credit card expenses.

• $765 at Apple's online store for "computer supplies."

• $25.76 from Everglades Lumber for "supplies."

• $53.49 at Winn-Dixie in Miami for "food."

• $68.33 at Happy Wine in Miami for "beverages'' and "meal."

• $78.10 for two purchases at Farm Stores groceries in suburban Miami.

• $412 at All Fusion Electronics, a music equipment store in Miami, for "supplies."

Rubio spent over $100,000 on his RPOF credit card from November 2006 to November 2008.

The transcript of Rubio's interview with the Florida Times-Union is interesting for what is not said.

Q: "I'd like a yes or no answer. Did you ever use your Republican Party of Florida credit card to purchase flooring for your home?"

Rubio: "Look, I've already addressed these credit card questions. The bills came to my home and I always wrote a check for personal expenses."

Q: "But did you ever use the card to purchase flooring for your home?"

Rubio: "If there was an accident, any time there was something on there that was personal, I promptly paid out of my own pocket."

Q: "A Florida newspaper has reported that it has obtained a copy of an e-mail from you where you acknowledge possession of four years worth of credit card statements? Why not release the copies and end the discussion?"

Rubio: "Those credit card statements are an internal party matter. I'm not going to release them."

Rubio could say, "I never used the Republican Party of Florida credit card to have my floor done." Instead Rubio uses lawyerly language to talk around the subject. And why exactly is the Republican Party of Florida credit card an internal party issue for Rubio but there can record released that attack Crist (but doesn't actually implicate him.) Rubio supposedly has the records he can just release them. The reason is the RPOF is a nonprofit and funds are meant to strictly further the goals of electing Republican candidates and not runs to the wine store. Illegal use of nonprofit money is a crime. Rubio has bigger problems than winning the general election.

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