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February 24, 2010

  • Florida's Leaders Battle It Out, Pt.3
      Why the hesitancy to disclose info to taxpayers?

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    The new Florida Republican Party Chairman, Senator John Thrasher of St. Augustine has refused to make public the statements of all the party's credit cards. He has, however, indicated that he will be ordering an audit of all card activities. Thrasher feels that if there are any additional unauthorized credit card activities, they will be adequately addressed in the audit. Florida State law required members of political parties to make copies of all the party's credit card statements available for public review. However, just three days before Thrasher became the Florida Republican Party's Chairman, he proposed a new law that would allow members to conceal card statements.

    Currently, the Division of Elections who oversees the issue requires party members to reveal only part of the credit card transactions. Of course, that rule appears to be somewhat vague. The efficiency of the current ruling has been questioned in view of the fact that it missed nearly $173,000 in questionable charges by the former House Speaker Ray Sansom. According to a Miami Herald reporter, Marc Caputo, Thrasher's proposed bill will even further provide a shield for party officials who want to conceal questionable credit card spending. If the new bill is signed into law, officials will be given a green light to spend party funds on such questionable expenses as those completed by Sansom.

    Meanwhile it is likely the credit card issue will not be going away all too soon for Rubio. He continues to maintain that Charlie Crist's office is responsible for leaking the card statement information. However, the Governor says that's not true. Does the Governor believe the card statements should not be disclosed to the public? Not likely because Crist has always run his campaigns openly and with transparency. He is expected to run his senate campaign with the same ethics and standards as always.

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