"Just a glimpse" at how the other half lives
"A top GOP official charged $368,000 in a single month. And another party staffer collected enough credit card rewards points to earn a diamond-studded watch."
This is what it was like at the Republican Party of Florida under former Chairman Jim Greer, whose lavish spending and secret dealings led to his ouster and sparked a federal criminal investigation.The rules are different for Marco:
But it's just a glimpse from the 2,452 double-sided pages of credit card records released Friday by the party in an effort to quell speculation amid an ongoing controversy.
GOP Chairman John Thrasher released only credit card statements during Greer's tenure, even though the credit cards date back at least eight years earlier."Florida GOP's 3-year tab: $7.3 million". See also "Florida GOP credit-card receipts reveal where donors' $7 million went", "Florida GOP releases 2,452 pages of AmEx records" and "Fla. GOP opens some credit records".
For instance, the records released Friday show Richard Corcoran, the former top advisor to U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, spent less than $10,000 in two months, even though earlier statements indicate he charged more than $400,000 dating back to 2005.
Rubio, the Republican front-runner and former House speaker, called for the release of Greer's records but refused to disclose his own earlier statements.
Rubio flip-flops on "your papers please ..."
Perhaps Jebbie insisted that he do it: "Florida's Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio is supporting a controversial new Arizona immigration law, saying today he changed his position after lawmakers tweaked language in a way that critics say makes it even more harsh." "Rubio now says he approves of Arizona immigration law".
Florida's "'Drill Baby Drill' cheerleaders"
"Poll: More Fla. voters oppose offshore drilling". See also "Poll: Fla. drilling support drops dramatically", "Oil spill prompts Florida voters to oppose drilling" and "Poll: Floridians now oppose coastal drilling after oil spill".
Aaron Deslatte: "Gov. Charlie Crist declared the idea a goner. The two biggest legislative 'Drill Baby Drill' cheerleaders, incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon of Winter Park and Senate President Mike Haridopolos of Merritt Island, have 'permanently shelved' plans to push for near-shore energy exploration."
But there is still room between the polling backlash and the reality of America's long-term energy dilemma for an interesting intellectual discussion this political season about offshore drilling. Look for Marco Rubio to be one of the politicians making it."Oil spill likely to affect U.S. Senate race".
Rubio has been cautiously less willing to back away from pushing for more oil exploration in Florida waters, contending that since other countries will still be angling to siphon off our resources, we should be, too.
Needless to say, it's a path to the U.S. Senate fraught with risk. Last week, a Mason-Dixon poll found public support for drilling had plummeted from 55 percent last summer to 35 percent, and that backing among independents and Democrats had totally collapsed.
"Republicans are now the only group to still favor drilling (57 percent), but even that support has dropped significantly," Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker noted. Still, in a three-way race, GOP support may be all Rubio needs to get past Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in November.
The Tampa Trib editors: "If lawmakers have their way, it will be virtually impossible for state agencies to implement the rules necessary to safeguard the public and the environment. House Bill 1565, adopted by the Legislature in the closing days of the session, robs state departments of their rule-making authority and politicizes the process."
You can thank Rep. Chris Dorworth for this ploy. He is the 33-year-old Lake Mary Republican who was selected to become speaker in 2014 despite a messy financial history that includes a $2.7 million judgment on a land deal and foreclosure on his 8,000-square-foot home."Bill handcuffs state agencies". The Sun-Sentinel editors: "New rules on rulemaking deserve governor's veto".
Dorworth is a chief sponsor of HB 1565, which contains a series of mandates intended to handcuff agencies that develop the rules and professional standards necessary to protect the public's health and resources.
"McCollum's worst nightmare"
"You might be wondering about that bald guy, Rick Scott, who keeps popping up on TV talking about getting elected governor of Florida."
He's a multimillionaire political rookie who could be Bill McCollum's worst nightmare as a Republican rival. Or the dream client of political consultants who stand to make a bundle off of Scott's ego and long shot campaign. Maybe both."Analysis: Rookie Rick Scott could shake up race for Florida governor". See also "" and "".
Well ... maybe this is worse
"A gay male escort from Miami spoke to CNN about his trip to Europe with an antigay psychologist paid by Florida [read Bill McCollum] to testify in defense of the state's gay adoption ban." "Rentboy escort: I gave `sexual' massages to antigay leader George Rekers".
"The former governor's speech is an indication of his political re-emergence after a period out of the spotlight." "Jeb Bush endorses Rubio in Wesley Chapel speech". See also "Jeb Bush takes aim at Crist, supports Rubio during Florida west coast appearance" and "Bush backs Rubio, rips Crist in speech".
"Oil slick still no threat to South Florida".
RPOFer bottom feeders
The Orlando Sentinel editors: ""
In line to become House speaker, Republican Dean Cannon has the smarts to do great things. He was right to try reforming Medicaid. But this session, like last year's, he disappointed. He continued to champion near-shore oil drilling, tried to save gerrymandering, delayed reauthorizing the agency that regulates growth, fought renewable energy standards and was soiled by the GOP credit card scandal."Florida's House: Leaders and letdowns".
Republican Sandy Adams made people forget her record of reforming juvenile justice with a futile bill calling for congressional term limits, and by backing Republican Scott Plakon's buffoonish constitutional amendment that pretends Florida can simply refuse to follow federal law, like the health-care overhaul. ...
Republican insurance agents Bryan Nelson and Pat Patterson sought to protect their industry instead of consumers. ...
Swimming at the bottom of this pond is Republican Chris Dorworth, who's set to become speaker in 2014. He worked to make state agencies toothless, to give wealthy fans tax breaks on all-star game tickets, and co-sponsored an unconstitutional ban on abortions.
Charlie finds some friends
We suppose this is better than nothing:
When Gov. Charlie Crist flew to Louisiana on Tuesday to view the massive oil spill, he invited two Republican stalwarts from the Florida Senate to go with him."Two GOP stalwarts embrace Crist".
On board the National Guard C-130 were Charlie Dean of Inverness and Durell Peaden of Crestview. Dean, 60, is a towering figure, even without the cowboy hat he was wearing that day. The former Citrus County sheriff speaks with a drawl as thick as a bowl of homemade cheese grits.
Peaden, 65, is a cherubic guy, a retired country doctor and a fifth-generation Floridian. His great-uncle was a state senator who filed a bill creating the first Department of Health — in 1893.
Both men consider themselves loyal Republicans, and both are supportive of Crist as a nonpartisan candidate for the U.S. Senate.
RPOF "lobbyist employment act"
"So much for Republican leaders’ promises to streamline government. With little debate and based on misleading rhetoric, the Florida Legislature unanimously approved House Bill 1565 last month, contending it would combat government regulation that threatened small businesses’ ability to rebound from the recession. But that was a masquerade. This bad bill is really just a lobbyist employment act." "Bill favors lobbyists over public".
The Palm Beach Post editors: "The only good thing about the 2010 red-light camera bill, which the Legislature passed, is that it's better than the 2009 red-light camera bill, which the Legislature didn't pass. Still, this bill isn't good enough for Gov. Crist to sign." "Reject red-light camera bill: State treasury would get 44 percent of the fine.".
"Mitch McConnell's Pomeranian"
Daniel Ruth: "There are events that occur in public life, when for one fleeting moment a pol has an opportunity to stand back from all the conniving, all the spin, all the blather and simply to do the right thing."
Instead Florida's junior senator, George LeMeuix, R-Arf, when presented with just such a gift to demonstrate some chutzpah, some spine, some class, opted to revert to his role of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Pomeranian."A combination of lap dog, Brutus in the Senate".
It was certainly to be expected when Gov. Charlie Crist announced his decision to run for the U.S. Senate as a "No Party" candidate that his former fellow Republicans would renounce him with all the fury of Max von Sydow's confrontation with Lucifer in The Exorcist.
But of all the knives plunged into Charlie Crist's back none had to sting more painfully than the dagger wielded by the Quisling of the Potomac, George LeMeiux, who threw his support to the Eddie Haskell of the Apalachee Parkway, Marco Rubio.