Meanwhile, in a separate inquiry, the IRS is also looking at the tax records of at least three former party credit card holders — former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, ex-state party chairman Jim Greer and ex-party executive director Delmar Johnson — to determine whether they misused their party credit cards for personal expenses, according to a source familiar with the preliminary inquiry.
Political parties, which are tax exempt, are allowed to spend money only on political activities, such as fundraising, running campaigns and registering voters. While it’s commonplace for party officials and politicians to wine and dine donors, the Florida party allowed credit card holders to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges with little oversight.
The IRS opened the so-called “primary” investigation into Rubio, the leading Republican candidate for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat, and the two former state GOP officials to see if there’s enough evidence to support a full-fledged criminal inquiry, according to a source familiar with the IRS examination.
Rubio campaign adviser Todd Harris said Tuesday that the former lawmaker from Miami has not been contacted by any federal investigators.
“There is absolutely nothing to this,” he said. “Anyone who is looking into it or investigating will quickly come to the same conclusion.”
Marco Rubio today sent the Florida GOP a check for $2,417.80 for plane tickets that were double-billed to the party and to state taxpayers. “These are the only expenses we have been able to identify in our records that should be reimbursed,” he wrote in this letter.
“It has bcome clear that Charlie Crist and Jim Greer have done untold damage to the Republican party of Florida. As Republican leaders, it is all of our responsibilities to clean up the mess they made as quickly as possible so we can turn the page and return to the true focus of the RPOF: to elect Republicans. Therefor I would ask you to strongly consider releasing all AMEX statement from Jim Greer’s time as chairman to the RPOF Executive Committee.”