U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills, repairs to the family minivan and purchases from a wine store less than a mile from his West Miami home to the Republican Party of Florida while he was speaker of the Florida House, according to records obtained by the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald.
Rubio said Wednesday that he paid for all personal expenses billed to an American Express card given to him by the party to use from 2005 to 2008, when he left public office. The rest of the charges, he said, were legitimate party expenses.
Those expenses include a $1,000 charge at Braman Honda in Miami for repairs to the family car in January 2008. Rubio said the minivan was damaged by parking attendants at a political function and that the party agreed to cover half of his insurance deductible. The party also paid $2,976 for him to rent a car in Miami for five weeks.
Rubio said the party allowed him to put personal expenses on the card and the party reviewed his bill monthly.
Interesting to see Charlie Crist trying to score on this topic:
It cost taxpayers about $4,800 for Crist to fly on a state plane to Tampa and Hollywood. In both cities, Crist held ceremonial bill signings for legislation to make it easier for low-income families to get health insurance under the Florida KidCare program, and to expand the role of advocates known as guardians ad litem to protect children’s legal rights.
Crist had actually signed both bills into law earlier in the day in the state Capitol. The ”fly-around,” as it is known, put the issue he was touting, and his image, on newscasts in the state’s two biggest TV markets.
I’m not sure if Rubio used his party AmEx for anything inappropriate, but even if he did, I’d prefer a lawmaker use party money unwisely than taxpayer money unwisely.