Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman filed a complaint today with the Florida Elections Commission, asking the Commission to hold the Republican Party of Florida accountable for not fully disclosing their finances as required by Florida law.
"With Governor Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum ducking their responsibilities in order to protect their political cronies and keep their backroom deals at the Republican Party secret, it is now up to all Floridians to demand accountability to clean up the Republican culture of corruption in Tallahassee. Today, I asked the Florida Elections Commission to investigate the fact that the Republican Party of Florida has failed to follow Florida's election laws by not fully disclosing their finances," said Chair Thurman.
Over the past year, the Republican Party of Florida has been marred by scandal and controversy over a host of issues that stem from the misuse of RPOF AmEx cards issued to dozens of Republican politicians including U.S. Senate Candidate Marco Rubio, Republican Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, Senate President Jeff Atwater, and many others.
Despite repeated calls from Florida's Editorial Boards, Republican Party leaders, and citizens across Florida, the RPOF has refused to disclose their AmEx statements.
This scandal has played a major role in the indictment and later the resignation of disgraced Speaker Ray Sansom, as well as the ouster to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. As Sansom's mentor, Marco Rubio is one of the many Republican leaders who have been wounded by this scandal, when his RPOF AmEx card statements were leaked to the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times, showing Rubio used the GOP's credit card to pay for a $134 haircut, to fix his families mini-van and other personal expenses.
The Republican Party of Florida's skirting of campaign finance laws appear to be an attempt to hide the secret deals, excessive spending, and the millions of dollars Republican politicians charged to the Republican Party AmEx slush fund, which they used to live large on other people's money. Had the RPOF followed Florida's campaign finance laws for instance, the secret contract with former RPOF Executive Director Delmar Johnson would have been discovered even earlier.
Specifically Thurman's complaints against the RPOF, former Chairman Jim Greer, and Treasurer Joel Pate states:
Section 106.29, Florida Statutes, requires that the state executive committee and each county executive committee of each political party regulated by Chapter 103, Florida Statutes, shall file regular reports with the Division of Elections of all contributions received and all expenditures made by such committee.
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) has failed to include all contributions and all expenditures on reports that it has filed with the Division of Elections.
The RPOF failed to include on its reports filed with the Division of Elections contributions and expenditures that are included on reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Florida law contains no exemption permitting the RPOF to exclude from its reports filed with contributions and expenditures included on reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission; nor is the language of Section 106.29, Florida Statutes, limited
In the current cycle, the RPOF has reported to the Federal Elections Commission receiving $6,481,469 and expending $6,896,984. In the 2007-2008, election cycle, the RPOF has reported to the Federal Elections Commission receiving $34,416,232 and expending $34,434,621. [See attached Federal Election Commission summary reports for 2007-2008 and 2009-2010.] These contributions and expenditures have not been included on its reports of all contributions received and all expenditures made as required by Section 106.29, Florida Statutes, that are filed with Division of Elections.
Included herewith are copies of the RPOF state reports from April 2007 forward and federal reports from 2008 forward.
The RPOF, its chairman and its treasurer, have violated Section 106.29(1), Florida Statutes, by failing to file reports with the Division of Elections of all contributions received and all expenditures made by the RPOF.
The RPOF, its chairman and its treasurer, have violated Section 106.19(1)(b), Florida Statutes, by failing to report contributions required to be reported by Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.
The RPOF, its chairman and its treasurer, have violated Section 106.19(1)(c), Florida Statutes, by failing to include information in its campaign treasurer reports filed with Division of Elections required by Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thurman Demands Accountability By Filing Election Commission Complaint Against Republican Party of Florida
Posted by Professor Rex at 8:24 AM