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House candidate Kathryn Starkey criticizes "lavish spending" by Republican officials, including her opponent



Looks like House District 45 candidate Kathryn Starkey has decided to take aim at opponent Richard Corcoran’s party-issued credit card spending, after all.

Starkey was asked by the St. Petersburg Times earlier this week if she had anything to say about new reports that Corcoran, a former chief of staff to Marco Rubio, ran up hefty bills on a GOP-issued credit card for dinners with his boss, personalized chairs for Republican leaders and $4,600 for electronics, among other expenses. Before he was named Rubio's chief of staff in 2006, Corcoran had worked for the party's House campaigns staff.

Starkey declined to say much beyond expressing her disappointment about the credit card and spending controversies that have rocked her Republican Party and saying she would stay focused on her race.

But today, Starkey, who is currently a Pasco School Board member, sent out a new message to supporters.

"While we have been reading these reports for several months now about people who live in other areas of our state, only this week did this issue touch our district when it included one of my opponents," she wrote and then included a Web link to a St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald story about Corcoran’s use of a party-issued credit card.

She never mentions Corcoran by name. Her letter is below.

-- Jodie Tillman, Times Staff Writer

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of my campaign. I look forward to working for you when I'm elected to represent District 45 in the Florida House of Representatives.

Republicans in the State of Florida worked hard for many years and during the early 1990's with little financial support and a lot of sweat equity to gain the confidence of voters and deliver leadership of fiscal conservatism, less government, less taxes and less spending to the State of Florida.

Recently revealed extravagant personal spending of Republican donor money by certain elected officials and legislative staff members is disgraceful and totally unacceptable. It is especially disheartening when I know that many elderly Republicans in Florida finance the party with their $20 contributions.

I strongly encourage the implementation of legislation and regulations preventing this type of outrageous personal gratification from ever happening again. I call on our leadership to begin the process of creating an environment that reflects the beliefs of the true Republican Party of Florida - that of fiscal conservative, frugal spending and hard work to better serve the people of the State of Florida.

A mandate from leadership that donor money will be spent only to get good Republicans elected across the State of Florida is necessary in order to encourage future contributions. The future of the State of Florida and the Republican Party of Florida is at stake and immediate action is necessary.

While we have been reading these reports for several months now about people who live in other areas of our state, only this week did this issue touch our district when it included one of my opponents. If you haven't read the reports of lavish spending you can do so here:

Again, I thank you for your continued support and I look forward to being an active participant in the successful future of Republicans in the State of Florida.


Kathryn Starkey

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:29pm]


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