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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

$7.3 million in RPOF AmEx charges released

UPDATED: The Republican Party of Florida released internal records Friday detailing $7.3 million in credit card charges made since 2007.

The bulk of the credit card statements were detailed in previous St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald reports, but the documents included at least $2.5 million in newly disclosed expenses.

Among the new charges: $95,296.80 that former party boss Carole Jean Jordan spent in one month for party events and $1,075 that finance staffer Cameron Ulrich spent on cufflinks for donors at Nic’s Toggery, a high-end menswear store in Tallahassee.

Read past jump for more.

Altogether, the expenses from 31 cardholders reveal the perks of being the political party in power, awash in special-interest money that fuels the extravagant lifestyles of top GOP lawmakers and staffers.

The statements cover the tenure of former Chairman Jim Greer, whose lavish spending prompted party officials to demand his resignation in January.

Read continuing coverage here.

Cardholders dropped gobs of cash on lavish hotel rooms, show tickets and airplane rides up and down the state.

A glimpse at the charges show:

-Dane Eagle, finance director for Gov. Charlie Crist’s US Senate campaign, booked US airways flights for Crist, his wife, and Greer to travel from Tampa to D.C. on Jan. 29, 2009 at a total cost of $673.80. On Eagle’s card, the First Lady traveled often on the party dime. He booked a Delta flight for her on Feb. 23, 2009 for $224.60 from West Palm Beach to New York City.  That same day, a flight was booked for her on US Airways for $251.60 from D.C. to Tampa.

-Between March and September 2007, political director Andrew Palmer chalked up $86,583.97 in charges, including $3,641 at Aaron’s Lapel Pins in Winter Park.

-Carrie Madden charged her way across the state and country. She spent $2,202.69 at Chez Pierre, a popular Tallahassee restaurant, in March 2007 and in July 2007, dropped $1,500 on the Circle Line Sightseeing tour in New York and $11,256.54 at the PGA Golf Club in Saint Lucie. That same month, she picked up $1,843.26 worth of golf equipment at Edwin Watt's Golf in Tallahassee. She spent $34,897.99 at the Ritz Carlton in New York in August 2007.

-- John Frank, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:34pm]

    

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