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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist campaign defends questionable Fla GOP card charges



Campaign finance reports show Charlie Crist's struggling U.S. Senate campaign has enjoyed some questionable expenses on the Florida Republican party's American Express account. The disclosures come at a time when Crist has been hammering rival Marco Rubio for inappropriate expenses on his state party credit card when he was state House Speaker.

And the records bolster the complaint by many party activists that for months the state Republican party served as an offshoot of the Crist campaign.On Wednesday, the Crist campaign acknowledged, for instance, that ousted former state party Chairman Jim Greer was the first person to reach out to the woman Crist hired as his campaign communications director. The party charged more than $1,000 on the state GOP's credit card to fly Andrea Saul down to a Crist campaign meeting in Orlando in October.

...The Crist campaign also reported nearly $17,000 in "reimbursement" to the state party's credit card, which three experts called a potential violation of federal campaign finance law. State parties are not allowed to contribute, advance or loan a federal candidate more than $5,000 in a primary.

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:24am]


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