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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist: Sansom spending 'an embarrassment'



The last thing the Republican Party of Florida needed two days before rallying the troops at its convention in Orlando this weekend: revelations that former House Ray Sansom had put tens of thousands of dollars in questionable expenses on the party's credit card.

Gov. Charlie Crist said of the expenses: "I think it's unbelievable, number one. The kind of expense that were charged are an embarrassment, frankly, let's say it how it is. I try to honor the will of the people whether they re taxpayers or contributors...They work hard for that money...I'm pretty bare bones and I try to make sure all those (party) resources are used for victory."

Rank-and-file Republicans are also indignant. "I'm pissed off,'' said Pasco Republican Chairman Bill Bunting. "What's offensive to us in the grassroots, we don't salaries, we work hard, and then to turn around and see that is discouraging."

RPOF Chairman Jim Greer -- who has faced criticism for his own spending of party money -- is expected to announce a new no-credit-card policy today. "It's a step in the right direction,'' said Party CFO Richard Swarttz.

--Beth Reinhard

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:58pm]


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