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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fla. GOP paid $250K for Dean Cannon to fly his private plane



Orlando Sentinel must-read: When incoming Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon travels to the capital city for political business, the son of an Air Force pilot prefers to fly himself — and charge the cost to the Republican Party of Florida.

The Winter Park lawmaker, whose party duties include helping Republican legislative candidates win statewide, flies a Cirrus SR-22 single-engine plane he co-owns through a company called GK Aviation. His partners include a small group of businessmen and lawyers from Cannon's former employer, mega-law firm GrayRobinson.

Republican Party of Florida donors have paid at least $256,272 since 2006 for his flight privileges.

In many respects, Cannon's arrangement appears similar to one set up by ousted party chair Jim Greer, who used party funds to charter his own plane to fly him and other officials around the state. Last month, the party released a scathing financial audit that accused Greer, as part of a broader review of $7.3 million in credit card spending under his tenure, of inappropriately using party money on his plane.

But the auditors gave Cannon a pass.


[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:33pm]


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