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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio blasts back at Gov. Charlie Crist's 'frugal' European vacation

4

March

Every mean press release deserves another in the not-so-Golden-Rule world of campaigning, so here's Marco Rubio whacking Gov. Charlie Crist over the guv's European economic-development trip. Most of Crist's personal expenses were paid by special interests/Enterprise Florida donor money, not taxpayer cash. But his entourage was on the taxpayer dime to the tune of $400k. (RPOF donors paid as well when Ray Sansom went on one of his trademark spending sprees with his party AmEx card in jolly ole London)

Anyway, here's the release:

Governor Charlie Crist’s latest reinvention into a “frugal” spender was on full display in today’s National Review Online (NRO).  Actually, that is partially true. By all accounts, he might be frugal when it’s his own money. But he is more than happy to spend the taxpayer’s dime on things like lavish European trips for himself and his entourage.

When he endorsed and campaigned for the $787 billion stimulus, Floridians saw firsthand how Charlie Crist’s personal frugality does not translate into fiscal restraint with taxpayer money.

But before that, Floridians saw it in Crist’s 2008 European junket, which came complete with a two-dozen person entourage, an official photographer to chronicle the governor at “work,” a $2,100 a night luxury sweet in London, $1,300 in room service and mini bar charges for Crist alone, and first class airfare at $8,000 per ticket.  Total cost?  Over $430,000, with nearly $30,000 in personal expenses for Crist, picked up by special interest groups.

“Charlie Crist might be frugal when it comes to his own money, but he loves spending taxpayer money on a failed stimulus, on $2 billion worth of tax hikes, and on a luxurious lifestyle for himself and his buddies,” said Rubio for Senate spokesman Alex Burgos. “Floridians are not going to take lectures on frugality from a guy who embraced the largest spending bill in American history, stays in $2,000 a night luxury hotel suites where he racks up $1,300 in mini bar charges, and doesn’t pay for a dime of it himself.”
“The record is clear,” added Burgos. “While Marco Rubio was fighting to eliminate property taxes in Florida, opposing Charlie Crist’s big government cap-and-trade energy tax plan, and saving taxpayers $30,000 in travel costs, Charlie Crist was gallivanting around Europe on a lavish junket. The hypocrisy coming from Charlie Crist these days is stunning.”

Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:24pm]

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