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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tom Slade: 'Hell yes' the Florida GOP should release all credit card statements



Slade Former state GOP chairman Tom Slade is not especially bothered by revelations that Marco Rubio charges personal expenses on his party-issued credit card: "Marco raised about $12 million during the period of time he was spending that money. You could probably pick nickels and dimes off the credit card statements and be critical, but if he paid back nearly $20,000 it ought to cover it," said Slade, who never provided legislators with party cards when he was chairman through most of the 1990s.

"It doesn't do me any heartburn, what does me some heartburn is the fact that the (former) executive director's card was about $130,000 for one month up there,'' he said. "That gives me a lot of heartburn - $130,000 was our entire operating budget. Those people were spending money like crazy."

Should the state party go ahead and publicly release all the credit card statements? "Hell yes,'' said Slade. "We should not under any circumstances attempt to make this not totally transparent. We've got to take a hit for it because we have mismanaged money that people gave us and used it for purposes they did not intend it to be used. We will take a hit, but better to take that hit, render a genuine apology for the way we conducted ourselves and then get on with the business that people expect from us,''  he said, arguing that the party needs to get back to its core beliefs of fiscal discipline and accountability.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:22pm]


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