Greer predecessor Jordan on GOP AmEx spree: “Nobody had carte blanche” when I was in chargeby George Bennett | March 2nd, 2010
TALLAHASSEE — Former Republican Party of Florida Chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan said the GOP issued American Express cards to top officials while she was at the helm from January 2003 to January 2007, but “we were very careful. We set up a lot of business procedures….Nobody had carte blanche.”
The party made about $3.1 million in American Express payments during the four years Jordan was chairwoman. During the three years her successor Jim Greer was in charge, the party’s AmEx bills topped $3.8 million. Greer stepped down last month in part because of controversy over his lavish spending.
Jordan, now the tax collector of Indian River County, is in town for a Republican women’s conference. Asked her opinion of the American Express spending under Greer, she paused briefly, then said: “It’s over. We need to move on. I’m very excited to see Speaker/Sen./Chairman (John) Thrasher running the party.”
Thrasher was elected last month to succeed Greer. He has resisted cries from Democrats and some Republicans to release records showing how much individual party officials racked up on their American Express cards.
The party has been stung by revelations of big AmEx spending by Greer (including a $3,600 dinner at The Breakers), former executive director Delmar Johnson ($133,000 in a month last summer) and indicted former House Speaker Ray Sansom (European vacation, $893 Starbucks tab).
Former House Speaker Marco Rubio has run into controversy in his U.S. Senate campaign after it was revealed he put about $125,000 in charges on his GOP AmEx between November 2006 and November 2008. The charges included more than $109,000 for party-related business and more than $16,000 in personal expenses that Rubio said he paid for personally, including a $133.75 barber shop visit.