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UPDATE: State GOP audit reveals lavish spending by former party chief

by Dara Kam | September 17th, 2010

UPDATE: Gov. Charlie Crist had this to say about the RPOF audit released today:
“I went to Disney World with my wife and my two stepdaughters and we paid for it ourselves.”

An audit of state GOP spending revealed that former party chief Jim Greer spent tens of thousands of dollars on lavish hotel rooms and trips unrelated to official business, including more than $5,000 on costs associated with his son’s baptism.

The audit, released to the public today, also found that the Republican Party of Florida picked up a $13,435.59 tab for a personal trip to Disney World Greer and his family took with Gov. Charlie Crist and his wife Carole and possibly her two daughters in June 2009.

Crist, who left the Republican Party this spring to run as an independent in the U.S. Senate race, said earlier this week he had no idea about possible misspending on travel after Thrasher threatened to take Crist to court to recoup the money if Crist didn’t repay it.

But the audit showed that Crist and his wife and the Greers spent more than $13,000 on a personal holiday at the Walt Disney World Contemporary Hotel.

Greer also charged $10,992.17 on his RPOF-issued American Express card for three personal vacations to Fisher Island, including one in which Crist participated, the audit found. Carole Crist owns a home on the exclusive enclave.

Crist’s campaign responded with a statement demanding that his opponent, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, release all of his credit card statements prior to the dates covered in the audit.

“Republican party bosses engaging in smear tactics to cover-up the wrongdoing of their own nominee? Shocking. Now that the bosses have ended their partisan charade, they must immediately release all of Marco Rubio’s credit card records dating back to when he was Speaker-Designate to determine the extent to which he charged the party for personal expenses like family reunions and real estate payments,” Crist campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in an e-mail.

The audit found that the RPOF paid for $381,786.12 in charges unrelated to party business during Greer’s tenure from 2007-2009. That includes $10,000 paid to Erik Eikenberg, Crist’s former chief of staff.

Greer ordered the RPOF to pay Eikenberg’s company Groundgame Consulting $10,000 in two $5,000 installments in November and December 2009, shortly after Eikenberg left Crist’s office.

“This independent audit is affirmation of the despicable exploitation and gross financial mismanagement of donor funds that occurred at the Republican Party of Florida during the leadership of Charlie Crist and at the direction of his hand-picked chairman Jim Greer,” RPOF Chairman John Thrasher said in a statement.

Greer was forced to resign in January and was charged in June with fraud, theft and money laundering for his alleged misuse of party money. Greer has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.

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23 Responses to “UPDATE: State GOP audit reveals lavish spending by former party chief”

  1. karlos waterman Says:

    ” including more than $5,000 on stationary for his son’s baptism.”

    A stationary what?

  2. Vulcan Says:

    Looks like Charlie had good reason to hand pick Greer as party leader. He didn’t have to reach into his wife’s pocket, especially since never having held a real job his forte is living on handouts.

  3. nemo Says:

    Wonder why we never hear about democratic issues. Don’t they ever do anything wrong?

  4. JM Says:

    Name me one politician who has not done the same. While I disagree on the frivilous spending and enormous pay checks these individuals recieve while the rest of us are struggling to make ends meet, at least he doesnt have crimminal track record of Rick Scott who is clearly buying his seat. Tell me again why we ae cutting Police, Firefighters, EMT’s, Teachers and increasing classroom sizes?

  5. mike Says:

    Gee, I wonder whos behind this smear????
    I am voting for Charlie and Alex and if you want good people, so should you.

  6. MB Says:

    Nemo,isnt the right spreading enough lies and racism for you?

  7. Educator Says:

    Lets do this again

    I would like to thank Sweet Charlie for helping to elect Marco Rubio senator

    Crist has done more for the Tea Party movement, Conservatism and the Republican Party than he will ever receive credit for

    To MB.. Please name SPECIFIC cases of “the right” spreading lies and racism

  8. Keyser Soze Says:

    I got ya on this one, MB: Hey, “Educator,” for someone using that screen name , you are not very educated.
    1) Obama’s a socialist. 2) Obama’s is not Chrisitan. 3) Obama is a Muslim. 4) Obama is not a natural-born American citizen. 5) Sarah Palin has a brain…need I continue?

  9. hypocritical GOP Leadership Says:

    Let’s assume that Charlie stayed in the GOP and won his party’s nomination or that he played the role the GOP wanted him to do and just walked off into the sunset. Would Thraser be making these allegations public now? Do people honestly believe that the higher-ups in the GOP (then and now) weren’t aware of this spending at the time and didn’t look the other way?

  10. SheliaJoy Says:

    This is a fine time for Democrats in FL. We will have a Democrat for Govenor and either a Democrat for Senate or an Independent. Lying steeling Republicans will loose control of Florida. The Tea Party canidates are too broke not to be tainted by scandal (Rubio,O’Donnell and others). That lying stealing Rick Scott (his company received stimulas $;his medical walk-in company will benefit from Health Care reform)plus he was over a company that stole medicare $.

  11. 2012- End of an Error Says:

    All politicians lie, cheat and steal.
    Nothing to see here, move on please.

  12. panhandle Says:

    This audit appears to be selective in nature. As if they were targeted specifically. I would seriously like to see complete expenditures of Rubio’s time as speaker/and before if we are to have an accurate idea of what has happened here.

  13. Gloria Says:

    Why dont they look into the money with Wexler and his chief of staff (yes the same boy who is doing Crist campaign) and the Dumbacrats.

    Charlie & his staff go down
    Deutch and his staff go down
    Don’t forget Burt Aaronson, Slosberg, Klein and Sachs from Sach, Sucks and Klein!

    Go Rubio!

  14. joe six pack Says:

    nemo is just upset that the majority of inappropriate criminal behavior amongst politicians is usually foud within the party of NO.

    nemo you are a douchebag. You never read articles about dems taking or spending money? The politician who kept the payoffs in the freezer (name escapes me)?Charlie Rangel? Whitewater and the Clintons ad nauseum?

    nemo is nothing more than a whiner who always thinks there is a conspiracy behind everything.

    You are what is wrong with this nation. You and Dune Dawg/OBIWAN. You three are all human garbage.

  15. Dune Dawg Says:

    JM: Please reference the public record of ANY Criminal Records of Rick Scott??

    Typical Marxist propaganda tool!! The liberal rags lament “criminal scandal”, “Medicare fraud”, etc. when no court of competent jurisdiction found ANY!!

    Let’s be perfectly clear: Clinton / Janet Reno had eight long years and found NO individual and NO corporation guilty of ANY Medicare Fraud nor ANY Criminal Wrongdoing relating to their persecution of BILLARYcare partners that killed that ugly charade!!

    Hospitals across the country settled with the Bush Justice Dept in 2001/2 without admission of any wrongdoing. CMS also was forced to hold claims handling workshops to explain their thousands of pages of contridictory instructions.

    Finally, the ultimate proof is the Medicare Modernization and Improvement and Prescription Drug Plan Act of 2003 (MMA2003) shut down the inefficient “48 Fiscal Intermediaries, et al” screwing the Medicare pooch and replaced it all with 15 Medicare Administration Contractors to professionally handle claims using modern health insurer technology and procedures to finally attack the admitted $100 Billion annual Waste, Fraud and Abuse!!

    Anyone with facts and a brain is human garbage to Marxist Komrades that have to look to the PBP for their daily dose of Karl, BARAMA, NannyState Pelosi and Hateful Harry Reid…

    SO, did Charlie Crist enjoy a Disney Vacation on the RPOF or not?? Facts are terribly inconvenient for liars!!

  16. To Keyser Soze Says:

    To Keyser Soze: Need you continue? Yes, please! There’s not enough ignorance on Jersey Shore, we need some more from you!

  17. SFLvoter Says:

    Great response Tim!!

    This entire “audit” brings the following to mind: “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.

  18. MB Says:

    Keyser Soze Thanks! Ok, my turn “kill him”, “he’s a terrorist”, “Obama wasnt born in America” (ok, for those of you who are unaware Hawaii IS a state),Glenn Beck is always crying associating Obamam and the Nazi’s (swear, I couldnt make this one up). Remember the joke with the welfare check with Obama and KFC? As faras Scott, he was held accountable for his part in the medicade fraud, I dont have the imagination nor the capability to lie about this. Some of us beliee in fat checking our resources. The left is by far not innocent but the racism remarks and venom from the tea baggers and Fixed news is deplorable

  19. Unreal Says:

    Anyone want to decide who is the best candidate for Senate and Governor look at who and how they are dealing with the BP oil claims issue, and the failure of BP to compensate our state for massive losses.

    Charlie – Well its all about him and he could care less. Hes already out the door as Governor apparently except when he thinks he can get the GOP with some partisan trick.

    Rubio – Not a word from him.

    Scott – Not a word from him.

    Meek – Not a word from him.

    Sink – Complaining vehemently, but not enough clout or not smart enough to realize BP and Feinberg are lying straight to her face everyday. Alex if you want to be Governor you have to learn to be strong willed and call them for what they are.

    The spill has been devastating to Florida and continues to affect a large portion of the states revenues and employment picture, but none of the candidates with the exception of Sink can be bothered to spend 5 minutes to do something about it, and they are all currently in some position of power except for Scott.

    Pay attention and the future will be shown to you all.

  20. what a joke Says:

    I think it’s funny that everybody attacks one another, but the truth is in the long run, we all have to pay for this abuse of public money. 13k for a trip to Disney? I went to Seaworld and saved enough $ for a one day trip. All
    elected officals ABUSE this in one way or another. The jokes on us.

  21. lulu Says:

    Wow…those are some expensive Mickey ears!!!This amount does not even compare to what Rubio spent! Where is Crist going next? Vegas? Hawaii? Imagine how much he can spend there!

  22. Dune Dawg The ASSWIPE Says:

    Dune, WTF are you talking about? You always have this nose in the air language that is terribly outdated.

    I absolutely LOVE it when you mention the words “Marxist Komrades” in ALL of your posts. It soooo reminds me of Hogans Heros.

    Dune Dawg you are a dinosaur. You are unhappy with EVERYTHING.

    Joe Six Pack is right when he defines you as human garbage. YOU my friend are what is wrong with this nation. You are the problem.

  23. Brice Gloyd Says:

    Most an informative article and supporting comments that you have here. I should point out that other sites may make a varying case, particularly in terms of natural health. Has anyone here found good related ideas on the Internet, and could you give me some direction?

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