It’s about 40 days till the November elections, and the discourse is becoming increasingly dirty. Last Friday, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) released an “internal audit” of its finances, implicating Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who switched to an independent in the middle of his U.S. Senate race, and disgraced former party chairman Jim Greer in a magical, fantastical Disney spending spree.
Supposedly, Greer and Crist racked up more than $13,000 on the party credit card at the happiest place on Earth. How did the pair blow so much party money riding Space Mountain?
Well, not so fast.
In this knock-up job of an “audit,” the RPOF doesn’t specify who spent these thousands of dollars. Shortly after the release of the report, Crist held a news conference where he showed receipts that he paid for about $4,700 in expenses for the trip, including costs of accommodations and dining.
Crist said he didn’t know how Greer was spending so much money on the trip.
Also alleged is that Greer spent about $382,000 in questionable charges to the party during his employment. It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that he alone could churn through a relatively measly $13,000 in a four-day trip to Disney.
The audit only covers the time period of Jim Greer’s tenure, and no current Republican party leaders are accused of abusing party cards.
“We’re turning a page in the RPOF,” said Hillsborough County Republican Chairman Deborah Cox-Roush to The American Spectator. “The RPOF leadership of the past is not the leadership of today.”
You hear that, voters? Now that Greer and Crist, his willing accomplice, are gone, the RPOF is officially the party of financial purity and virtue.
Conveniently, the RPOF audit clears Crist’s Republican Senate rival Marco Rubio of any wrongdoing in relation to party credit card expenses, even though he has been involved in past controversies.
The campaign document released last week has little, bearing on reality, and it’s painfully obvious that its conclusions are politically motivated. A pure propaganda piece, the audit could very well hurt Crist’s chances of getting elected. One can only hope voters aren’t naive enough to believe anything contained within.
Vincent Defrancesco is a junior majoring in mass communications.