Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feds Probe Florida GOP Finances

Via the Miami Herald, we find that the Feds are looking into how the Florida GOP conducts business.

Federal investigators slapped the Republican Party of Florida with a subpoena seeking financial records as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe by the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Herald/Times has learned.

The subpoena, delivered Election Day, sought documents related to big spending by top Republican honchos who were given party-paid American Express cards.

Top RPOF officials and investigators declined to comment on the federal probe or the subpoena.

For more than a year, the party has reeled from scandals tied to the credit cards as well as four unrelated state criminal probes into its former chairman, a fundraiser, a former Florida House speaker and a Capitol insider.

Federal investigators have already interviewed consultants, donors and numerous state senators — some in their Capitol offices. The investigations are being handled in multiple offices throughout the state, from Pensacola to Miami.

[…]

The subpoena landed at the George H. W. Bush Republican Center in Tallahassee just as the party was brutalizing Democrats at the polls Nov. 2. One of the biggest wins for Republicans: the defeat of Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the party in a failed bid to win the U.S. Senate race. Republican Marco Rubio beat Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Many Republicans point the finger at Crist and his appointment of Jim Greer as chairman for the party’s troubles. While the party was struggling to raise money and pay its bills, Greer charged about $500,000 to the party for meals and trips on his American Express card.

Greer was ousted from his post and was later criminally charged for allegedly funneling $165,000 in party and donor money to dummy corporation he established. He has pleaded not guilty.

There’s your Party of Fiscal Responsibility for you.