Skip to comments.Junior Florida Republican Party staffer had $1.3 million charged to party credit card
Posted on 04/10/2010 12:15:13 AM PDT by Brandonmark
She was a 25-year-old junior staffer when the Florida Republican Party gave her an American Express card.
Over the next 2½ years, nearly $1.3 million in charges wound up on Melanie Phister's AmEx $40,000 at a London hotel, and nearly $20,000 in plane tickets for indicted former House Speaker Ray Sansom, his wife and kids, for starters. Statements show thousands spent on jewelry, sporting goods and in one case $15,000 for what's listed as a month-long stay at a posh Miami Beach hotel, but which the party says was a forfeited deposit.
The credit card records, obtained by the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, offer the latest behind-the-scenes look at extravagant and free-wheeling spending by the party touting fiscal restraint. Not only did certain elite legislative leaders have their own party credit cards to spend donors' money with little oversight, but Phister's records show these leaders also liberally used an underling's card without her knowledge, she says.
"I did not have the sole discretion to initiate credit card spending," Phister said in an e-mail statement. "Over that period of time, there were multiple instances when the card was used to make purchases that I had no knowledge of, and I did not regularly review the monthly credit card statements which I understand were sent directly to the Party's accounting office."
Even after a series of embarrassing revelations over profligate credit card spending by the likes of Republican U.S. Senate frontrunner Marco Rubio, Sansom and incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon and pending state and federal investigations of party finances revelations of the huge charges on Phister's card had veteran GOP fundraisers apoplectic.
"Oh my God. I can't believe it,'' said Al Hoffman, a top fundraiser from Fort Myers, when told of the $1.258 million on Phister's
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
Is this another incident in which Michael Steele should have had oversight but failed? Or is this independent of the RNC?
I can’t believe the GOP is the only big spender out there. Surely Rats must be doing at least as badly if not worse.
Story smells of horsesh@t to me.... we will see....
Next time, offer to donate a few hundred bumper stickers instead of a cash donation and wait for the stammering excuses to fly.
One can always donate directly to a candidate or potential candidate, if there are doubts about how higher level organizations will handle it.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve explicitly told the RNC to stop calling me. More than five, for sure.
Yet another good reason to donate directly to the campaigns of those you would like to see elected rather than the party that ends up choosing the candidates you are supporting.
Absolutely! This is an account with numerous cards on it, and the Democrats have ones just like it.
They play this up from the angle of a young girl, when the majority of people on it were probably older adults, and they passed up on mentioning them or the actual type of account this truly was.
I’m not a fan of Steele, and there are many things I don’t like about the R.P. leadership, but I’m not convinced this is as clear cut a case of abuse as the media and the Democrats hope we’ll buy it as being.
Doesn’t this just make you want to fork over a couple hundred of your own hard-earned dollars to the GOP? Where’s my checkbook. ...Oh yeah, it’s slammed shut.
When I contribute it’s directly to the candidate or a PAC that I trust like the Swift Boat Veterans. Most party organizations, Republican or Democrat, are a collection of hacks.
Speaking of hacks, the St.Pete Times is a partisan, left wing outfit.
Maybe, maybe not. However, it still does not absolve those doing the spending. Something tells me that even if M.Steele had never been born on this planet, those GOPers spending like madmen would still have had the penchant to do what they did.
I cant believe the GOP is the only big spender out there. Surely Rats must be doing at least as badly if not worse.
Is there really that much of a difference? Sometimes choosing between the Reps and the Dems is like choosing between the right hand and the left hand of a sociopath!
Also, whether or not the Dems are also spending like madmen shouldn't matter a whit. That would be like parents, after being busted for driving the car over other peoples' yards, claiming that 'surely the teenagers down the block must at least as badly, if not worse, be driving over yards' as well!
Doesn’t matter what party or affiliation they are; they are crooks, liars and thugs.
You did notice that this is about the Florida GOP, yes? This has nothing to do with Steele. State parties are independent of national parties.
“Don’t appear to be very good custodians of the donations!”
Oh, come on! I’m sure it is quite easy to drop $40,000 at one of those London “Full Service” hotels.
Did she accept your friend request?
Conservatives have *much* larger fish to fry.
I didn't ask for one..... I foresaw the possibility that the relationship could quickly advanve further than facebook. I didn't think my credit cards would appreciate it.
If my wife is lurking; I'm only teasing ;)