So I dare compare the Republican Party - fiscally irresponsible, spend-crazy, adding debt like there's no bill due - to drunken teens using their parents' credit cards to rack up more debt and buy crazy sh-t to satisfy their indulgences. But I was just being figurative.
Well, here in Florida the Republicans just went and made it literal.
The local papers - so far the St. Pete Times and Orlando Sentinel leading the way - are pursuing reports of how a minor staffer with the state's GOP organization racked up over $1 MILLION on a party-issued credit card. Expenditures of shopping sprees across the globe. Travel tickets everywhere. TOYS! Further reports are examining how other leaders in the party - including current senatorial frontrunner Rubio - racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending as well.
Obviously, that staffer with the million-dollar credit debt didn't spend all that on herself or her family: evidence points to higher-ranking members of the state party - our old favorite Sansom gets a name-drop - using her card as a convenient means of side-stepping their expenditure reports. Problem is, that credit card statement still has to go somewhere, and the papers found out. And how the Republicans have to go into "Explain It Away" mode because while people expect the Republicans to live extravagantly they don't much like it when 12 percent of the state is STILL OUT OF WORK AND STRUGGLING FROM DAY TO DAY.
At least two questions come quickly to mind:
- Who's gonna pay all these credit card bills when they come due? (obvious answer: the deep-pocket campaign fundraisers who pretty much use this as a form of legalized bribery)
- Why are these GOP leaders spending so much of other people's money when all of them - Rubio, Sansom, even Crist had questionable spending sprees of his own - are fully employed at good wages and could well afford these things out of their OWN pocket?
I'm not sure the Republicans are gonna like the way this story is gonna play out, especially as it's coming on the heels of reports on how their National party organization the RNC went and spent money on questionable items as well... including a memorable stop at an expensive (yet tastefully refined) lesbian bondage club.
This seriously needs more play on the national stage. This is more than just a Florida scandal: this is endemic of how the Republican leadership really behaves with people's finances. This is a perfect example of how the Republicans are truly FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE: they spend other people's money - in some cases flat-out embezzle - to fulfill their personal needs and then have other people pay their bills.
So anyways, this isn't even the major news story in Florida right now. Everyone's up in arms about the Florida legislature's attempt to destroy our state's educational system, with a bill SB6 sitting on Crist's desk awaiting a possible veto. This has major ramifications: if it passes you can kiss all the good teachers goodbye (as the bill ends tenure and forces teachers onto an annual contract, no one is gonna want to work without job security). If Crist vetoes it, he guarantees the Far Right wingnuts (who hate the Democratic-heavy teachers' unions) running the primary between him and Rubio will make him pay for it (and it's not like he's won them over anyway). So a good number of political commentators are convinced if he vetoes it Crist is going to have to run as an Indy... so there's that drama going on today.
The third major story in the state today? It's about a monkey! There's an escaped rhesus macaque who's been free for over a year moving all over the bay area, and the locals keep an eye out for him. Watch the video.