Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reality Bites

From self-described the champions of "fiscal restraint":

Junior Florida Republican Party staffer had $1.3 million charged to party credit card

Among the damages:
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.


The Florida Democratic Party requires staffers and leaders to use their own credit cards and seek reimbursement for appropriate expenses. That's now the practice at the Florida Republican Party, and fundraiser Hoffman suggested it's about time.
[h/t C&L]

(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Grounded in reality

Sandpoint (Idaho) Tea Party Patriots president Pam Stout's appeared last week on Letterman to discuss her newfound interest in politics. Of the grandmotherly Stout's politics, Digby writes:
Her politics aren't grounded in real life but in abstract concepts.

Stout's group, the New York Times wrote in February, "joined a coalition, Friends for Liberty, that includes representatives from Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project, the John Birch Society, and Oath Keepers, a new player in a resurgent militia movement." With all the grounded-in-reality that that entails.

For instance, the Detroit Free Press reported last week that indicted Hutaree militia member, Tina Stone, complained on her Facebook page that H.R. 1388 (signed recently by President Obama) allocated "$20 billion to help the terrorist group Hamas settle in the U.S." Apparently, Stone credulously accepted bogus facts she received in a chain email.