Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for Senate in Florida, used his party’s credit card to pay for his groceries, repairs for his family minivan, purchases at his local wine store, and other personal expenses while he was speaker of Florida’s house. Documents obtained by the Miami Herald outline $13,900 in non-political expenses charged to the party American Express card—which is problematic, because IRS rules say donations to parties must be spent exclusively on influencing elections.
Rubio, a favorite of tea party activists, is in a tight primary with the more moderate Charlie Crist. In a letter to state party chairman John Thrasher last night, he accused Crist of leaking the documents. “These actions are an appalling act of political desperation,” he wrote. The expenses include purchases at everything from a music equipment store to lumber and farm supply stores. Rubio says some of the expenses were proper, and that he’s paid back others.