Politics & Government

Florida GOP facing questions about the way it spent money

TALLAHASSEE — Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer is being asked to answer to a call for an audit of party books amid questions from top Republican leaders as well as rank and file members about spending on chartered jets, five-star hotels, sports tickets and even men's clothing shops this election cycle.

''There are many folks who believe it's time for the RPOF to run the party with an eye toward fiscal discipline,'' said Brian Ballard, Florida finance chairman for the John McCain campaign. "Not a day goes by where somebody won't grab me and say you have to get control of the party -- it's out of control.''

While concerns about Greer's spending have been festering behind the scenes for weeks, New Port Richey Republican Joe Aloisio brought the dust-up into the open Thursday when he sent a letter to party members calling for an audit of party finances.

He asked why the party bought tickets to sporting events such as Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees games, trips to Disney World, and spent $682,000 on chartered planes when it could have been spending on TV and radio advertising for John McCain.

''Misappropriated money from the RPOF would have easily financed Spanish language and African-American media . . . and picked up the 3 percent we needed to win for John McCain,'' he wrote.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com.