1. BIG SPENDERS

    IRS, FBI Investigates Fla. GOP

    More scandal for the Republican Party: A state investigation of Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom has mushroomed into a federal investigation of the Florida Republican Party. Sansom was indicted on criminal charges that he hid $6 million in the state budget for an airplane hangar for a campaign donor friend. He and others could face charges of tax evasion and making false statements on their tax returns thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars charged on Florida GOP credit cards. Meanwhile, separately, the IRS has opened a primary investigation into the tax records of three politicos who once held the credit cards: former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, former state party chairman Jim Greer, and former party executive director Delmar Johnson. (A primary investigation collects evidence to see if there’s enough to support a full inquiry.) The Florida Republican Party allegedly allowed cardholders to rack up huge bills while wooing donors and running campaigns, with little oversight. For example, Rubio, now running for U.S. Senate, reportedly charged more than $100,000 to the party card in his two years as speaker. Rubio said the charges were business expenses. Greer resigned two months ago after an uproar that he’d misspent the party’s cash. Of the IRS investigation, he said, "I paid all my taxes and did everything my accountant told me to do.''

    Read it at St. Petersburg Times