Withdrawing support for Marco Rubio

Now neutral and looking for a candidate to inspire me

By Chris Ingram

I sent the following e-mail to Marco Rubio today informing him I could no longer support his candidacy (more detail on why to come). Marco’s response back follows. Twenty-plus points up in the polls allows for arrogance. But this thing isn’t over yet…

On Mar 24, 2010, at 11:45 AM, “Chris Ingram” <Chris@411Communications.com> wrote:

Marco,

I can no longer in good conscience support your campaign. The things I have read about in the newspaper regarding your spending with RPOF issued Amex cards and the ensuing double-talk from you and your campaign spokesman lead me to believe you are no different than most politicians I have come across in my life.

As such, I request you refund the $600 in campaign contributions I have made to your U.S. Senate campaign.

 If you have trouble finding my contribution records, recall I have told you several times that your campaign has me incorrectly listed as Dr. Chris Ingram, pathologist.

 Chris Ingram

 President, 411 Communications

 Here is Marco’s Reply:

From: Campaign [mailto:e-mail address redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 12:04 PM
To: Chris Ingram
Subject: Re: Your campaign

 Ok
Sent from my iPhone

32 thoughts on “Withdrawing support for Marco Rubio”

  1. You really think Chuckles the Clown is a better choice? Nobody is perfect. You will never find a candidate that is 100% spotless…it’s the nature of this beast we call American politics. I guess that’s one vote Meeks then, huh?

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  2. Chris – does that mean that I should no longer read your columns since we disagree on this point?
    If you find a candidate you like better who can defeat Mr Crist and can win in November against Congressman Meeks – go for it and let us know who and why. But there is still much to like in the Rubio package. He is still my choice in August and November. What is reasonable spending for the Speaker in recruiting candidates and fundraising. The rules at play authorized RPOF support for those functions. From what I have read this is a minor issue compared to events under Chairman Greer.
    I stand with Marco.

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  3. I like Bob Smith. He is a true conservative who will fight for Florida. Plus he already has served 18 years in Congress. He will jump to the top of the line in seniority and will be a committee chair.

    I figured that the reason Rubio would not release his credit card statements 6 months ago was because he was just as guilty as Jim Greer. Now we know.

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  4. Resonse to Ted,

    Ted, you should vote for whomever you choose. I can’t vote for Marco because his actions with the cards speak louder than any words he may use about being responsible and a fiscal conservative.

    As for reading my columns or not, what would it say about you if you quit reading my columns simply because we disagree?

    And as for the RPOF “authorization” that’s something of a fox watching the hen house now isn’t it?

    Chris

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  5. Chris,
    My understanding is that the expenditures, if considered as an investment, returned far more than the cost, and his personal expenses were reimbursed.
    Long ago, when gentlemen farmers dug into their own pockets and went to Washington, voted for two weeks and returned home to tend the crops, we probably had many with spotless integrity.
    In today’s environment, when a few years in Washington sends a person back home a millionaire, eh…not so much, so I tend not to pick the flypoop out of the pepper and go with my best shot.

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  6. Clem,

    Can you please explain how Marco spending $20,000 on an RPOF credit card for his family reunion at some resort amounted to an “investment” in the GOP’s interest?

    Rubio has shown he is not to be trusted.

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  7. Why is everyone making such a stink about Marco’s use of a credit card that belonged to a PRIVATE CORPORATION and his use was ultimately authorized by that same corporation. He reimbursed the personal expenses, what the hell is the big deal? If you have a beef with that, then your beef is with the leadership of the RPOF for allowing that. As far as I know, the RPOF does not run on taxpayer money, this is an issue between the RPOF and whoever gave money to them. Show me one instance where Marco abused his power or position as an elected official and taxpayer funds were used, and then you might just have a case to make.

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  8. Chris, I applaud your integrity in this matter. Although I am inclined to vote Democrat, I am not in lockstep with the party line. Rubio is just another in the long line of hypocritial politicians,all show and very little substance. Charlie fooled a lot of people, especially in his own party!
    Time for a sea change.

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  9. To “Question For Clem”
    Maybe he was running up travel miles for the party????
    That is one of the expenses he paid back, was it not?

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  10. To “I’m with Marco”,

    I imagine Mr. Ingram has contributed to the RPOF and I have too, therefore we have a right to complain. If you have read Mr. Ingram’s column with any frequency at all, you surely have seen consistent criticism of the RPOF by Mr. Ingram on such matters. During the 2008 campaigns, I was in a large way responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars for my county REC, and I regret that some of that money was wasted the way it was. I won’t make that mistake again.

    It is a sad state of affairs when the voters much choose between a thief and a petty thief! Perhaps the word thief is too strong, but what else should we call it when monies are not spent responsibly and efforts are taken to hide the abuse? Is it asking too much of our elected officials to ask that they pay for their own haircuts?! I have never worked for a company that would tolerate me paying my personal bills with their money whether I reimbursed it or not.

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  11. “read your WITHDRAWAL of SUPPORT piece; full disclosure- i am a staunch supporter of Gov Crist to be my next US Senator. I do agree with your decision to withdrawal support from the “opponent.” Truly believe, that what you do when no one is looking is the true definition of your character. When and if one is “caught” and still denies, then this validates there is a major problem..
    Hope to be able to say< welcome aboard, but respect your thought now to be neutral"

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  12. Response to Gene:

    I am so sorry that you couldn’t get into the University of Florida. Did you try another school with lower standards of admission?

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  13. To “Jonathan”

    If you or Chris have a problem with the leadership of the RPOF, that’s completely understandable. I resigned from my county’s REC for the same reason, I disagreed with the leadership. However, I did not go out and publicly not support the GOPs candidates, and I sure as hell didn’t vote for an democrats.

    From your post, I take it you have never worked for a company that gave you an expense account. I have, and this is pretty much standard. If you incur an expense that is deemed to be personal, you repay it from your own money, end of story. Happens every day, and it doesn’t mean you’re a thief!

    If you dislike the RPOF leadership, then do the right thing and elect new leaders. But,if everyone who had a problem with the leadership of the GOP and how it operates takes the same position as Chris, we’ll have two democrat senators in 2011, and Obama will be in for a second term!

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  14. ” Chris, we’ll have two democrat senators in 2011, and Obama will be in for a second term!”
    Amen to that brother.
    Whats wrong with his actions is that he lived quite high on the hog with other peoples money, all the while pretending to be fiscally conservative. Seems like a pattern for most if not all Republican politicians.

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  15. dang!! I was having reservations, the lunches, the haircut, the house stuff his buddy with the airport hanger and then this recent stuff buddy charging all that stuff to the card too. Makes Christ smell like a rose.

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  16. To “I’m with Marco”,

    I can’t speak for the companies you’ve worked for, but I was expected to use company money for company expenses. End of story. I suppose if my employers thought that I did not understand the difference between company and personal expenses, they would not have put me in a position to access their money.

    Mr. Ingram has done nothing wrong by withdrawing his support for Mr. Rubio. I don’t know if he holds a position within the party or not, but even if he does, he is not barred from criticizing fellow Republicans, he just isn’t allowed to publicly endorse a Democratic candidate without penalty of possible expulsion.

    I applaud Mr. Ingram for his integrity and his demand that our elected leaders have similar character. I do not know Mr. Ingram personally though we have met once, but I suppose that he will hold his nose and vote for a Republican to be our next Senator. If he is able to influence the electorate and the elected, maybe one day we won’t have to hold our noses.

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  17. Chris,

    I have not been following Rubio’s campaign closely. All I know is that Mr. Christ should not go to Washington. If I summarize his exploits as governor, the only issues that I can remember are: the Seminole Indians getting Vegas-type gaming licenses, and Citizen’s Insurance becoming an even larger Tax-payer funded entity. I hate to generalize, but Mr. Christ strikes me as a RINO. So, unless we come up with another Republican candidate that shares my disdain for the downward liberal spiral that our country finds itself, I shall be supporting Mr. Rubio. Thanks for blogging.

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  18. This is not the discussion for this but I have been trying to get this thought out to people since Katherine Harris had her goose cooked as secr. of the state of FLA. Please consider some sort of movement towards a national voters registry. the absentee ballots that snowbirds fill out thus voting in two states and multiple elections needs to stop as does the issuance of driver’s licenses in multiple states.

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  19. Crist is NOT Christ, as some here would missspell his name. Rubio’s not quite perfect either. From where I sit, Marco still has my support over Crist. Hopefully, Marco will learn that anything that can be questioned, will, hereafter. And… that the RPOF may not always be the most proper or ethical source to ‘clear’ questionable actions with.

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  20. I respect Mr. Ingram’s decision as I have been very disappointed with recent revelations about Rubio’s expenses. However, on balance I still trust Rubio substantially more than Crist to crry out a conservative agenda in Washington. I would expect Crist to be another Lindsey Graham and one is enough.

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  21. This has challenged me. On one hand, I want to strangle the St Pete Times because it is on/in their paper practically every single day and you know they would rather have a centrist like Crist in the Senate any day of the week, but on the other hand, I am drawn to the articles like a scene in a scary movie…hands covering my face, peering between my fingers to see what happens next. Ugh. It is such a disappointment.

    It does raise a question about the “rules” and reiterates the fact that politics have been taken over by money – if the money is meant to be spent on developing and promoting the very best candidates, and them being able to raise additional donations, then don’t they have to stay at the conference hotels and take people out to meals? That is what corporate expense accounts allow for as well and each company has to decide what their brand is going to be – staying in Motel 6 (which I have), or hosting your client in a finer hotel. I do understand that you have to spend money to raise money, the problem is when it crosses the line of negligence and egotistic entitlement (a la Congressman Rangel) and unfortunately, I think we are seeing far, far too many places where Rubio crossed that line. He likely started off more humble and with a higher sensitivity to “the line”, but with the rapid rise to Speaker, the anointment by the RPOF and frantic fans driven by this politician-stardom our country has fallen into, his humilty has faded and his sensitivity deadened.

    Being a state Senator or Representative is meant to be a part-time job and carries a small salary as such, yet we (socially) expect these people to live and look the high life. Should donations be used to supplement a candidate’s lifestyle once they are desired to be running for office full-time? What about contributions to the campaign vs. the RPOF? How are they legitimately supposed to support their life and commit to political service full-time without being personally wealthy? Do we want our political servants to all be people who come from high personal wealth?

    I am not for $600 haircuts and $10,000 family reunions by any means, but I am for some kind of responsible/transparent system that allows intelligent, engaged, honorable people to run for and serve in office and yes, that means having a few nice meals and engaging in conferences and functions along the way.

    As far as the US Senate election goes, I am a hold out as well (not sure “hold out” applies in March…). Having met and spoken with Rubio last summer, I was left with a great-ideas-guy-great-talker-seems-on-the-ball-and-driven-to-get/keep-this-country-on-course-though-maybe-a-touch-on-the-arrogant-forgotten-what-it’s-all-for-side feeling and ever since I have been 1-1/2 feet in, the other 1/2 foot reserving judgement and maybe hoping for a miracle.

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  22. Since the Rubio campaign has better things to do than to respond to such rhetoric, please read what has been stated by the campaign in the past. Charlie has let his people down in the state of Fl, spoken by a person that supported and voted for him. You all need to do is listen to what Marco has to say and what he stands for. I don’t want our county to turn into an ISM of any kind. Rubio is for the people, not against and is the most honest and sincere human being I have ever met. Please read on.

    Charlie Crist and his campaign are incredibly desperate and may well have hit rock bottom.

    This week, two polls show Charlie Crist is losing by 18 points in the primary, while two staffers have deserted his campaign. Jeb Bush called his support for the stimulus “unforgivable.” In response, Crist has reacted by going on national television to announce his intentions to smear Marco in the upcoming election. Meanwhile, multiple media sources reported this week on Governor Crist possibly running for the Senate not as a Republican but as an Independent.

    As a result, earlier this week, the Crist campaign leaked copies of Marco’s American Express card statements from his time as a Florida GOP leader to at least one Florida-based media outlet. Given that no one had access to these records other than Marco and the previous, Crist-selected state party administration, copies of these internal documents could only have been obtained for them through the efforts of former Chairman Jim Greer and his team.

    The fact that the sitting Governor of Florida, who was elected as a Republican, would go on to leak private internal RPOF documents is outrageous and appalling, especially in light of the scandals and destruction left behind by his handpicked choice for Chairman.

    When Marco first entered this race, he was warned that there was nothing Charlie Crist would not do to save his political career. Now we all see how true that is. The Crist campaign is leveling every made-up charge and sleazy innuendo it can come up with.

    I am sure that before the day is done, Charlie Crist and his campaign will respond to this story with expressions of shock and outrage. Perhaps he will go on to profess his supposed longstanding adherence to transparency. We think this would be a wonderful opportunity for him to prove that.

    He should apologize for the irresponsible spending of his hand-picked state party leaders, former Chairman Jim Greer and Executive Director Delmar Johnson, and demand a full accounting of their spending.

    He should also call for an audit on the work performed for the party by consultants linked directly to him, as well as examinations into any direct or indirect contributions the party has provided, in possible violation of party rules, to his Senate campaign.

    On a day when Floridians are focused on finding a job, working hard to keep the one they have, or concerned about what may come of today’s Obama Health Care Summit in Washington, it’s sad that Charlie Crist has resorted to this type of campaign. It’s especially sad when you consider the major challenges our nation faces.

    Have you had enough of these desperate smears against Marco? If so, here’s what you can do:

    Send Charlie Crist a signal that you’re not going to let him get away with it. Help Marco fight the smears. Donate today and help Marco fight back.

    Thanks for your continued support,
    Team Rubio

    P.S. Read the following article from the Associated Press:

    Associated Press
    Rubio: Crist Leaked AmEX Statements; Charges Legit
    By Brendan Farrington
    Wednesday, 2/24/10

    Senate candidate and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio released a torrid letter Wednesday accusing Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign of leaking Rubio’s state Republican Party American Express statements showing nearly $110,000 in charges over 25 months.
    Rubio also justifies the charges as legitimate travel to promote the Republican Party of Florida, help Republican candidates and participate in county party fundraisers around the state.

    “It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former Chairman Jim Greer, or someone working for him, and were leaked to the media by the Crist Campaign,” Rubio wrote to newly elected Chairman John Thrasher.

    Greer resigned from the party under pressure after reports of lavish spending on jet planes and extravagant meals and entertaining. Greer’s executive director, Delmar Johnson, was given a secret contract that pumped his compensation up to $408,000.

    “As a point of reference, during this time period, the charges on my card amounted to approximately 3 percent of the Party’s total American Express expenditures. In fact, I had fewer expenses in two years than my opponent’s hand-picked RPOF Executive Director spent in just one month,” Rubio wrote.

    The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times, which obtained the records, listed several personal items found on the statements, including grocery bills and wine bought from a store near his Miami home. Rubio said he personally paid American Express $16,052.50 for nonparty expenses.

    “To the greatest extent possible, I made sure the Party never paid for any personal charges,” Rubio told Thrasher.

    Sharon Day, the state party’s national committeewoman, defended Rubio and said she was angry someone would try to use the credit card statements against him.

    “I’m not upset with Marco Rubio at all,” she said. “If you can raise $12 million on $110,000, we all should be that good.”

    Day said Greer told her and other party leaders in a private meeting that if he went down, he would take others down with him. Greer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

    “It’s very convenient that the only one that gets released (is Rubio’s),” she said. “This is silly. They want to talk about $110,000 in 25 months when Delmar spent $130,000 in one month.”

    Reached at home, Thrasher, who replaced Greer last Saturday, said he had no idea who had access to the statements.

    “It’s unfortunate they were leaked. They’re internal documents of the party,” Thrasher said. “We’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    Rubio pointed out only top party officials had access to the statements and noted Greer was picked by Crist to run the party. Crist, who says he never carried a party charge card, has previously said the statements should be released.

    “These actions are an appalling act of political desperation. The idea that the former chairman of the RPOF, or those working for the Governor, would selectively leak internal RPOF documents is disturbing. But sadly it is not surprising because these are the very men who put the party in the mess it is in today,” Rubio said. “The Florida GOP under Jeb Bush was never run with this sort of arrogance, mismanagement, lack of integrity and lack of leadership.”

    The Crist campaign didn’t immediately return a phone call and e-mails seeking comment.
    Rubio said 89 percent of his expenses were for travel, lodging, and meals related to official party work.

    “During this time I crisscrossed the state countless times for Lincoln/Reagan dinners, GOP fundraisers, and other party business. In all, more than half of my expenses were transportation costs: 40 percent for commercial airline travel and 14 percent for car rentals, tolls, parking and fuel,” Rubio said.

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  23. In the game of “whatever it takes to win” the truth is often nothing more than a forgotten, inconvenient detail. The machines of spin doctoring personal destruction are well oiled and experienced.

    This is exactly the reason why so many talented, qualified people remain on the sidelines while we are left to chose among the “damaged goods”. Who among us would submit themselves to such smears and innuendo for not bowing to the “conform or be cast out” mantra.

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  24. Go Kiss Crist while we hug Marco. You dont realize that Crist has fed off of the credit cards too through his buubbbyyy Jim “Hey, I’ll let the RPOF pay for it” Greer. Marco still understands clearly the political adage…”You dance only with those that brung you to the dance”.

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  25. I know Mr. Ingram:

    If Chris says it is so, it is. He was a neighbor and friend in Northern Virginia and is a straight shooter through and through.

    I have not been following this brouhaha enough to judge on the facts but his character, in my opinion, is impeccable.

    Full disclosure: life-long registered Republican, supporting member, at times, of the RNC, and active-duty member of the Armed Forces.

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  26. Chris:

    Once again, we are backed into a corner as voters…..We can only choose the lesser of two evils. In the case of this primary, what do we have to choose from, as voters? The same pack of career politicians that we always have to choose from.

    If Joe The Plumber ran, I’d pick him…litterally. I’d vote for the man/woman down the street, or the guy working behind the counter at McDonalds.

    The framers of our Constitution did not intend for us to have career politicians, rahter, people taking a turn at representing us. Since it appears that “representation” is as elusive as an honest politican, we can only choose these candidates that wish to “lead”.

    I don’t need a leader, I need a representative.

    http://www.scottfactor.com

    Like

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