Republican Governor Scott Walker, who dropped out of the Presidential race, pays 27% interest on his credit card debit.
We know that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put $1 million in travel spend on his state American Express card. That’s bonus category spend! But we don’t know the exact charges because a court ruled the statements don’t have to be released, since doing so could ‘compromise security’.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has his own credit card problems. He had a Florida Republican Party credit card from 2005 through 2008. He would ‘take the wrong card out of his wallet’ on occasion and use the party card for personal expenses.
According to the campaign, over the four years Mr. Rubio had access to the card, 73 of the 1,307 total charges were personal. Those charges added up to $22,003.19, or 12%, of the $182,072.55 Mr. Rubio billed to the party’s credit card.
He paid all of the charges that were deemed personal himself. An ethics panel ‘cleared him of wrongdoing’ in 2012.
His campaign has now released the 2005 and 2006 American Express statements from his state party credit card. Charges included, for instance:
- There was $1,745 in personal expenses for trip to Las Vegas (this was what he paid American Express himself to extend his hotel stay and rent a car; Venetian charges alone were for $3343.58 and $1455.40).
- $1,625 at the St. Regis Hotel New York
He has expensive taste in travel. He doesn’t have significant personal wealth. And he wasted $22,000 in personal charges, neither using it to meet minimum spend for a lucrative credit card signup bonus nor earning category bonuses.
What I want to know is whether he had his own card(s), and what their limits were, during the time he was putting personal charges on a Republican Party card. Was it absent-mindedness, cash flow, or lack of alternatives that led him to use the state party card?
Regardless, he clearly didn’t maximize his miles. I know plenty of business travelers who resent having to put lucrative travel spend on a company card rather than a personal card (and taking reimbursement). Here Rubio gave up legitimate spend that could have been working for him, and supporting his travel. He could have stayed in Las Vegas or New York for free!
Goodness knows this isn’t a partisan concern. Hillary Clinton was the most-traveled Secretary of State, and she clearly didn’t travel commercial as much as she could have to maximize her miles…