Florida Senate candidate Rubio faces ethics complaint over spending

Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio misspent donations to the Republican Party of Florida and his political committees "to subsidize his lifestyle," according to a sweeping complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

The complaint filed by Michael D. Ryan of Fort Lauderdale also says Rubio — now a U.S. Senate candidate competing against Gov. Charlie Crist — used his public office to get an unadvertised job at Florida International University when it was laying off faculty.

Ryan, a retired businessman, said he used to be registered as a Republican but hasn't voted in years and has "zero political agenda."

Ryan gave $2,300 to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2007 because, he said, he was in business with one of her supporters, basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Rubio's campaign seized on the donation as evidence of Ryan's motives.

"This is clearly a political stunt by Democrats who are either working directly with Charlie Crist or have already looked past Crist to a general election fight with Marco Rubio," said spokesman Alex Burgos. "This filing, by a maxed-out Hillary Clinton supporter, is laughable in its absurdity, completely false and totally without merit."

The complaint cited stories by The Miami Herald and The St. Petersburg Times which found Rubio routinely charged personal expenses to his party-issued credit card between 2006 and 2008. Rubio said he repaid all personal expenses, though the Herald/Times found charges he did not cover.

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