Florida Democratic Party Chair Demands AG Bill McCollum Pay Taxpayers Back the $120K Fee to George Rekers

Karen Thurman, the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, is demanding that Attorney General Bill McCollum pay the state's taxpayers back for the $120,000 that was paid to George Rekers for his "expert" defense of the Florida gay adoption ban.

Writes Thurman in a letter:

George Rekers was paid over $120,000 for his “expert” testimony in support of Florida’s ban on gay adoption. When the Department of Children and Families expressed concern over the high cost of Mr. Rekers’s testimony, you personally insisted Mr. Rekers be selected and paid the full amount requested. Mr. Rekers was recently reported to have taken a two week trip to Europe accompanied by a gentleman whose services are advertised on a website called Rentboy.com.

Even more disturbing than the total amount paid to Mr. Rekers is the fact that he was paid almost double what was agreed upon for his discredited testimony. While Mr. Rekers was supposed to receive only $60,900 in taxpayer money, in a glaring case of incompetence, your office neglected to have Mr. Rekers sign a contract capping his fee. This allowed him to bill the State of Florida another $59,793, which your office then approved. Furthermore you personally lobbied for Mr. Rekers to testify even though in 2004 a judge in Arkansas called Mr. Rekers’ testimony “extremely suspect”.
It is troubling that you would allow such incompetence and abuse of our tax dollar, and it calls into serious question whether you are capable of performing the most basic functions of your office, much less that of Governor.

Sadly for Florida, this fiscal recklessness is only the latest disturbing example in a long line of instances where your office wasted state funds to further your political ambitions or partisan ideology. Last year, you spent more than $2.2 million dollars to produce and air campaign style TV ads where you were featured in almost every frame. More recently, your office initiated a frivolous lawsuit challenging needed health care reform, with the state set to spend $50,000 on a no-bid contract to your old lobbying firm and unknown staff costs that are continuing to accumulate.

To show you recognize the egregious nature of your spending, your campaign should reimburse the State of Florida’s treasury the full cost of the funds you steered towards George Rekers for his “expert” testimony. Anything less would be an affront to the taxpayers of our state.


  1. says

    Stick a fork in him!

    The only question is what hold Rekers has over McCollum. Why was he so insistent on paying this particular Fundie fraud so much money?

    THere’s a bigger story here and I’m sure we’ll be reading about it shortly.

  2. walter says

    mccollum needs to explain this whole situation and why he fought so hard for the rekers testimony. he should complete disreguard for the taxpayers of florida and now wants to be their governor.he is a self promoting hippocrite.

  3. Dusty says

    Is McCollum still continuing with his appeal on the gay adoption ban case despite all this horrible press surrounding it? If so, he needs to apologize, return the money, and drop the appeal. If he chooses not to, he doesn’t have a hope in the world to become governor.

  4. Mark says

    Paying someone for testimony against gay adoptions when there is clear data that children thrive with gay parents is ridiculous. It’s like hiring a priest to provide “expert” testimony to disprove that scientific data dinosaurs once existed.

    A friend of mine who works for social services in CA says that kids taken in as foster kids (or who are eventually adopted) by gay parentshave a better success rate. He says that many straight people are looking for the “perfect” child–so when the first time the foster child does something inappropriate or embarassing they return the child like a broken toy. He says gay foster parents are less likely to do that–could it be that they know what exactly what it feels like to not be the “perfect child”? :)

    They also see their role as foster parents as a privledge–and are grateful for the chance to be parents to a child.

  5. says

    @ David Ehrenstein:

    And I for one can’t WAIT to read it! McCollum has been strangely silent about the Rekers debacle. I have a feeling his camp is hoping this whole thing will eventually blow over. But for once the Democrats are taking a page from the Republican playbook and running this story into the ground.

    Hopefully when the dust settles and the Democrats have satiated themselves on the carcass that is McCollum’s political career real change will come to Florida adoption policies.

  6. Sean says

    This guy better respond soon because it’s getting worse for him. I’m pretty sure that his bid of governor is now ruined and he will eventually HAVE to say something about this.