Spending Explodes as New Florida Repub$ Take Over

Incoming Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R-Miami) is practically throwing taxpayer dollars from the back seat of the Hummer limo.

The new speaker of the Florida House, a self-described fiscal conservative, now employs the highest-paid spokesman in state government, adding to a growing list of staffers drawing six-figure paychecks.

“These fiscal conservative Republicans are spending money like drunken sailors,” said Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach

Rep. Marco Rubio’s press secretary, Jose Fuentes, is getting an annual salary of $119,484.

That’s $23,000 more than Gov. Jeb Bush’s communications director, and just $9,500 less than the governor himself…

The Miami Republican has hired a $10,000-a-month financial consultant, former Bush adviser Donna Arduin, given a $100,000-a-year job to former Republican lawmaker Ken Sorensen and created a parliamentarian position that pays $133,908.

Rubio has given jobs to a number of longtime government workers who might otherwise be unemployed with the departure of Bush. Many are paid more than $100,000 a year…

Expanding the payroll is only the beginning. Rubio thinks it’s time for a little remodeling also.

A $550,000 revamp of the Florida House ordered by House Speaker Marco Rubio includes a members-only dining room, a first for the Capitol building…

The building now has a cafeteria in the basement and a snack bar on the 10th floor, both of which are open to the public. The new dining room…has its own kitchen and a plasma TV on the wall…

The irony of this profligate spending isn’t lost on everyone, however.

“These fiscal conservative Republicans are spending money like drunken sailors,” said Rep. Susan Bucher, D-West Palm Beach.

But it’s all for the good of the citizenry, Rubio asserts.

Rubio did not talk with a reporter Tuesday, issuing a statement instead.

“…we felt we had to provide our members with the most talented and experienced staff possible. Attracting such talent often requires paying salaries competitive with the private sector.”

He’s got us there. Parliamentarians probably make, like, a real lot in the private sector.

One comment

  • Audrey
    December 11, 2006 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank God for people like Rubio who fights for what he thinks is best for Florida and does not let the press rule his decisions. Hiring great talent not good talent means dishing out extra money, period. Anyone who disagrees with this does not live in today’s world. Those who demean working for the state should be ashamed. Rubio knows what he is doing, make no mistake about that. Having a press secretary who worked in the White House for our vice president and that worked throughout our 9-11 tragedy has more experience than needed to be a state press secretary. He is underpaid in my opinion at 119,000. The press should be ashamed of themselves for going after decent young talents like Rubio & Fuentes. Focus on thier work, that is what counts.

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