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Pricey GOP consultant eludes state budget cuts (Rubio's $10,000/month consultant)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 03:11 PM
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Pricey GOP consultant eludes state budget cuts (Rubio's $10,000/month consultant)
So while Marco Rubio demands that the budgets of education, child care and health care be slashed to reduce Florida's budget shortfall (a direct result of his mentor JebBush's tax cuts for the very wealthy in Florida), Mr. Rubio somehow has enough budget money to pay his own private $10K/month *consultant* who, incidentally, produced no written work in September. But, most of her work is *v-e-r-b-a-l*, you see.

Pricey GOP consultant eludes state budget cuts

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

Monday, October 08, 2007

TALLAHASSEE Even as House Speaker Marco Rubio's House cut $5,000 from the Florida Supreme Court chief justice's discretionary fund and $1,828 to Nova Southeastern University to help balance the state's budget, he continues to pay a well-connected GOP consultant $10,000 a month, even though she produced no written work in the month of September.

Donna Arduin, once former Gov. Jeb Bush's budget chief, was rehired by Rubio, R-West Miami, starting Sept. 1.
He had paid her firm $70,000 for seven months of work, ending in June, to help articulate his plan to reduce or eliminate homestead property taxes and instead raise the sales tax.

This time her job is to provide "consulting services" on the budget cut bill that passed the House Friday. But she has provided no written reports, analyses or recommendations since her contract was renewed, according to Rubio's office.
The only document she turned over to the House was a single-page summary explaining that she had "provided consulting services" and that her firm "continues to participate in meetings and provide ongoing advice" regarding the budget and Florida's economy and is working on a "diagnosis of Florida's economic competitiveness."

Arduin declined to discuss her work for the House and referred questions to Rubio's spokeswoman, Jill Chamberlin.
Most of Arduin's advice was provided verbally, Chamberlin said. There is no log of those conversations, she said, but Arduin speaks with Rubio one-on-one as well as on conference calls and attends formal and informal meetings of legislators and staff.

"She works every day," Rubio said Friday. "I talk to Donna all the time. And so does our staff and so do our members. She's been a valuable member of the team and a great adviser. I think one of the best decisions we made was to have her on board helping us."

Democrats wonder whether Arduin's value is to the state or just to Rubio and his particular ideology.


Before working for Bush, Arduin served in similar roles for Republican governors in Michigan and New York. And she recently was named to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's new 12-member Fiscal Discipline Policy Advisory Group.
She left Bush's office to oversee the budget for newly elected GOP California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and left there in October 2004 to start Arduin, Laffer and Moore Econometrics.

Her partners are Arthur Laffer - known for the Laffer Curve, made famous as the underpinning for President Reagan's massive tax cuts in 1981 - and Stephen Moore, former head of the anti-tax Club for Growth.
In recent years, Arduin and her firm have worked for a number of proponents of the "fair tax," which would replace income taxes and property taxes with increased sales taxes.

Many other economists, most Democrats and some Republicans, including Florida Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, call the sales tax regressive because it proportionately affects the poor and the middle class harder than it hits the rich.


Here's our little 30-something Speaker Marco Rubio, accepting the *conservative sword* from his hero in 2005.

(Tip to Wonkette)
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