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The $198,000 Rubio-Bovo connection

As Miami Children's and Jackson Memorial hospitals are urging legislators not to cut their state money, they have doled out a total of $198,000 to former House Speaker Marco Rubio and Viviana Bovo, the wife of state Rep. Esteban ''Steve'' Bovo, to serve as consultants.

As Bovo was taking office in November, Rubio was leaving, due to term limits. Rubio took Viviana Bovo with him to work at a new consulting-lobbying firm, Florida Strategic Consultants.

The company in December then scored two contracts worth $102,000 and $96,000 with Miami Children's and Jackson Memorial hospitals, respectively.

Rubio, who plans to run for higher office in 2010, said he's staying out of Tallahassee lobbying. He said he provides strategic consulting advice and access to a network of contacts he culled as House speaker, one of the most powerful posts in the state Capitol.

''My job is to make introductions to key people who could help the hospital and the children it serves,'' Rubio said. ``I'm not a lobbyist. It's not my forte.''

Steve Bovo, a freshman Republican from Hialeah, is the in-house lobbyist for Miami Children's Hospital. He sits on a House budget committee that helps decide how much state money hospitals and healthcare providers in the state receive.

To ensure he's on the right side of the law, Rep. Bovo said he has requested legal advice on conflicts of interest. He said he stopped lobbying in Tallahassee ''the moment I got elected.'' He now does governmental-affairs work in Washington, D.C., and in the South Florida area.

Bovo noted that most people in the Legislature have other jobs, so apparent conflicts are nearly unavoidable.

''In this building . . . you could find 120 cases of conflict of interest, or maybe 160,'' Bovo said during an interview in the Capitol last week. ``I'm aware of it and I'm mindful of it, and I've had this conversation with the hospital.'' Read more.

Comments

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john

Since Juan Zapata is the one who aired this, why doesn't someone look into his business dealings

Ricardo

What a bunch of dirty crooks - absolutely shameless.

citizenkane

The real crooks are the Miami Herald - how they applaud democrats like they are gods - corrupt scum like Dan Gelber, who was representing HCA Cleveland Clinic through two lawfirms and HCA received a $240,000 slap on the wrist fine from the state of Florida after they bilked tens of millions from Florida taxpayers when the Federal Government sued them for 631 million.

cubalibre

rest easy folks - in a few years the Miami Herald will cease to exist and they have no one but themselves to blame. No one reads it anyway - and those that read the stupid liberal gibberish blogging these airhead wanna-bes write do so for entertainment, not for real news. That's why these writers never win any awards - they're lucky to be employed - but that will change

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