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Look who won the Turnpike contract

Looks like former House Speaker Marco Rubio was half-right, half-wrong about who would win the mega-contract to control the overhaul and concession contract along the Florida Turnpike. It wasn't Host International (as Rubio repeatedly suggested), but it was a mega-corp: Areas USA, which was just awarded the bid.

There were Loads O' Politics over this one contract. Rubio inserted special proviso budget language at the behest of a friend and potential bidder Max Alvarez (who was initially approached, incidentally, by Areas) to help the little-guy get a piece of the contract. When Rubio tried again, Gov. Charlie Crist ultimately vetoed the language and transportation bill that the language was slipped into. More here.

It's not a done deal yet, though. The losers could file a bid protest by Friday. International Meal Company is the one to watch. Though it was ranked third of four bidders, it's number one for hiring heavy hitters: lobbyists Brian Ballard, Greg Turbeville and Travis Blanton. Media: Vivian Myrtetus, who like Ballard is a Crist-ite. Another Crist-ite, George LeMieux, was rumored to be working on IMC's behalf. When asked about it, LeMieux said he didn't want to confirm or deny any clients.

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