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Steve MacNamara and the quiet, $5 million no-bid transparency contract

When the Florida Senate was looking for someone to put its budget data online, it set aside $5.5 million and turned to the business partner of a close friend of the Senate’s chief of staff at the time, Steve MacNamara.

The developer of the program, Anna Jo Mattson, owns a software company with Tallahassee lawyer and lobbyist Jim Eaton, MacNamara’s long-time friend. She also owns Spider Data Services, the company that developed the software program licensed by the Senate. She said Tuesday the companies are not related. MacNamara did not respond to requests for comment.

MacNamara negotiated the contract with Mattson in February when he worked for Senate President Mike Haridopolos. He left the Senate to become Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff in July. To date, Mattson has been paid $5 million for development of the no-bid project. Another $2.5 million has been set aside in the governor’s 2012-13 budget to pay for access to her patented program next year.

“What we’ve got is state of the art in terms of budget transparency programs,’’ said Craig Meyer, who succeeded MacNamara as Senate chief of staff. Story here.

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Chance Pierre

Are you kidding me? First is was a $360,000 no bid contract, and now we have a $5.5 million dollar no bid contract that was negotiated between McNamara and his close friend. Is Rick Scott that stupid that he's going to let this fly? How on earth could a sitting governor who claims to be totally transparent allow this to happen on his watch? The governor needs to fire McNamara and all of those people who work under him. A new broom sweeps clean, but the rich boy doesn't know that because he's afraid to do the tough work. This is ridiculous, and Rick Scott has dirty hands just like his crooked Chief of Staff. Tallahassee insider = more corruption. So, will this be swept under the rug like the other scandals occurring in Tallahassee? You betcha!! Come on, Rick, you need to man up and do the right thing. Our state is more important than this narcissist.

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