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What's a little lobbying between friends?

The Miami-Dade County Commission is ready to make it official: Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman and former Republican Party Chairman Al Cardenas are lobbying together on the county's behalf in Washington.

The Miami Herald reported in July that Cardenas was paying $3,500 a month to the former member of Congress to help him lobby the new Democratic leadership. The commission is expected to approve the deal at its Tuesday meeting.

"I call it survival,'' quipped Commissioner Joe Martinez when asked about the bi-partisan partnership. He added that Thurman's involvement needed to be disclosed to the county in case of any conflicts of interest.

Thurman, who earns $100,000 as chairwoman, has said the arrangement does not affect her work on behalf of the party. But it sure is strange to read a letter from Cardenas, a top advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, praising the woman determined to turn Florida from red to blue in 2008.

"During her time in Congress, Karen worked tirelessly on issues related to health care, taxes and the economy,'' the letter says. It also notes her "ability to work productively with members of both parties.''