Monday, November 22, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the Old

The Miami Herald looks at Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s transition team. Not surprisingly, it sounds like lobbyists and GOP party fundraisers are getting frontsies.

Scott is soliciting cash for his inauguration from special interests and Tallahassee insiders he eschewed on the campaign trail, offering them VIP treatment in return for $25,000 contributions. He also wants them to pay for a ”jobs tour” being planned for December.


Scott has blamed special interests and party insiders for wasteful spending in state government, but put lobbyists Wayne Watters and Margaret Duggar and state party fundraiser Dr. Akshay Desai on his healthcare team.

Heading the budget team is Donna Arduin, well known in conservative economic circles for her opposition to taxes on wealth. She earned $180,000 in five months on Scott’s campaign for authoring his jobs plan.

Arduin was former Gov. Jeb Bush’s first budget director. After working in a similar role for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, she returned to Florida in 2007 to write then-House Speaker Marco Rubio’s plan to increase state sales taxes and eliminate property taxes.

Heading the transition team on health issues is another former Bush acolyte, Alan Levine. Now a vice president with Health Management Associates, a Naples-based operator of 58 hospitals in 15 states, he was most recently health secretary under Gov. Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, where he helped reduce the Department of Health and Hospital workforce by 25 percent.

And the beat goes on.