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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The Rubio/Bovo consulting web

9

February

Herald/Times: In a legislature where public votes and private profit can collide, one alliance stands out: the trio of Rep. Esteban ''Steve'' Bovo, his wife and former House Speaker Marco Rubio. 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 health care providers in the state receive.

As Bovo was taking office in November, Rubio was leaving, due to term limits. Rubio took his top assistant -- Viviana Bovo, Bovo's wife -- 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. The situation involving the Bovos and Rubio is legal but illustrates the complicated challenges of conducting public business in a ''citizen's legislature," where part-time lawmakers often cast votes that can benefit their full-time employers outside the Capitol.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:20pm]

    

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