Steve MacNamara, Rick Scott's Chief of Staff, Gave $5 Million No-Bid Contract To Buddy's Partner
It's official: Gov. Rick Scott's biggest single fuck-up in office is not his spectacularly failed plans to drug test everyone in Florida, his botched ideas for fixing the economy or even his refusal to pee in a cup when the Daily Show asked him so nicely. No, his biggest catastrophe was hiring Tally insider Steve MacNamara as his chief of staff.
Just days after MacNamara got whacked for steering a no-bid $400,000 contract to a close friend -- hilariously tasked with "reducing government waste" -- Scott's top aide is back in the news this morning. Turns out, he also helped the business partner of one of his best buddies get a no-bid $5 million tech contract.
The latest scandal concerns a $5.5 million state contract last year to put the Florida Senate's budget data online. The Senate waived a bidding process and gave the contract to one Anna Jo Mattson, the Miami Herald reports.
Mattson also happens to co-own a Tally software firm with Jim Eaton, a lobbyist who's one of MacNamara's best buddies in the capitol. MacNamara, who was working for the Senate's president at the time, helped negotiate the contract.
Scummy! But not at all surprising to anyone who's followed MacNamara's career in Tally.
As the Herald's Marc Caputo pointed out this past weekend, MacNamara left a long trail of questionable ethics while serving as chief of staff to House Speakers and Senate presidents. In 2000, he landed in an ethics investigation after secretly lobbying the state to build a concrete factory on a protected river.
While pulling the strings for Scott, MacNamara's been a caricature of a moustache-twirling insider.
Just before the news broke about his no-bid contract shenanigans, he tried to get Scott to approve a bill raising tuition at FSU -- where he happens to be a tenured professor on leave -- and then orchestrated the disaster of a trade ban with Cuba.
So now he have a governor who is both a comically inept outsider incapable of getting any of his hair-brained schemes passed and yet who is simultaneously closely tied to one of the dirtiest insiders in the state.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.