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Incoming Prez Haridopolos clears decks in Senate

by Dara Kam | August 3rd, 2010

Before he’s officially taken over as Senate President, Sen. Mike Haridopolos gave the axe to several top-ranking senate staffers this week, according to Senate sources.

The list includes staff directors Bob McKee of the Finance and Tax committee, Ray Wilson of Governmental Oversight and Accountability; General counsel Jay Vail; chief information officer and director of information technology Curt Unruh; and Joe McVaney, deputy staff director with the budget committee.

“The Florida Senate appreciates all of its dedicated employees, but it is the incoming Senate President’s prerogative to make personnel changes, with a new administration. My goal is to have an efficient, well-organized Senate staff, and this is just the first step in doing so,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said in a statement.

The housecleaning takes place after Haridopolos hired Steve MacNamara, former chief of staff for former House Speaker John Thrasher, now a state senator and head of the Republican Party of Florida.

More heads are expected to roll before the November elections. Those leaving will be able to run out their annual leave and comp time, according to a source close to Senate President Jeff Atwater’s office.

Haridopolos’ plan has been in the works for more than a month.

In May, he told The Palm Beach Post he was getting rid of some staffers “who think they’re the 41st senator” and advised them to run for office if they want to create public policy.

Haridopolos sought input on the firings from Sen. Gary Siplin, an Orlando Democrat who is chairman of the Black Caucus, earlier this summer.

Siplin sent a memo to black lawmakers asking for their recommendations.

Haridopolos “has asked for the assistance of Black Caucus Senators in determining the best personnel to staff the Senate committees and other Tallahassee-based Senate offices,” Siplin wrote to black senators on June 1.

Siplin has crossed party lines to vote with Republicans on a number of key votes, including a proposed constitutional amendment that would have gutted a separate amendment revamping how congressional and legislative districts are drawn.

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9 Responses to “Incoming Prez Haridopolos clears decks in Senate”

  1. Cuzin CharLIE Kinfolk Says:

    It started out looking like Mike Hari was doing us some good! Then I follow on down and see he’s letting Gary Siplin start running everything for the repubs! Don’t tell me this stinking corruption don’t cross party lines! Hey Mike, maybe you can give Charlie’s cousin Stephanie Sourgass over at the Florida housing a job! She’s on the way out the door over there! Charlie’s
    Jim Greer polls (the ones you pay for but don’t have done) keep showing Charlie ahead. Thats just wishful thinking on the voters, they ain’t going to vote for him they just want him to go to heqq away abd take his kinfolk with him!

  2. True Blue Says:

    When Rick Scott is the G. NO P. nominee for Gov. , he’ll be cleaning house all over Tally. starting with the trash man.

  3. Rick Scott Turbo Cleaner Says:

    That is a true statement! That is why McCollum and his friends have tried so hard to discredit RICK SCOTT. They never though they would have a primary and started out behind the 8-Ball and just got worse and worse! All McCollum knows to do is stand there like a baby in a wet diaper and scream bloody murder! After 30 years he does not have one single thing good to say about his “public dis-service” to us! Man! we have wasted a lot of dollars on just this one worthless career politician, no wonder we are so far in debt!

  4. lol donkey Says:

    You don’t have to “work hard to discredit” Rick Scott. His record of corruption and support from the teabaggers speaks for itself. Alex will Sink all challengers.

  5. Bob McKee Who Says:

    Is this the same Bob McKee they have down in Lake County for a tax collector?
    If so that sucker gets around! He’s busy getting people he can control elected to constitutional (what ever that is) offices and making deals with money people. He’s got his nose up the right butts, he be de man! Easy come easy go! The Feds are watching all these crooks. They got a heck of a job!

  6. About time Says:

    Every one of these guys makes over $100,000 a year. Its time to cut salaries and I applaud this move.

    check for yourself

    http://www2.tbo.com/static/news-special-reports-data-bay/tbo-special-reports-database-hillsborough-salaries/

  7. Molly Prolix Says:

    Saving Money?

    The housecleaning takes place after Haridopolos hired Steve MacNamara, former chief of staff for former House Speaker John Thrasher. . . .

    Check out his pay.

  8. Nancy Says:

    It’s a wish to think they are not going to rehire someone at the exact same pay.

  9. Nancy Says:

    No, not the same bob mckee. The bob that got fired is a good intelligent guy who didn’t deserve this.

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