Scott hires former tea party activist for $70K to help spread his messageby Dara Kam | August 9th, 2011
After slashing government jobs by more than 1,000, Gov. Rick Scott is spending nearly $400,000 a year on “special assistants” around the state to do advance work before the governor comes to town.
The community liaison jobs aren’t new – governors at least as far back as the late Lawton Chiles relied on them to keep apprised of goings-on around the state.
But Scott’s latest appointment is Robin Stublen, a former tea party activist who supported Scott in his campaign for governor. Stublen, whose annual salary is $70,000, came on board as a “deputy director of public liaison” on Aug. 1, Scott’s spokesman Lane Wright said. Stublen is one of two “public liaison” deputy directors who oversee five other workers located around the state and whose salaries range from $45,000 to $70,000. In all, the seven workers earn $395,000 a year.
Like Stublen, several of the special assistants served on Scott’s campaign team doing advance work similar to what they are doing now on the state payroll. Scott’s staff insists that no extra money is being spent on the special assistants but that the jobs are part of a reorganization of the executive office.
The aides’ job is to ensure “we hear from individuals around the state, about what their issues are,” Scott told reporters at the mansion today.
Scott acknowledged that Stublen helped him during last year’s Republican primary for governor.
“Robin, I’ve known for a while,” Scott said. “He’s from Charlotte County. And I know he was very active in the tea party down there.”
When told Stublen was earning $70,000, Scott added, laughing, “He better do a very good job.”