Do as Democrats Say, Apparently, Not as They Do
Around the State
Hypocrisy is the subplot to the 537 Consulting LLC story. Did anyone else notice?
It was the leopard on the ledge, hovering over everything.
The same party firing shots at Republicans for maintaining a nation of Oliver Twists and failing to raise the minimum wage is the party that quietly turned its salaried Miami-Dade employees into "independent contractors."
It means for the last year Democratic Party staff in Miami-Dade County forwent their paid vacation. Instead, they paid their own taxes, their own Social Security, their own dental insurance, life insurance -- whatever they had taken out automatically before they were cut loose.
No more feeling of belonging, no more sense of permanence. In an instant, these folks went from secure insiders to hanging out on the fringe.
If I remember correctly, this is something Democrats berate those cold-hearted, miserly Republicans for.
As Chairwoman Annette Taddeo explained it to the Miami-Dade DEC membership in early 2013, the local party was down on its money. Offering a contract to 537 Consulting LLC meant this new "political consultancy" could pay employees out of a pool of campaign donations. The party benefits, the company benefits, presumably everybody benefits except the emp ... uh ... independent contractors.
Of course, two of the Miami-Dade DEC independent contractors are the principals of 537 Consulting LLC. Presumably, they are well-compensated. We're still not sure how that works.
But there are other staff/independent contractors at the Miami party office, at least two I know of. Left off the 537 Consulting stationery, they aren't likely to look at their status change as an upgrade. Or even a lateral move.
Putting aside for a minute the questionable creation of 537 Consulting, the exclusive contract Taddeo gave to her executive director Juan Cuba and communications director Rachel Johnson, and its eerie similarity to Victory Strategies -- the company that brought RPOF Chairman Jim Greer down -- putting all that aside ... how does the concept of downgrading personnel gel with President Obama's call for every American worker to make a living wage?
Could it be Taddeo has slammed smack into a discovery of what it takes for a small business, or a political party office, to stay in the black?
Perish the thought, I know ... but could it be that she secretly agrees with the National Small Business Association and National Federation of Independent Business? Those organizations continue to push back against raising the minimum wage, arguing that requiring employers to pay workers more will force many of them to either cut back on hours, put off hiring, or lay off employees in order to keep their labor costs down.
Taddeo is a Democratic Party official who now wants to be the lieutenant governor of Florida. Don't wait for her to say she agrees, even if she does.
On the other hand, turning employees into independent contractors with no more security than a blind man on a Manhattan street corner has -- calculated though it is to protect the bottom line by sticking it to the workers -- certainly won't kill jobs.
Taddeo using the employee dilemma as a rationale for 357 Consulting LLC? Pure hypocrisy.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423.