State Rep. Spent $600 in Pa. Money to Promote His Acting Gig

James Roebuck hired an outside consultant with state money to promote his appearance in a play in West Philadelphia. He played a corpse.

It cost James Roebuck $600 to get into the Daily News gossip column. That wasn’t the state representative’s intention, but it was the end result.

On Sunday The Morning Call published a report on the use of consultants by state legislators. The gist: Despite having a small army of employees, lawmakers can (and do!) hire consultants with taxpayer money. The practice, while legal, has no oversight and a number of critics.

Which brings us to Roebuck. Two years ago, the state paid $600 to Bonnie Squires to promote Roebuck’s acting debut — as a corpse — in a play in West Philadelphia. Roebuck paid Squires’s firm $6,600 in consulting fees in 2013.

For the $600, among other promotion, Squires emailed Dan Gross, who was then the DN’s gossip columnist. (It’s now Molly Eichel.) This email landed Roebuck a mention in Gross’s December 6, 2012, column, as the sixth item in a seven-item column.

Roebuck takes the stage
State Rep. Jim Roebuck makes his acting debut at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Curio Theatre Company’s production of “The Real Inspector Hound,” at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community (48th & Baltimore). Just what role did director Gay Carducci think Roebuck would be perfect to play? A dead man.

“Some people already think I’m dead,” Roebuck joked Tuesday.

The play runs Thursdays through Saturdays until Dec. 29. Tickets and info available online at curiotheatre. org.

Though Roebuck was lower in the column than Liam Hemsworth (in town for Paranoia re-shoots), Allen Iverson (TMZ detailing his finances), Terry Ruggles, and the Borgata Babes, he did place higher in the column than the last item — a Rita Ora/Iggy Azalea concert at the TLA.

Hey, getting Roebuck in a column above a woman who had the 2014 song of the summer is impressive! Sure, she was so unknown in 2012 Gross called her “Izzy Azalea” in the column, but that’s still totally worth the money. For his part, Roebuck tells The Morning Call Squires is so good at her job he actually paid her $1,200 — $600 of state money and $600 of his own cash. He says the money was well spent, too: “I’m promoting cultural activities throughout my district.”

[The Morning Call]