|From one exploiter of sex offenders to another: Lauren Book fawns over Mark Lunsford's infamous "Save a child, Hang a Pedophile" badge. I wonder if Lunsford was drunk that day, too.|
I have to admit, I flat out despise Ron Book and his daughter Lauren Book-Lim. My faorite memory of Ron Book will always be the day I got Ron Book so angry he was screaming on the ARC Talk Radio (around the 1:35:00 mark) show. I'm not the only one who dislikes the Books, and it is not just because he was the Emperor of "Bookville" (a.k.a. The Julia Tuttle Causeway Causeway Sex Offender Camp). I have an entire article on that saga already, so I won't go too deep into that subject. I will, however, bring up some more of the Book's recent controversies.
Book is currently under investigation by the FBI for issues related to South Florida corruption in politics:
In Broward and Tallahassee politics, influence peddling comes in countless forms. Here's one currently under investigation by the federal government:
A powerful lobbyist, seeking to curry favor with a state senator and benefit a major client, helps to secure the senator's boyfriend a job at the development firm the lobbyist represents. The boyfriend also happens to be a Housing Authority honcho who goes on to oversee two new multimillion-dollar publicly financed projects with the very developer who hired him.
This is one scenario that sources say the FBI is currently investigating as part of a major probe that involves recently convicted GOP fundraiser and lobbyist Alan Mendelsohn, who had deep ties to numerous politicians, including former Gov. Charlie Crist, former Senate President Ken Pruitt, embattled Congressman David Rivera, and state Sen. Eleanor Sobel. The same federal investigation also involves several figures from the massive Mutual Benefits Corp. Ponzi scheme, including MBC fraudster Joel Steinger, who is awaiting trial on federal charges himself.
Here are the players in the scenario:
The lobbyist: Ron Book, who represents a host of governments, including Broward County, and private clients, including the Miami Dolphins, as perhaps the most powerful lobbyist in Florida.
Ron Book apparently has not reformed since his own conviction for illegal campaign contributions in the mid-1990s.From what I've seen, corrupt South Florida politics are par for the course. Maybe that is partly the reason why he remains one of the most sought-after lobbyists in Dade County (in fact, many local news hounds call him the uber-lobbyist). For the right price he'll even represent both sides of the issue (though it is unethical if not illegal).
Well, whats a person to do while his Empire slowly closes in on him? Like Rod Blagojovich and Bobby Jindal, the best way to divert attention is to bring up the sex offender issue. Ron Book is President of an organization that bears his daughter's name (Lauren's Kids). An organization that lobbied for a law named for Lauren which, among efforts to deny the accused the right to a fair trial, also put $1.5 MILLION DOLLARS into an already fully funded program. Book is denying he asked for that money while admitting he asked for TWICE as much. Well, you can always use that money to shelter those Bookville residents now forced to sleep in the parking lots at the Florida Dept. of Corrections:
TALLAHASSEE — It pays to be the daughter of a super lobbyist, but things can get complicated.
In the final days of the legislative session, lawmakers amended a bill to protect children from sexual abuse that gave $1.5 million to Lauren's Kids, a nonprofit run by the daughter of Ron Book, the Tallahassee uber-lobbyist from Miami.
The problem is, according to all accounts, neither of the Books asked for the money. The bill, HB 215, says the money must be used to finance a 24-hour abuse hotline and pay for sexual abuse prevention education in schools — programs already offered by Lauren's Kids without state funding.
The money the Books did ask for but did not receive: $3 million to finance the cost of relocating victims of sexual assault who are too threatened to remain at home. Instead, the late-session allocation was tacked onto a bill victim advocates had worked on all year. Among other things, the bill limits a defendant's access to child pornography evidence, allows the admission of prior sexual crimes as evidence and ensures the HIV testing of sex offenders.
The House sponsor, Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, says the House objected after the Attorney General's Office raised concerns that the Senate plan to put $3 million into the victims relocation fund would not be enough to pay for relocation of sexual abuse victims. It didn't want to risk running out of money and having to tap funds for a current program that pays for relocation costs of domestic abuse victims. Book and other supporters disagreed, but the House wouldn't back down. "There is no denying our staff had trouble with that,'' Dorworth said. But he quickly added: "The language didn't originate in the House."
No one disputes the issue got attention from House and Senate leadership because it had Book's name attached.
The commenters are showing how South Floridians are catching on to the corruption:
geoteacher May 13, 2011 4:17 PM
Corruption Period! Paying off legislators with taxpayer funding Repbulican friends. What a way to do business. Let's ask Bondi to put them in jail? Nah, can't do that, she is a Republican.
JohnQCitizenMD May 13, 2011 3:55 PM
seminolebuck1 May 13, 2011 5:05 PM
can you say "bribery"? Ronnie is super scummy!
JohnQCitizenMD May 13, 2011 6:14 PM
Here are your Republicans being fiscal hawks. The area they demand the money be used in (1.5 MILLION) is already being funded without state aid. This is right up there with the Taj Mahal.
sundog May 13, 2011 9:39 PM
another fine example of the florida legislative branch's complete sense of entitlement fueled by self interest and their never ending quest for personal power and especially personal profit.
FL Geezer May 14, 2011 3:21 AM
Let's see. About 20 Large for Hari-dope's Senate campaign gets you $1,500,000 from Hari-dope's "Money Pit." What a country !!!
seminolebuck1 May 14, 2011 11:06 AM
how long is Ronnie gonna milk his daughter's misfortune?
mattgordonmd May 15, 2011 12:08 AM
"It's always going to be difficult when a high-priced lobbyist advocates for or against something, but that doesn't make it bad,'' said Book"
- Ron, you are being disingenuous. The bill that granted your daughter's "foundation" $1.5M did not write itself. Indeed, it is very "bad" when a bill is passed and the author is anonymous. Perhaps it was intended as a "gift" from the state "pot" of spare money? The pols claimed money was tight, budgets were being trimmed, worthwhile programs defunded... yet, there is a "pot" of money not yet allocated?
With very few exceptions, this is the most untrustworthy group of legislators Florida has had the displeasure of being violated by in a long time. If their sociopathy continues at this pace, then the next session should be held at the mental hospital in Chattahoochee.
Realist 1 May 17, 2011 7:58 AM
It is not his daughters Ron is the president of the non profit.
|Follow The Leader: As usual, Daddy Book takes charge, with Lauren behind him.|
One of the happiest days of my life will be the day all those corruption finally catches up to Ron Book. At a time when the economy is at an all time low, do we need to give our money to rich (and corrupt) people who can blow a cool million on a wedding that barely lasted a full year while rubbing it in to those they forced to live under bridge? I'd like to "walk in your shoes" but I'm not a rich family, just another guy with a criminal record. Well we have ONE thing in common.