Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Donation drive for Miami homeless camp created by the Book family now underway

Fellow activists,

Tomorrow officially kicks off the “holiday shopping season,” and while many of you will start shopping for your families, I’ll begin my shopping for a few total strangers at the Miami homeless camp. I am heading to the camp for Christmas, and I want to spread a little holiday cheer to those at the camp who don’t have a family to spend Christmas with at the camp. Thus, I’m reminding everyone to donate to OnceFallen.com to help send some much-needed supplies to the homeless camp. My focus is on hygiene products, socks and underwear, as suggested by my contact at the camp. Socks, underwear and laundry detergent are expensive items that don’t get donated often to programs that assist the poor.

If you want to help me spread a little holiday cheer, you can send a monetary donation to Derek Logue, 8258 Monon Ave., Apt. 3, Cincinnati, OH 45216 or through Paypal to iamthefallen1@yahoo.com (Please don’t write checks/M.O.s to “Once Fallen,” because I can’t cash them that way.) Supplies can be shipped to this address as well if you prefer to send socks, underwear and hygiene products rather than money. If you have further questions, call me at 513-238-2873 or email me at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com.

--Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lauren "The Crook" Book ALREADY plotting her reelection scheme

It is never too early to grab more cash, eh, Lauren?

http://www.wuft.org/news/2016/11/08/florida-incumbents-already-lining-up-for-2018/

Florida Incumbents Already Lining Up For 2018
By News Service of Florida
November 8, 2016

While the votes have not been counted in the 2016 elections, more than two dozen incumbent state lawmakers or newly elected lawmakers have already opened campaign accounts to run in 2018.

In many cases, those candidates were unopposed for their seats this year, giving them a jump on preparing to run in 2018, including raising money.

As of Tuesday morning, the list of 2018 legislative candidates included incoming Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City; Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach; Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville; Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby; Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring; incoming Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation; incoming Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Milton; Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns; Rep. Charlie Stone, R-Ocala; Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood; Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills; Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando; incoming Rep. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge; Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park; Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia; Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa; Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral; Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers; Rep. Bobby DuBose, D-Fort Lauderdale; Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek; Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation; Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach; Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura; Rep. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miami; and Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lauren "The Bimbo" Book wins Senate Seat by default

The only active politician dumber than George W. Bush
The big question now is where is all that money going to go now that the most unqualified politician in human history has won her senate seat by default?

FloriDUH strikes again. I'd elect a member of ISIS before I'd elect this worthless piece of bovine excrement to public office.

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/214545-lauren-book-headed-florida-senate-wins-sd-32-race-unopposed

Lauren Book headed to Florida Senate, wins SD 32 race unopposed

JENNA BUZZACCO-FOERSTER
7 hours ago

Just call her an instant winner.

Lauren Book won her Senate District 32 race Friday after no other candidate qualified for the race. A second Democrat, Emmanuel Blimie, had indicated he planned to run, but state records show Blimie did not qualify.

“Having met thousands of people in the Senate district, listening to and learning about the things most important to them, I am incredibly honored and proud to now have the opportunity and to be allowed to serve the people of Broward County and the people of Florida,” she said in a statement. “As a senator, I will always be an advocate and a voice for my constituents, and fight hard for their best interests. I cannot begin to express my excitement at this new challenge of service to the people of our great state.”

Book is a well-known South Florida Democrat. The daughter of lobbyist Ron Book, she has made a name for herself in Florida and beyond for her work advocating on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse.

She is best known for Lauren’s Kids. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2007, and aims to teach children and adults about sexual abuse prevention through education, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the world.

The group also leads the annual “Walk in My Shoes” awareness walk across Florida. Book has annually made the trek, walking the 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee.

Book had earned the support of several national, state and local leaders, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, incoming Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

Candidates had until noon Friday to turn in the necessary paperwork to get on the ballot. Book said she was “excited and humbled to be elected without opposition.”

“Over the past several months, our team worked very hard, knocking on doors, attending meetings, talking with and getting to know future constituents, raising money, and garnering the support of dozens of local leaders,” she said.

“We look forward to a very bright future for our state.” 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What Lauren Book's charity likes to say about her critics when she thinks no one is going to fact-check her work

I bet she could eat an apple through a picket fence.
Say hello to Claire VanSusteren, the equally airheaded "Communications Director" for Lauren's Kids. She responds to messages sent through the Lauren's Kids page. In response to the Broward New Times article exposing the connection to controversial GEO Group, someone who read the article decided to ask Lauren's Kids about this connection to GEO Group.  Here is what this concerned citizen (name withheld to protect his identity) wrote:

A new message was received from the Lauren's Kids "Contact Us" website form. 

Name: *****

Email: *****
Phone: 
City: Tallahassee
State: FL 
Subject: General Information 
Message: After reading "Lauren Book, Running Unopposed, Raises $1.3 Million Despite Criticisms" in the Broward/ Palm Beach New Times, I have to know if it is true that Lauren Book took $65,000 from GEO Group, knowing that GEO Group had such a track record of abusing kids. If that is the case, I see no reason to further support your organization.


And this is their response, written by Claire VanScumturden:

Mr. *****:

It was good to hear from you.  First of all, you are reading an article in the New Times which is certainly a publication in our community that does not like to get confused with full facts.  They often write from a slanted perspective.  That said, Lauren is criticized in that article by a man by the name of Derek Logue, a convicted sexual offender who abused a young boy. We know him well. He runs an organization known as “Once Fallen”.  Mr. Logue is a constant critic of Lauren’s education and awareness work and frankly, we don’t waste much time worrying about what Mr. Logue has to say, or whether he says it in any publication – most journalists ignore Mr. Logue.  He is the lone critic.  He criticizes all of our advocacy efforts to strengthen laws protecting children and does so like an attack dog.

Yes, Lauren is running for the State Senate to continue her good work in advocating for children and families, as well as for education, the environment, and the community as a whole.  Yes, it is true, her Political Committee did accept approximately $50,000 (not $65,000) in contributions from the GEO Group.  GEO Group  runs private prisons - in Florida and around the U.S.   The criticism in the article is about a youthful  offender facility in another state, it is an allegation and she is not aware of any charges ever being brought against GEO.  Furthermore, those allegations to date, have only been brought to her attention through Derek Logue commentary.  We don’t know a lot of the details of Mr. Logue’s allegations but those allegations and statements, have not occurred in Florida.  The  GEO Group previously was the operator of the Florida Civil Commitment Facility that houses those individuals who are civilly committed for sexual offenses in our great State.  Mr. Logue does not think such facilities should ever exist, a point that Lauren and likely most reasonable people, would vociferously disagree with him on. GEO no longer owns or operates that facility, known as the Jimmy Ryce Center, in Arcadia, Florida.  It is now run by a company called CorrectCare.  The GEO Group has never been charged with abusing children, and those allegations again come from Derek Logue, a convicted sex offender.  Consider the source.

Those are in fact, the facts as known to Lauren.

No one could credibly assert that Lauren Book has any interest, other than the best interests and the protection of children and families in her heart at her very core.  She gets up every day and fights the fight to bring awareness and education, while bringing about systemic change across our great state in the fight to better protect children.

The people at the  New Times should have asked questions about their “source” Derek Logue, to the family of the young boy he abused.  They would have quite a different opinion and wouldn’t consider citing Mr. Logue as any kind of authority.

We value your support in our efforts to protect children and hope this clarifies any questions you might have.

Thank you.

Claire VanSusteren
Director of Communciations
Lauren’s Kids, Inc.
18851 N.E. 29th Avenue
Suite 1010
Aventura, FL 33180
Phone: 305.935.1866
Fax:  305.935.9737
email: claire@laurenskids.org



It seems Lauren Book's little organization has a little problem with the facts, but here is my take on this letter: 

1. "First of all, you are reading an article in the New Times which is certainly a publication in our community that does not like to get confused with full facts.  They often write from a slanted perspective." How is the New times slanted when they cite their sources? 

2. "...who abused a young boy." That's what happens when you rely on Encyclopedia Dramatica for information, Claire. Try getting the gender right. This isn't a transgender bathroom issue. 

3. "The criticism in the article is about a youthful  offender facility in another state, it is an allegation and she is not aware of any charges ever being brought against GEO." If you are against child abuse, does it matter it didn't happen in FloriDUH? Also, a five minute Google search could verify the fact that the Walnut Grove juvenile facility in MS was taken over by the feds because  United States Department of Justice had accused the facility of "systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls", and stated that sexual misconduct there was "among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation." But hey, it wasbn't lauren's problem, they weren't FloriDUH's kids!

4. "We don’t know a lot of the details of Mr. Logue’s allegations but those allegations and statements, have not occurred in Florida." Hey Claire, you moron, try doing something called RESEARCH next time. There is a wonderful tool called a "search engine." Try one-- Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com, Dogpile, Gigablast, even Netscape (if they still exist). 

5. "The people at the  New Times should have asked questions about their “source” Derek Logue, to the family of the young boy he abused.  They would have quite a different opinion and wouldn’t consider citing Mr. Logue as any kind of authority." So in addition to getting Logue's case wrong, we are expected to "consider the source." Okay, the source of the info is NOT Derek Logue, but a combination of lots of news sources found through a search engine, the US Dept of Justice, and the records from the Florida Dept of State, which reveals that Leadership for Broward, Lauren Book's PAC, collected $50k from GEO Group plus $15k from GEO Group subsidiary GEO Health. (That's $65k, by the way, Claire, since you obviously suck at math.)

In short, it seems that Lauren's Kids does not let like to let facts get in the way of their profits. She lied about her critics and denies taking money from groups that abuse children. And to think, Lauren Book might be YOUR senator soon. She doesn't need the senate seat, she needs the hot seat. 


Monday, May 16, 2016

“To dump people out on the street is stupid. And it’s dumb. And it’s inconsistent," says hypocrite Ron Book

“To dump people out on the street is stupid. And it’s dumb. And it’s inconsistent.” These are the words of the hypocrite Ron Book, the man whose name is synonymous with the Julia Tuttle Causeway "Sex Offender" camp.

Why is Ron even head of the Homeless Trust?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article77604477.html

Lobbyist Ron Book calling the shots in Miami-Dade’s homeless fight
Ron Book illustrates just how much he cares for the homeless.

BY DOUGLAS HANKS
dhanks@miamiherald.com

When Miami-Dade’s homeless board convened for the first time Friday to grapple with the loss of nearly $6 million in federal aid, chairman Ronald Book did most of the talking and all of the table pounding.

The prominent lobbyist delivered a tirade about conflicts he saw between Washington’s goal of ending homelessness and its recent decision to deny grant requests from Miami-Dade’s domestic-violence shelters, drug-treatment centers and other providers that Book described as the biggest financial blow to ever hit the local agency.

“What makes me angry is that cutoff at the knees,” said Book, his voice nearing a shout in a County Hall conference room, the diamonds in an oversized ring catching the light as his clenched fist made contact with the plastic conference table. “To dump people out on the street is stupid. And it’s dumb. And it’s inconsistent.”

The funding squeeze looming for charity providers and the 700 beds backed by the federal dollars presents the latest test for Book and his enduring post atop Miami-Dade’s homeless programs. A leading campaign donor who is a paid lobbyist for Miami-Dade itself in Tallahassee, Book has consistently won county waivers to extend his tenure as chairman of the Homeless Trust, which oversees both the agency and the bar-and-restaurant tax that funds it.

Unlike chairs of county boards overseeing the transit tax, hospital tax and children-services tax, Book serves as the public face of the county’s homeless arm, with director Victoria Mallette, a former county spokeswoman, generally declining on-the-record interviews. “Ron is the only authorized spokesperson,” Lisa Mozloom, an executive with the public-relations agency working for the Homeless Trust, wrote in a text message Friday.

Last year, Miami sued to force the Homeless Trust to spend $100,000 on sleeping mats so that the city’s overflowing homeless shelter could house people outside. Book refused, saying mats were an undignified violation of long-standing federal policy to invest in beds. He also dismissed a more expensive plan to have the trust pay for portable restrooms to cut down on Miami’s homeless defecating in the city’s business district, which boosters outlined with a digital “poop map” that drew national attention.

 Follow
 Daniella Levine Cava ✔ ‎@DLCAVA
This is a crisis. And on the day we declared Mental Health Month. https://twitter.com/newsbysmiley/status/727612019973619712 …
5:48 PM - 3 May 2016
  1 1 Retweet   2 2 likes

The two sides ultimately brokered a compromise that ended the mat program in favor of adding county-funded beds elsewhere. The deal came after critics blasted Book for being more concerned with proving his dominance of the county’s homeless policy than in making a reasonable course change to help Miami.

“The Trust was a macabre experience,” former Miami city commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who led the city’s fight for mats and toilets, said Friday. “I think it’s time for a total review by the county, and every municipality, to see if it’s equipped to do what it’s supposed to be doing.”

On May 2, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $355 million in grant awards that contained bad news for Miami-Dade: Of the roughly $6 million it requested, only about $200,000 was granted. The Junior League of Miami’s Inn Transition domestic-violence shelters lost out on about $900,000, as did a job-training program run by Jewish Community Services. The New Hope drug-rehab center in Homestead was denied a $430,000 grant.

“We help people living in their cars. We help people living in parks,” said Robert Berman, housing coordinator for Lutheran Services’ Access program, which provides security deposits for homeless who have a little income but not the money needed to start a lease. “Hopefully something can be done. Otherwise, we have to shut down.”

About 40 percent of the county’s $59 million homeless budget comes from a 1 percent tax attached to bills at restaurants and bars located outside of hotels across Miami-Dade. Federal dollars account for more than half.

HUD divides funding requests into two tiers, with the first all but guaranteed and the second thrown into a pool where each agency must compete with counterparts across the country. Last year, the second tier was nominal — just 2 percent of an agency’s existing federal funding. But this year, HUD told agencies that 15 percent of their prior funding would shift to the second tier.

That move created a nationwide competition that Book said cost Miami-Dade more money than any other agency in the country.

HUD gives priority to programs that place the homeless in long-term housing — such as rental subsidies in for-profit apartment buildings. The federal agency also has been steering local providers away from short-term housing options in group settings, such as a domestic-violence shelter or drug-treatment home. Those facilities typically limit stays to 24 months at the most, while long-term housing can last indefinitely.

By making the grants more competitive, a HUD spokesman said the agency wanted to push providers away from “transitional” beds and into permanent programs.

“We have these goals,” said HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan. “We’ve got to get there.”

The denied funds from Washington put Book under pressure on two fronts — he is seen as the de facto head of an agency that failed to secure crucial grant money, and he’s now using his political heft to wage an appeal for the funds.

IF WE’VE GOT A PLACEMENT THAT’S OUT OF ORDER, IT’S GOT TO BE RUN BY ME. I’M INVOLVED IN THE DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES OF REVIEWING WHAT WE DO.
Ron Book, longtime chairman of Miami-Dade’s homeless board

“Miss Mallette has listened to my multiple upon multiple conversations with Congressman [Mario] Diaz-Balart,” Book told board members at the meeting Friday. “Not a third-level, fifth-level, ninth-level staff, but to the congressman directly. There is a reason that Senator [Marco] Rubio called from Iraq. It’s because we have a community that cares.”

State records list more than 100 lobbying clients for Book, including the counties of Broward and Palm Beach, 18 cities, the University of Miami and the Miami Dolphins. The 62-year-old said the Miami Heat isn’t a client, but that the 2013 championship ring he wears reflects his devotion to the team (Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade are “close friends,” he said). His daughter, Lauren, is running for state Senate in Broward County.

He has served on the Homeless board since it started in 1994, and he has been its chairman since 2006. County commissioners consistently waive the board’s six-year term limit so that he can retain his seat. In the 2014 commission elections, Book gave $37,000 combined to all six incumbents running, enough to put him in the Top 20 list of donors for that cycle, according to a Miami Herald campaign-finance database.

Book raised eyebrows in 2014 when he backed Mallette for the $142,000-a-year director job at the Homeless Trust. Mallette’s sister, Kelly, is director of governmental affairs and a top deputy in Book’s Aventura lobbying firm. Mallette — who was communications chief when Carlos Alvarez served as county mayor and then took a fund-raising post at the Parks Department — brought no social-services background to the position. Book said the board was eager for “new eyes” at the agency.

Despite Mallette’s communications expertise, the trust continued its $143,000-a-year contract with Miami’s M Network for media and public-relations services. (That fee includes a $53,000 budget for promotional materials and other reimbursable expenses.) Book describes himself as a “strong chairman” who insists that Mallette and her deputies get approval before getting creative with housing dollars.

“If we’ve got a placement that’s out of order, it’s got to be run by me,” Book said. “I’m involved in the day-to-day activities of reviewing what we do.

“Ask what is the chairman’s favorite word. I promise you, to the person, they will say ‘free.’ I’m cheap and I’m frugal,” he continued. “I treat these tax dollars more importantly than my own money.”

Two years into the job, Mallette knows many of the homeless men and women who linger by the fountain outside County Hall. Regular visitors to the building see her talking to them about services the county offers. At Friday’s meeting, she walked providers through sticking points of HUD funding priorities and said the agency hopes to find enough dollars to keep their programs afloat through the fall.

“What do you need to continue those programs,” asked Mallette, who declined an interview for this story. “We are going to have to morph into something different and more streamlined. . . . We’re going to have to rethink how we do transitional. Because it’s going to have to be done locally ”

Other agencies also are reeling after losses in HUD funds; Tampa said 200 temporary beds are endangered by a loss of $800,000 in Tier 2 money. Programs in Arizona, New York, and Indiana also reported surprising setbacks from HUD, according to news reports.

 Follow
 Phil Latzman ‎@PhilLatzman
#HUD has defunded 7 housing programs in #Arizona. It could result in evictions of homeless families. @kathymritchie reports 7:44a @KJZZ_ME.
10:40 AM - 12 May 2016
  Retweets   likes

After the HUD decision, Book faced questions about why Miami-Dade didn’t try to game the grant process better by putting programs likely to score well in the second tier and less secure applicants in the safer first tier. But that also would have put some of the county’s most successful long-term housing programs at risk. On Friday, he was also challenged on a decision to offer up $900,000 in local money for new projects when so many existing providers are scrambling to replace federal dollars.

“You don’t build a swimming pool when your kitchen is on fire,” said David Raymond, a former Homeless Trust director who now serves as a consultant to providers in Miami and across the country.

Book sees some vindication in the latest crisis: During the mat controversy, Miami leaders had mocked the Trust for “hoarding” millions of dollars in reserves while ignoring the city’s plight, but that $7 million rainy-day fund is now being looked at to cushion missing HUD grants.

“I’m a strong personality,” he said. “I’m here to lead.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Senator Lauren Book: How Will She Serve in Daddy's Shadow?

If Lauren Book can't even answer her own questions at a Q & A at the Tribeca film festival flick about her pathetic family, how can she function without Ron Book pulling her strings?


http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/senator-lauren-book-how-will-she-serve-daddys-shadow

Senator Lauren Book: How Will She Serve in Daddy's Shadow?
By NANCY SMITH
September 1, 2015 - 10:45pm

If just-announced state Senate candidate Lauren Book was anybody but the daughter of one of the most influential lobbyists in Tallahassee, the media would be over her like vultures on road kill.

Don't even think about a race for this job. Book is as good as elected. Anybody who challenges Ron Book's little girl is either wildly delusional or plays with razor blades and likes it.

At the age of 30 and just out of the gate -- without having to offer a platform -- Lauren Book has Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler publicly supporting her. See Saintpetersblog. By the end of the month, it's going to be more a question of who isn't for her? Heck, even our Republican governor heaps praise on the Plantation Democrat.

I Beg to DifferHere's the problem: The founder of the high-profile nonprofit Lauren's Kids is going to have probably the longest list of conflicts of interest of any senator ever to serve in the Florida Legislature. Think about it: How do you consider issues objectively and vote transparently and ethically when you serve with the perception that your daddy is whispering in your ear every day before you go to work, and maybe a whole lot more than that?

She nevertheless told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday, "I'm not my father's voice. I'm there to push a button for the people who live in the 33rd District. And I do not take that lightly. ... Anyone who's been in a room with my father and me for more than two minutes knows we can disagree about a great many things. We put the fun in dysfunctional."

Book created a political action committee, Leadership for Broward, last September. Her PAC has collected nearly $640,000  -- more than any other state Senate candidate in Florida, and she only officially announced her candidacy Tuesday. Some of the donors, like the Miami Dolphins ($100,000) and the private prison company GEO Group ($25,000), also happen to be her dad's clients. All contributors/contributions are listed here.

Book was abused by a nanny when she was 11 years old, and since 2007 has responded with purpose and commitment, by leading a crusade against the sexual abuse of children,  mostly by appealing to children not to stay silent, but to tell somebody. Since 2010 she has walked the length of the state annually, ending in a final leg side-by-side with her father and a "Rally in Tally." Legislators, members of the Cabinet, former legislators who now lobby, celebrities of every description have stood on the steps of the Old Capitol during those rallies, praising her and Lauren's Kids.

Not only has she written two books -- "It's OK to Tell" and "Lauren's Kingdom" -- but she has appeared severally on national television and has been featured in major newspapers. In 2013, at a ceremony in Paris, she was named the L’OrĂ©al Paris “Woman of Worth.”

Her profile has been big enough and bold enough to flood the Book empire with checks. Not only from private donors to her charity over the years, but from the Florida Legislature. In a state with literally hundreds of charities, lawmakers have been super-duper, over-the-top generous to Lauren's Kids. The Broward New Times reported it first: "... In recent years, a disproportionate amount of money from the state budget has been given to her charity, Lauren's Kids. For example, in 2015, the Legislature allocated the sex-abuse chairity $3.8 million while the Girl Scouts and YMCA got $300,000."

All of the honors she's gathered are laudable. Believe me, I take nothing away from Book's accomplishments. But the support from so many lobbyists and friends of her father -- in fact, from her father as much as anyone else -- players looking for favors only the Legislature can provide, will put her in a real pickle every day she asks a question, debates a bill or casts a vote -- let alone introduces bills of her own.  

All those checks for the 30-year-old daughter of one of the biggest power players in town -- it's a matter of perception, is all I'm saying. I can hear minds turning it over now -- Whose ends is Lauren Book justifying today? What did she and her dad hash over last night, this morning, 10 minutes ago on the phone? 

I've heard it suggested more than once around town that Lauren Book will break new ground next year by being the first member of the Florida Senate to buy a seat with taxpayer money. I don't go along with that entirely. Certainly the Legislature's money didn't go into her Leadership for Broward PAC. But I know what they mean: The public money is going to help elect her. That $3.8 million allocation this year alone is a lot of taxpayer dough elevating Book's profile, greasing her path to term-limited Eleanor Sobel's seat.

But I would just as soon move on. Lauren Book is in, let's face it. It now becomes less how she got there than how she's going to handle a reputation that links every day she serves to her father's business.

 COMMENTS:

Submitted by Air Force Captain on September 2, 2015 - 12:10pm
Typical Dem.....lives on/spends OPM (Other Peoples Money)...... AKA: Hillary

Submitted by C Breeze on September 2, 2015 - 4:37pm
A HUGE number of BEHOLDEN "politico" type supporters "lined up" to make sure they don't end up in Book's "Book" of ingrate traitors....
- See more at: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/senator-lauren-book-how-will-she-serve-daddys-shadow#sthash.H6dDvujk.dpuf

This twisted "Cinderella
Permalink Submitted by C Breeze on September 2, 2015 - 9:58am

This twisted "Cinderella Story" is a "closed Book";...just 'one more' political nepotistic-spawn version mimicking the "created story" of District 2's Gwen Graham, a do-nothing "rubber stamp" of the destructive Democrat regime (but, Gwen DID vote AGAINST de-funding "sanctuary cities": You know,...cities where vicious crimes and murder run rampant..but NOT, thankfully anywhere close to Gwen). The "Lauren 'Book" has almost no beginning, no interesting details, no substance and a predictable bad ending (it belongs on the shelf next to the more presumptuous "Ron 'How To' Book",...another 'poor read'). It's no wonder that Debbie "Do-Whats-erman" Schultz is a supporter of the "childrens Book", Debbie herself has minimal "life experience" outside of the stilted halls of a legislature, having been merely a State Legislative Aide & "Public Official" and NOW occasionally a "college instructor" when a political guest from the "Halls" is necessary. Schultz, Graham, and now "Little Book" are ALL cut from the same nepotistic cookie-batter. WAKE UP FLORIDA !..."politics" is becoming more and more like nepotistic Hollywood every day,.. presumptuous parents lifting up their progeny to permanently suckle at the "government mammary" for a lifetime. Hmmm, I wonder if the "Books" have a "Foundation" like "B,H&C" do..to A$$IST with day-to-day 'details' (After all, "imitation" in politics is a form of flattery...especially with Democrat politicians (and lobbiests)..................signed,... A FED UP Democrat !


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lauren Book's PAC is sitting on $765,000. So why is Ron Book trying to get the state to wave the filing fees for Lauren's senate BID?

I looked this up. It seems the filing fees are 3% of the candidate's would-be annual salary if elected. A Florida Senator's base salary is $29,697 annually.

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_access_requirements_for_political_candidates_in_Florida

Candidate filing fees
In Florida, candidates are required to pay filing fees and election assessment fees to the Division of Elections when qualifying. A party assessment fee may also have to be paid, if the party the candidate is running with elects to levy one. Filing fees are equal to 3  percent ($900) of the annual salary of the office being sought. Election assessments are equal to 1 percent ($300) of the annual salary of the office being sought. Party assessments, if required, are equal to 2  percent ($600) of the annual salary of the office being sought.[8]

A candidate may waive the required filing fees if he or she submits an in-lieu-of-filing-fee petition with signatures equal to at least 1 percent of the total number of registered voters in the geographical area represented by the office being sought. Signatures for this petition may not be collected until the candidate has filed the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository form, and the completed petition must be filed by the 28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office being sought. This petition must be filed with the supervisor of elections in each county in which the petition was circulated in order to verify the signatures. The supervisor of elections in the county will then certify the number of valid signatures to the Florida Division of Elections no later than seven days prior to the first day of the corresponding qualifying period.[9]

So that's what, $1800 total? Pay the damned fee, Ron!

From: Ronald L. Book <ron@rlbookpa.com>; 
To:***** 
Subject: Lauren Book Campaign 
Sent: Tue, Apr 12, 2016 6:43:38 PM 

Dear Friend:

As you know, I generally only send these emails out about my daughter Lauren’s Foundation and our fight to prevent childhood sexual abuse.  This email is an exception.

As I think you also know, Lauren is running for an open State Senate seat.  Her campaign is going exceedingly well and frankly, I could not be more proud of her hard work and the reception she is receiving on the ground and in the district.  The response has been nothing short of amazing! 

I have one small favor to ask.

Lauren believes, as do I, that making it to the ballot by paying a qualifying fee is not the best way.  We believe that asking voters and friends to sign a petition to allow her to appear on the ballot shows real community support and a genuine desire to serve.   To that end, I am asking you, by way of this email (and on her behalf) to take a few moments to download and fill out the attached petition and help her team meet their goal of securing the needed 1,552 petitions.

It’s simple:
1.            Please print out the attached petition form.  (I had much of it filled out for you.)
2.            Fill it out completely.
3.            Please, then mail it back to us at:

Lauren Book Campaign
8201 Peters Roads, Suite  1000
Plantation, Florida 33324

As a result of the recent reapportionment of the State Senate, you do not have to live in Senate District 32 to be eligible to sign the petition.  Any registered voter in our great State can sign, regardless of your party affiliation or where you live.

We are appreciative and thank you so much!

Ron Book

And, in an abundance of caution, I am including the state-required political disclaimer stating that this is a political advertisement, paid for and approved by Lauren Book for State Senate, District 32.

Ronald L. Book
Ronald L. Book, P.A.
18851 N.E. 29th Avenue
Suite 1010
Aventura, FL 33180
Phone: 305.935.1866
Fax:  305.935.9737
email:  Ron@rlbookpa.com

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lauren Book gets free publicity from the state

I would think there is some kind of ethics violation here, since Lauren Book is running for State Senate.

http://www.browardbeat.com/senate-candidate-uses-public-bucks-for-publicity/

Update: Senate Candidate Uses Public Mailing

BY BUDDY NEVINS

First, the plan was to rename Federal Highway through the Fort Lauderdale City Commission in honor of Lauren Book , a child abuse awareness advocate.

Now, a Browardbeat.com reader reports that Broward County is mailing flyers publicizing Book’s charity with your license plate renewals.

This, like the street naming, is simply wrong.

It is highly unfair for a candidate for state Senate to use public mail to build name ID.

Granted, the insert doesn’t mention Ms. Book.   But the enclosure directs you to a website that is a paean to her and her work.

This, and the street naming, appears to some to be distasteful overreaching by candidate and her father, lobbyist Ron Book.

Mainly, Ron Book and his bag of lobbying tricks. His fingerprints are all over both the street naming and the insert.

Ron Book honed his lobbying skill over decades by pulling strings behind the scenes in Tallahassee and locally. It was easy for him to pull those strings for his daughter.

In this case, Ronnie went too far!

These tricks to stack the deck for Ms. Book’s candidacy aren’t needed because the deck is already stacked in her favor.

Ms. Book is a shoe-in. She is a well-spoken, intelligent candidate who has over $1 million in her campaign and no realistic opponent.

The street naming is off pending passage by the Florida Legislature.

Expect Ron Book to be pushing it. He told the Sun-Sentinel that “his daughter’s name deserves to be on this stretch of road because of the good she’s done for victims of childhood sexual abuse and because it’s near the treatment center that helped her after she was abused by her nanny.”

The paper continues, quoting Ron Book: “My daughter has done some things that to others may not appear to be heroic, may not appear to be lifesaving, but I know different, and I know a lot of other people who know different, and she has become a symbol for victims all over this state and all over this country.”

Ms. Book is quoted as saying she is “humbled” that anyone thought she deserved the street renaming honor. But she also told her father to back too, a good move.

Meanwhile, expect the plugs for Ms. Book’s organization when you are notified you need to renew your license plate.

I’ve got some advise to Ms. Book, which I personally told her.

The biggest obstacle she will face in Broward and in Tallahassee is the belief that she is controlled by her father. She needs to put some distance between herself and Ron Book. Publicly.

 After this piece was posted, Lauren Book sent me the following explanation of the enclosure in the license plate renewal: 



…The insert you received is an older one, designed long before I became a candidate and is part of an educational program that has been in place and distributed for several years – and, hopefully, will remain in place for many more years to come. However, it is important (contrary to what your blog post implied) to note, not one single dollar of tax money was used to pay for the flyer….

The foundation has offered the informational flyers to all Tax Collectors free of charge and, to date, 45 of the 67 collectors around the state have for several years voluntarily decided to include the inserts – and, I need to repeat this, because someone who provided you false information, clearly got this wrong – at no cost to taxpayers, and clearly did not begin as some ploy. It is part of our overall effort statewide to bring about change.

And Buddy, we are hardly the only charitable organization that has or provide inserts, e.g. Hispanic Heritage, breast cancer, and Florida Heart to name a few. Our effort is a part of our larger program of bringing about systemic change in what we teach and how we teach our children to better protect them. The reason I believe so many of our Tax Collectors from around the state who will disseminate over 10 million of these inserts this year alone, is because they want to be a part of providing better education to the public in the fight to protect children. Am I happy that so many have chosen to join and help in our fight to end childhood sexual abuse? Of course I am. Is it, as your post clearly implied, costing taxpayers money? No. If so many others believe in it, why would we want to provide less in Broward County?

Thank, you by the way, for correctly noting that the insert does not mention me by name but focuses instead on the work of the foundation which bears my first name only. I am sensitive to that and take every precaution possible to avoid the potential conflict.

Sincerely,

Lauren

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

You want to see Lauren's Kingdom? This is it.



Members of the Anti-Registry Movement visited the "s*x offender" homeless camp in Miami-Dade County (Hialeah warehouse district) on March 26, 2016. While there, we met a man named Felix, who was one of the newest arrivals to the camp.

The camp has no running water or toilet facilities. In fact, after talking with the residents at the camp, toilets and TP would be the most desired items. Some residents have tents and cars but some do not. Camping gear, water, food, and clothing would also be appreciated.

Unlike the days when Miami's homeless registrants were forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, the media and local charities don't visit this camp. Out of sight, out of mind is the mantra. The Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance, the 2006 law covering Miami-Dade County, is still in effect. Ron Book is still head of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, yet he rarely, if ever, has any contact with his camp.

This place is truly "Lauren's Kingdom."

(If you want to help gather supplies for these guys, please contact Derek Logue at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com or 513-238-2873)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lauren Book, Running Unopposed, Raises $1.3 Million Despite Criticisms

I LOVE the Broward County/Miami New Times. They seem to be the only ones with the guts to ask the hard-hitting questions about the Books. The Miami Herald used to, but even they have grown silent on this issue. Oh, and the New Times has even posted a link to this humble blog. This site is merely a repository for existing info already out there about the Books. 


Lauren Book, Running Unopposed, Raises $1.3 Million Despite Criticisms
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2016 AT 9:58 A.M.

Plantation resident Lauren Book, 31, has raised about $1.3 million for her state senate campaign, though she's running unopposed. Her charity was also awarded a million dollars by the state legislature this session.  

Book is the daughter of powerful Florida lobbyist Ron Book, and after suffering horrific abuse by a nanny in her teen years, she founded Lauren's Kids, which raises awareness about childhood sexual abuse and advocates for legislation affecting sex offenders.

She has designed an educational curriculum and written two books, Lauren's Kingdom, and It's OK to Tell. Every year, Book walks across the state during an annual "hope and healing tour." The walk passed through South Florida this past week. During portions of it, Book was joined by Miami Heat staff and hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse.  

Despite the phenomenal support, Book has faced criticism that due to her father's influence, her charity and, in turn, her candidacy get "outsized" benefits not typically afforded to a small non-profit or novice candidate. The Florida Legislature this year awarded Lauren’s Kids $1 million for “school and instructional enhancements." In 2014 and again in 2015, the charity received $3.8 million from that part of the state budget, far more than most other groups that were awarded funds in that category.  Billboards with her face on them promote her charity but have the side effect of increasing her visibility as a candidate. 

Book had initially drawn an opponent, former Walmart worker Emmanuel Blimie, but due to redistricting she is now unopposed in District 32, which includes Cooper City, Coral Springs, Davie, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Weston, and parts of Miramar, Pembroke Pines, and Sunrise. As of February 29, she had raised $529,484 via 735 small campaign contributions (up to $1,000 each), including donations from pro athletes Dan Marino, Alonzo Mourning and Shane Battier.  

In addition, a political action committee called Leadership for Broward had raised $761,950 for Book. That includes donations from major Florida companies (like $20,00 from Autonation and $10,000 apiece from U.S. Sugar Corporation and Florida Crystals), plus $100,000 coming from the Miami Dolphins and $65,000 from the GEO Group — her father’s former or current clients. In the past, some have expressed concerns that if she were elected, Lauren's votes would be influenced by her father's work. (He is president of Lauren's Kids, and the charity is headquartered in the same office building as his firm.)  

This year, Derek Logue, a convicted sex offender who runs a website critical of the Books, says, “I’d love it if someone challenged Lauren Book on collecting GEO Group money considering the fact GEO group’s track record of allowing rampant physical and sexual abuse within their walls. I guess Lauren doesn’t care about abuse when it is about juveniles in facilities.” (A Department of Justice investigation into the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, which is run by GEO Group, found that it was “deliberately indifferent to staff sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior with youth. The sexual misconduct we found was among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.”)

Book's campaign manager, Steve Vancore, said Book was too busy to comment due to her annual walk. But in the past, she has deflected criticism with characteristic sweetness, saying she wished critics “would speak directly to me so I can show them the amazing work we are doing on behalf of children.”

Lauren's Kids boasts of having helped pass some two dozen laws to stop childhood sex abuse, such as mandating the placement of a red “P” on the driver’s licenses of sexual predators. Some groups have argued that laws created as a result of the zeal to punish sex offenders have had unintended consequences like breaking up families, and may not necessarily be effective in stopping abuse. A new documentary called Untouchable will explore how the Books’  efforts to regulate where sex offenders could live meant that some had nowhere they could reside legally except under a bridge (something Ron Book has publicly regretted). Filmmakers were not available this week, but promotional materials say the film "argues for a new understanding of how we think about and legislate sexual abuse." The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 13 to 24 in New York.

Lauren's Kids spokesperson Claire Van Susteren, said Book “is keeping a wall between her Foundation work and the campaign. Regarding the Untouchable film — neither Lauren nor Ron have seen the full version yet but I am sure would be able to comment once it’s officially been released.”

I look forward to hearing the reaction from the film. Below is the film trailer. 

UNTOUCHABLE - Festival Trailer from Meerkat Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

GEO Group, one of Lauren Book's biggest PAC contributors, physically and sexually abused kids

Lauren Book took $50,000 from a group that allowed
juveniles to be sexually abused
We have recently reported that Lauren Book received $50,000 from GEO Group, the private prion industry, under her "Leadership for Broward" PAC. It is ironic that Lauren Book, whose entire political campaign platform is her desire to protect kids from sexual abuse while taking money from a private prison that allowed one of the worst cases of rampant physical and sexual abuse of juveniles in the history of the criminal justice system to occur under it's watch. 

GEO Group has been the subject of a lot of controversy over the years, but the Walnut Grove MS facility stands out among all of them. 

Lauren Book doesn't seem to care where the money for her campaign is coming from. There's a word for that-- HYPOCRISY!

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/24/151276620/firm-leaves-miss-after-its-prison-is-called-cesspool

Miss. Prison Operator Out; Facility Called A 'Cesspool'
Updated April 30, 20128:06 PM ET
Published April 24, 20124:15 PM ET

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

Walnut Grove, located an hour's drive east of Jackson, is a 1,450-bed prison that houses inmates ages 13 to 22 who are minors convicted as adults. It is run by GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation's second-largest for-profit prison corporation, which posted a profit of $284 million last year. The Mississippi Department of Corrections pays GEO to manage the prison.

Jonathan Smith is chief of special litigation in the civil rights section at the Justice Department, which spent two years looking into conditions at Walnut Grove.

"To have a prison that's chaotic, poorly run, dangerous, didn't provide services, highly sexualized and highly violent really limits the ability of the state to turn those folks around, and to ensure public safety upon their release from prison," Smith said.

Among the conditions described in the report released last month:

  • Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called "among the worst that we've seen in any facility anywhere in the nation."
  • Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
  • The prison showed "deliberate indifference" to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
  • Some guards had gang affiliations — a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.
  • "A lot of times, the guards are in the same gang," Bowling said. "If an inmate wanted something done, they got it. If they wanted a cell popped open to handle some business about some fighting or something like that, it just pretty much happened."

A GEO spokesman said via email that the abuses documented by the government occurred before GEO took over Walnut Grove in late 2010. Another private prison company, Cornell Companies, ran the Walnut Grove facility until Cornell was purchased by GEO.

GEO Group also ran the correctional center when the Walnut Grove mayor used one of the inmates as his personal sex toy:

https://www.fbi.gov/jackson/press-releases/2012/former-mayor-of-walnut-grove-sentenced-for-federal-witness-tampering

JACKSON—William Grady Sims, 61, former mayor of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to serve seven months in prison followed by six months of home confinement and two years of supervised release for federal witness tampering, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen announced. Sims pled guilty to the charge on February 14, 2012.

Sims was the mayor of the town of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, having been elected to this position since 1981. In this role, he was one of the longest continually serving mayors in Mississippi, having served over 30 years. In October 2009, Sims became the administrator or warden of the Walnut Grove Transition Center in Walnut Grove. At the time, the Transition Center was a privately-owned and operated facility which had contracted with the Mississippi Department of Corrections to house state inmates. In November 2009, the Sims rented a motel room in Carthage, Mississippi; drove a female inmate in his custody from the Walnut Grove Transition Center to the motel room; and proceeded to have sex with her. During a federal grand jury investigation of the sexual encounter, Sims was recorded during several telephone calls with the female inmate instructing the inmate to lie to investigators by saying they had never had sex and had never been together in that motel room. Sims was subsequently interviewed by the FBI, and he admitted to having sex with the female inmate and instructing her to lie to investigators about their sexual encounter. Sims resigned as administrator or warden of the Walnut Grove Transition Facility in January 2010.

GEO Group also ran a juvenile facility in Texas that was run about as well as a third world country.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2007-10-26/554296/

The removal and firings came a week after two separate investigations into Coke: one by TYC investigators ordered by acting Executive Director Dimitria Pope after receiving a series of worrying reports, and a separate one by independent ombudsman Will Har­rell. In his report, Harrell describes inhuman conditions. Insects infested the dorms, where children slept on mats on the floor, and sheets were visibly dirty. His worst criticism is reserved for the security dorm. Calling it "malodorous and dark," he notes that inmates were only let out to shower, with no exercise or recreation. Education was a crossword or math puzzle shoved through the slot in the door. Bad as these conditions were, three inmates had voluntarily self-referred themselves to the security dorm to avoid gangs. Threats of inmate-on-inmate violence caused the greatest "sense of fear and intimidation" Harrell had ever experienced. Understaffing, long seen as one of the pivotal problems with TYC, was still unresolved: 44 of the 105 staff positions were empty, and the facility was having trouble finding new recruits because of negative publicity about earlier scandals.

However, Harrell inspected the facility on Sept. 24, and while Hurley applauded his report's content, he was concerned that he did not receive a copy until after his office's own investigation was complete. "If I'm the ombudsman, and I'm out there, I'm not going to go away, write a report, and then not send it to the one person who can actually make changes."

According to Hurley, the most worrying fact is that the on-site quality-assurance monitors had given the facility a clean bill of health. In his report, Harrell singled them out for criticism, writing, "With so many Q/A's assigned to this single facility, more than my staff for the entire state, why do these problems persist?" While Coke was the only privately run secure facility, TYC has now launched a full investigation into all its contract services. "We thought we had good reports," Hurley said. "The people who were a part of this were longtime TYC employees, but at this point we have no confidence in reports we have seen."

An audit of the Texas facility found:

  • “The GEO Group does not ensure that the youth are provided with a clean and orderly living environment.”
  • “Cells were filthy, smelled of feces and urine, and were in need of paint.”
  • “[T]here are serious problems with insects throughout the facility and grounds.”
  • “Plumbing chases were not secure at the time of the inspection. Contraband and pests were found in these areas.”
  • “Water leaks are numerous throughout the facility, creating an unsanitary and unsafe environment for all youth and staff.”
  • “There is racial segregation [in] the dorms; Hispanics are not allowed to be cell mates with African Americans.”
  • “Youth sprayed with [Oleoresin Capsicum] pepper spray are not routinely decontaminated.”
Children at the facility told the Commission:
  • They have “not received church services in over two months.”
  • They are “disciplined for speaking Spanish.”
  • They “are sometimes not allowed to brush their teeth for days at a time.”
  • They “had been forced to urinate or defecate in some container other than a toilet.”


GEO Group also hired Ron Book among their collection of lobbyists

http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/private-prisons-fight-back/66970

With bipartisan criminal-justice reform ramping up, which could drastically cut overall inmate populations, logic might suggest that the private-prison industry would be on its heels. It’s not. Because what does any good business do when its customer base shrinks? It widens its net, of course.

While state and federal prison statistics show a recent decline in the number of Americans who are behind bars, there are still roughly 5 million people under correctional supervision. Many more are in rehab and mental-health hospitals, while hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are shuffled through detention centers – potentially big markets for private facilities. So the correctional industry is diversifying. “The scope of how big this is hasn’t even been anywhere near made clear,” says Caroline Isaacs, who closely tracks the private-prison industry for the American Friends Service Committee, an advocacy group that opposes corrections privatization.

Though the services may be evolving, the concerns remain much the same. As with many for-profit entities, the top priority is the bottom line, which is often at odds with the purpose of community corrections. Rehabilitation – whether in a prison or half-way house – is not typically in the operator’s best interest, because that means fewer clients. As such, some private prisons have been found cutting corners on training and dangerously understaffed, even leading to riots. And you may remember the kids-for-cash scandal, where two Pennsylvania judges received kickbacks for sentencing juveniles to time behind bars.

But there’s still money to be made. In October, Corrections Corporation of America – the largest proprietor of the for-profit bunch – purchased Avalon, adding to its growing network of halfway houses. GEO Group, the second largest in this field, several years ago purchased BI, an electronic monitoring company, and is now moving into health care. Such companies are even targeting contracts in the purely mental-health sector. Opponents have dubbed the latter the “treatment-industrial complex.” Around 90 percent of incarcarees are eventually released; however, mental health hospitals have the potential for lifetime confinement. The fear, some say, is that we’ll simply start funneling people from prisons to alternative care institutions and surveillance programs that will perpetuate many of the same issues — and, in some cases, be even more harmful to those who end up stuck in a vicious cycle.

As in any competition for government contracts, lobbying plays a role in the industry’s flexibility and resilience. Official, on-the-books lobbying numbers have gone down across the board over the decades, though CCA hired 199 lobbyists in 32 states over the past decade, while GEO employed 72 lobbyists in 17 states, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. But many believe that lobbying activity has simply gone underground. Lee Drutman, a lobbying expert with New America and professor at John Hopkins University, says to tell the story of a $3 billion industry fighting for legislative survival, you have to look at the indirect ways it lobbies, from unlikely alliances to innovative media strategies.

CCA Director of Public Affairs Jonathan Burns points out the company has a longstanding corporate policy not to lobby for or against any policy that would determine the basis or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention. Plain speak: The corporations are not supposed to influence the length of sentences or what counts as an offense punishable by prison. GEO, meanwhile, noted in a statement that it doesn’t advocate for or against any specific criminal-justice policy. Still, federal lobbying disclosure statements show that over the past decade the industry has spent almost $10 million on state persuasion efforts and close to $22 million lobbying Senate and House representatives, and it has contributed more than $3 million directly to candidates and PACs. “With the election coming, 2016 should be a very interesting year,” says Paul Ashton, a research associate at the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., which aims to reduce incarceration.

Yes, $3 million in contributions to candidates like Lauren Book and PACs like Leadership for Broward. The Books lobby for stricter sentencing, which means more business for the Boca Baton-based GEO Group. Also, GEO Care, GEO Group's health subsidiary, donated an extra $15,000 in addition to the $50,000 donated to Leadership for Broward.

The bottom line is Lauren's alleged concerns on preventing sexual abuse does not extend to juveniles behind bars.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lauren Book's 'Leadership For Broward"-- Just what is a "leadership PAC"?

We've already discussed the obscene amount of money raised by Lauren Book's "Leadership for Broward" PAC ($765,000 to date, which is on par with big-name pols like Jeb Bush, John Boehner, and Paul Ryan). That's a lot of money for a district in the Everglades. That is extremely shady.

But just what IS a "leadership PAC"? This is the OpenSecrets.org explanation of the shadowy practices of the Leadership PAC:

"Leadership PACs: Background

A leadership PAC is a political action committee that can be established by current and former members of Congress as well as other prominent political figures. Leadership PACs are designed for two things: to make money and to make friends, both of which are crucial to ambitious politicians looking to advance their careers.

Leadership PACs are used to fund expenses that are ineligible to be paid by campaign committees or congressional offices. Those costs can include travel to raise a politician's profile, for instance. Democratic leadership PACs are also used to fund fellow Democrats' campaigns, especially threatened incumbents or challengers trying to win seats that were previously held by the GOP. Politicians often use their PACs to donate to other candidates because they are considering seeking a leadership position in Congress, a higher office, or leverage within their own party as they show off their fundraising ability.

Both Democrats and Republicans operate these PACs, which can accept money from other PACs and from individuals. Individuals can contribute up to $5,000 per year to a member's leadership PAC, even if they have already donated the maximum to that member's campaign."

Leadership PACs are, simply put, a way for pols to circumvent restrictions on collecting campaign funds and how those funds are spent. It is that simple.

ThinkProgress points out the potential for abuse:

For years, current and former elected officials have created leadership PACs, political action committees they can use to raise money to help elect like-minded candidates. But with no law preventing politicians from using the funds raised by their leadership PAC for personal use, some operate these committees more as an expense account than a political action committee.

A ThinkProgress review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) PAC data found that four leadership PACs have spent a paltry amount of their funds so far this election cycle on actual political candidates, while vasts amounts went to pay staffers, cover overhead, and cover travel, meals, parking, and even highway tolls.

While the politicians are rarely involved with the day-to-day operations of these leadership PACs (or their own campaign committees), they frequently headline fundraising events for the committees and they are largely free to spend the raised money as they wish. Donors seeking to earn lawmakers’ gratitude or help boost the politician’s political standing often donate to both their campaign account and their leadership PAC.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, leadership PACs are “considered separate from a politician’s campaign committee, providing donors with a way around individual campaign contribution limits.” They “provide a way for candidates to fund their travel, office expenses, consultants, polling and other non-campaign expenses,” though ostensibly their purpose is to advance the political view points of their owner.

Interestingly, Leadership for Broward has only two expenditures:

11/10/2015     5,000.00 MIAMI DOLPHINS, LTD.    EVENT TICKETS                          
11/12/2015     4,240.00 ROBERT WATKINS & COMPANY, P.A.  ACCOUNTING SERVICES
                           ------------
                               9,240.00
2 Expenditure(s) Selected

But didn't the Miami Dolphins giver her $100,000 for her PAC? Five grand to watch the Charlie Tunas choke in football and $4290 for accounting services is all she has spent.

Why is no one investigating this?

Lauren Book is married for a second time. Shall we take bets to see how long this one lasts?

Smeagol and her "Precious"
Welcome to the Jerry Springer portion of Floridians For Freedom. It seems that Lauren Book can't even manage her love life, so how can we expect her to manage the 32nd District? So if this piece sounds more Springeresque, I'm just trying to set the mood.

Personally, I'm not all that concerned with her "love life," but it seems daddy Book didn't want to shell out another million bucks for his princess. (I reckon one literal "million dollar wedding" was enough even for daddy longbucks.) So apparently Lauren was so frigid to her first hubby (semi-pro golfer turned car guy Kris Lim) that he allegedly found a little warmth in Lauren's best friend (and apparently his put a little of himself in Lauren's best friend, according to Lauren herself).

So anyways, Smeagol (or "Buggie B" as her douchebag friends call her) found herself a new precious named Blair Jacob Byrnes. Apparently he's a computer and security chump working for Microsoft, a company almost as synonymous with glitches as Lauren Book. Apparently this schmuck also works as a campaign manager. How convenient. Gee, I wonder how much money this asshat gets from Lauren's "Leadership for Broward."

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/blog/lauren-book-quietly-remarries-check-out-gift-registry

Lauren Book Quietly Remarries (Check out the Gift Registry)
Submitted by Nancy Smith on July 14, 2015 - 6:47am
Apparently we missed a major wedding in Plantation Saturday -- the second marriage of Lauren's Kids' founder Lauren Book, 30, this time to Blair Byrnes. 

You might remember seeing Byrnes in February, walking with his fiancee as the Lauren's Kids entourage arrived in Tallahassee to wrap up the Walk in My Shoes charity event.

Maybe press attended Saturday's wedding, but if any journalists were on hand, the write-ups are hiding in plain sight. My only clue was a link to the bride and groom's wedding registry at Bloomie's. Have a look for yourself. (Nice taste, you two.)

The wedding probably wasn't a patch on the party that launched Book's first marriage to golfer Kris Kim in 2008, a splashy, $1 million affair involving 600 guests at Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura. No kidding, a $1 million wedding.

It was filmed as Season 3, Episode 25 in the WEtv series "Platinum Weddings" and billed with this: "A half-million dollar budget gets blown out of the water when Daddy’s Princess gets every wedding wish she ever desired."

But, back to Saturday.

At almost the same time as Lauren and Blair were tying the knot, Buddy Nevins in BrowardBeat.com told us Lauren's Dad, lobbyist Ron Book, had just bought his daughter a steal of an apartment at The Plaza Condominium in Tallahassee -- perhaps looking forward to Lauren's Senate run to replace Eleanor Sobel who is term-limited in 2016.

Gag me with a spoon.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Editorial: Lobbyist equations just don't add up

A lot of money goes into a job paying below the median yearly wage so you know there are major kickbacks being passed along.

http://staugustine.com/opinions/2016-02-25/editorial-lobbyist-equations-just-dont-add#.VudNEuIrI_M

Editorial: Lobbyist equations just don't add up
Posted: February 25, 2016 - 8:57pm  |  Updated: February 26, 2016 - 1:04am

The tattered performance and arrogant self-interest of Florida’s uber-partisan legislature this year seems to prove that, at least in state politics, you do get what you pay for.

Ask the lobbyists.

Lobbying firms working in the state are required to file compensation reports each quarter. Exact amounts are not known because they’re not available, because the law does not require them to do so ... possibly because our lawmakers make the law.

Lobbying firms, instead, report a compensation “range” of sorts. A couple of the bigger firms, for instance, reported getting paid between $500,000 and $999,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015. And that’s as much as we know. But the state’s top four lobbying firms — Ballard Partners, Capital City Consulting, Ronald L. Book PA and Southern Strategy Group — each reported making at least $1 million for work done in that quarter, the last report released earlier this month.

Ballard Partners is the big dog, headed by Republican fundraiser Brian Ballard. He started his firm in 1998 with his father-in-law, Jim Smith, who was a former attorney general as a Democrat and secretary of state as a Republican. The Palm Beach Post reports that Ballard’s sister, former Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty, spent two years in prison on corruption charges. Coming in second is Southern Strategy, the former lobbying firm of former Sen. John Thrasher, now the president of Florida State University.

Ronald Book’s clients, The Post reports, include Ashbritt, a rapid-response recovery firm from Book’s South Florida stomping ground. It was awarded a no-bid contract by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for cleanup efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Book was paid $204,000 for his efforts.

Among the big spenders in Florida are FPL, U.S. Sugar and the Seminole Tribe, which has a $3 billion deal with Florida currently on the table.

(Nationally, the top five spenders annually are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at $85 million; the National Association of Realtors, $38 million; the American Medical Association, $29 million; Blue Cross/Blue Shield, $23 million; and Boeing, $22 million.)

In all, Florida lobbyists were paid $30 million in the last quarter of 2015. The cumulative total in 2105 was $131.5 million — up $12 million over 2014. (But they earned that, having to work through the regular session, plus the three special sessions.)

One might wonder how to put this all in perspective. Certainly there are more ways than one. But, if we agree that all the money spent by lobbyists is intended to directly influence votes of our lawmakers, here are a couple of equations to ponder:

■ 40 senators plus 120 representatives = 160 Florida lawmakers.

■ 131.5 million divided by 160 = $821,875 spent on each lawmaker.

State senators and representatives are paid $29,687 annually, plus per diem. Do the math. If you can make the rest of that equation add up, send that answer to the Florida Commission on Ethics: P.O. Drawer 15709, Tallahassee, FL 32317.