The legislative session, marking the real advent of springtime in Florida, begins in Tallahassee this week. And the busiest bees working the capital are the lobbyists, who are buzzing about, putting their noses in everything they can, spreading their demon seed far and wide.
If you don't care, you should. You're paying for the all that pollination, after all.
On his new blog, John deGroot did some digging and found that Broward County and its municipal governments are paying about $4 million this year for lobbyists to work in Tallahassee. I'm sorry, but I must linger on that number for a moment. Four million dollars.
It's really proof that Broward is the sleaziest county in Florida. Goddamn wonderful quantifiable evidence. Miami-Dade, a county with about a third greater population than Broward, put in just $2.5 million for lobbyists after all. Palm Beach County came in at a relatively modest $1.4 million.
Why does Broward spend so much? Because its run by pure swine.
You can almost smell Russ Klenet's dirty influence in Sunrise, which pays a whopping $110,000 in lobbying fees (here's a list of Joel Steinger's boy's and Stacy Ritter's hubbie's clients). But that looks good next to Weston, which inexplicably pays $200,000 a year for Tallahassee schmoozers. And hey, the county's looking to trim the bacon fat. Here's an idea: trim the lobbyists they're paying $549,000 for each year and do the influence peddling in-house.
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What a racket. DeGroot picks apart the biggest lobbyist of them all, the incomparable Ron Book, who alone is picking up $2 million this year from government-clients that include Broward County, Miramar, Lauderdale Lakes and a host of other municipalities.
"Like when will a member of the media seek an accounting of what Book does with his millions of tax dollars every year?" deGroot asks. "And also, how soon will pigs roost in trees?"
To read more, and you really should, check out his post "So who is Ron Book ... and why?" on his blog, According to deGroot.
We're going to blow the roof off this pigsty, boys and girls. Just you wait.