Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Book’

Miami judge seals high-profile defamation suit filed after state dropped child sex abuse case

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Lopez has sealed all court records in a high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Jozef Opdeweegh against the parents and grandfather of a 6-year-old girl who accused him of sexually molesting her at a May 2017 pool party.
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Businessman accused of child molestation sues alleging defamation, smear campaign

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
A South Miami-Dade couple launched a smear campaign with the assistance of mega-lobbyist Ron Book to destroy the reputation of a prominent businessman accused by their six-year-old daughter of molesting her at a pool party, according to a recently filed lawsuit.
The post Businessman accused of child molestation sues alleging defamation, smear campaign appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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State Sen. Lauren Book seeks restraining order to silence protester

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
As Broward State Sen. Lauren Book prepares for her annual walk to raise awareness about child sex abuse, she wants to make sure one of her harshest critics is nowhere near her.
On July 26, Sen. Book filed a petition in Broward Circuit Court seeking a restraining order against Derek Logue, a 40-year-old Ohio man convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in 2001. Logue today is an advocate for registered sex offenders.
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Lauren’s Kids funnels $3.1 million to politically connected public relations firm

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
A nonprofit run by Broward State Sen. Lauren Book and lavished with millions of dollars in state handouts by lawmakers paid a Tallahassee public relations firm with considerable political clout $3.1 million between 2012 and 2015.
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Using ethics loophole, Sen. Lauren Book votes to give her nonprofit $1.5 million

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Broward State Sen. Lauren Book voted “yes” last month to approve a state appropriations bill that included $1.5 million for Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit she founded and leads as its $135,000-a-year chief executive officer.
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Lauren’s Kids racks up six-figure donations via auto tag registration renewals

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
In January, Broward County car owners who received their auto tag renewal notices also got a special message and sales pitch from Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child sex abuse and founded by freshman State Sen. Lauren Book.
The post Lauren’s Kids racks up six-figure donations via auto tag registration renewals appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Ms. Book goes to Tallahassee, sees no conflict voting $ for Lauren’s Kids or dad’s clients

Monday, March 20th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Freshman Broward State Sen. Lauren Book says she won’t abstain from voting on matters involving clients of her father, powerful lobbyist Ron Book. Similarly, she sees no conflict of interest in voting on measures to funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to benefit her non-profit charity and political launching pad, Lauren’s Kids.
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Lauren Book, Joe Geller file bills seeking higher penalties for guns at school, boost firearm safety

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Two bills introduced in the Florida Legislature this week seek to bolster gun safety when children are involved.
Cosponsored by Plantation Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book, SB 648 would establish a perimeter of safety for students around schools, as well as strengthen penalties for careless storage of firearms which then fall into the hands of minors.
Aventura Democratic Rep. Joseph Geller filed the companion House Bill (HB 957).
If passed, the bills would increase penalties on individuals who brandish a firearm on or near school property, on the unlawful firing of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, and for those who do not properly store their firearms, allowing access to minors
“All children deserve to be kept safe,” Book said in a statement Monday. “One of the most basic and straightforward ways we can ensure child safety is by keeping firearms out of the hands of children and away from school property.”
According to the American Bar Association, in 47 states, a parent can leave a loaded, unlocked gun on a dining room table, nightstand or other easily accessed location and face no legal consequences for having the gun within a child’s reach.
“The safety of Florida’s students, both while at school and at home, is paramount to their success in the classroom and in life,” Geller said in a statement. “There’s no excuse for brandishing a firearm at a school. Neither is there any reason for allowing a minor access to a firearm because it isn’t stored in a secure manner. These commonsense gun safety reforms ensure that our students are protected and that those who threaten their safety are punished.”
 
The post Lauren Book, Joe Geller file bills seeking higher penalties for guns at school, boost firearm safety appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Senate committee unanimously approves bill to ban fracking

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

The Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee unanimously approved a bill to ban fracking Tuesday, marking a reversal from previous legislative actions on the issue.
“Florida has such a unique geological make up and one-of-a-kind environment that we should not be putting it at risk by allowing fracking in the State of Florida,” said Sen. Dana Young, the bill’s sponsor. “This is the same sentiment that I’ve heard echoed from concerned Floridians from the panhandle all the way to the Florida Keys – we should not be jeopardizing our drinking water supply or our beautiful natural environment.”
The bill (SB 442) passed with little public comment, with most of the public speakers waiving in support or opposition of the bill. Four of the seven members of the committee are co-sponsoring the legislation, including Sen. Lauren Book, the committee’s chairwoman, and Sen. Jack Latvala, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
“As the old and wise voice of the Senate here, as was announced earlier all four people sitting here are co-sponsors of this bill,” said Latvala at the beginning of the public comment period, before encouraging speakers to waive their time. “I feel pretty confident of the success of this bill. You’ve got the votes here.”
Industry officials did not waive their time, using their time to speak out against the measure. And on Tuesday, an attorney for one landowner said the proposal indicated the proposal could lead to litigation.
Jake Cremer, an attorney with Stearns Weaver Miller, said his firm represents Collier Resources, which manages and develops more than 800,000 mineral acres in Collier, Lee and Hendry counties.
“No matter whether good policy or bad policy, this bill will be a lightning rod for litigation in the state,” he said.
But Sen. Gary Farmer, a trial attorney who spent years representing consumers, pointed out more than 30

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.
On and off: Tiffany Harrington has replaced Heather Williamson as House staff director of the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining.
On: Natron Curtis is the new district secretary for Gainesville Democratic Rep. Clovis Watson.
Off: Melissa Ullery is no longer legislative assistant for Panama City Republican Sen. George Gainer.
Off and on: George Fossett is the new legislative assistant for Miami Gardens Democratic Sen. Oscar Braynon. Previously, Fossett served as district secretary for sunrise Democratic Rep. Katie Edwards.
Off and on: Patrick Steele replaced Riley Baldree as legislative assistant for Melbourne Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield.
On: Marilyn Barnes returned from retirement to become legislative assistant for Tallahassee Democratic Sen. Bill Montford.
On: Debra Booth is the new legislative assistant for Kissimmee Democratic Sen. Victor Torres.
On: Paula Rigoli is now district secretary for Delray Beach Democratic Rep. Emily Slosberg.
On: Luis Callejas, previously district secretary, is now legislative assistant for Miami Democratic Rep. David Richardson.
On: Lindsay Graham is now district secretary for Orlando Republican Rep. Mike Miller.
On: Sharon Stewart is the new district secretary for Vero Beach Republican Rep. Erin Grall.
On: Nadie Charles is now legislative assistant and Elizabeth Casimir is district secretary for Fort Lauderdale Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams.
On and on: Rebecca McLaughlin is legislative assistant and Kathy Johnson, who was previously district secretary, is now legislative assistant for Orlando Republican Rep. Eric Eisnaugle.
Off and on: Charles Smith, who was previously district secretary, is now legislative assistant for Fort Lauderdale Republican Rep. George Moraitis.
On: Dennis Ragosta is the new district secretary for Ocala Republican Rep. Charlie Stone.
On: Mikhail Scott is now legislative assistant for Cutler Bay Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee.
On: Nancy Bowers is the new district secretary for The Villages Republican Rep. Don Hahnfeldt.
On: Rebecca Zizzo is district secretary for House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
On: Jack Harrington is legislative assistant for Miami Republican Rep. Michael Bileca.
Off: Janine Kiray is no longer legislative assistant to Clearwater Republican Rep. Chris Latvala.
Off: Constance Baker is no longer

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.
On and off: Charles Smith, previously district secretary for Broward County Republican Rep. George Moraitis, is now his legislative assistant.
On: Dennis Ragosta is the new district secretary for Ocala Republican Rep. Charlie Stone.
On: Mikhail Scott has become the legislative assistant for Miami-Dade Democratic Rep. Kionne McGhee.
On: Nancy Bowers a new district secretary for The Villages Republican Rep. Don Hahnfeldt.
On: Rebecca Zizzo is district secretary for House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
On: Jack Harrington is the new legislative assistant for Miami-Dade Republican Rep. Michael Bileca.
Off: Janine Kiray is no longer legislative assistant to Clearwater Republican Rep. Chris Latvala.
Off: Constance Baker has stepped down as district secretary for Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Kim Daniels.
On: Leota Wilkinson is district secretary for Palatka Republican Rep. Bobby Payne.
Off and on: John Love is no longer House administrative assistant for the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining. Lisa Larson has replaced Love.
On and off: Lindsey Locke is the new House administrative assistant for the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight. Locke replaced Michelle McCloskey.
On and off: Patricia Gosney is the new legislative assistant in the Tallahassee office of Broward Democratic Sen. Lauren Book. Joel Ramos has stepped down.
The post Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Joe Negron formally elected as Senate President

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Senate President Joe Negron can drop the “designate” from his title.
Florida senators voted unanimously to elect Negron as the 87th president of the Florida Senate during its organizational meeting.
“There’s one thing about Joe Negron, he’s always respectful and kind. He truly cares about those that he represents. While Joe is thoughtful and considerate, he’s also smart and not afraid to take on the tough issues,” said Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Sebring Republican her nominating speech. “Joe Negron will lead the Senate to a better tomorrow.”
Senate Republicans designated Negron as their leader in December 2015, ending a bitter battle between Negron and Sen. Jack Latvala for the presidency. Latvala will serve as the chairman of the powerful appropriations committee.
Negron used a brief speech Tuesday to once again outline his priorities for his presidency. Negron has vowed to focus on higher education and work toward stopping Lake Okeechobee discharges during his two years as president.
Cleaning up the waterways has long been a passion for Negron. During the 2014 legislative session, he was the chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin. And he sponsored the Legacy Florida Act, which sets aside a portion of Amendment 1 dollars to be spent on Everglades restoration projects and springs restoration.
Negron said since Jan. 1, 225 billion gallons of water have been released from Lake Okeechobee east into Treasure Coast waterways. Another 549 billion gallons, Negron said, have been released west into Southwest Florida’s waterways.
“Is this really the best we can do in the United State of America in 2016? When Lake Okeechobee rises to 15.5 or 16 feet, with all the technology, all the brilliance we have, here’s our solution: We’re going to send (the water) east and west to communities where millions of people live,” said Negron.

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Senate Democrats elect Oscar Braynon as Democratic leader

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Senate Democrats have a new leader, voting unanimously Monday to name Sen. Oscar Braynon as the Minority Leader for the 2016-2018 term.
“I want you, and others, to know that my greatest joy of being leader was the fact that you were the leader pro tempore and the leader designate,” said former Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner. “There was not one day during the two years that I served as leader that I had any doubt that you did not have my back. You were the wind beneath my wings.”
First elected to the Florida Senate in 2011, Braynon has spent more than a decade in public service. He was first elected to public office in 2003 as a member of the Miami Gardens City Council. The Miami Gardens Democrat was elected to the Florida House in 2008.
“We, as the Democratic caucus, will still fight for our core principles, making sure the middle class and working class people still have a voice in Florida; making sure the environment they love is protected; making sure those who cannot protect themselves are protected and the helpless receive help,” he said.
Braynon faced criticism following 2016 election. Although new political lines were more favorable to Senate Democrats than in years past, the Democrats saw few gains. The Senate is now split 25-15.
But Braynon told members he hopes to grow their ranks in 2018 and 2020.
“When I started in the Senate, we were 12. And now we’re 15. We’re heading in the right direction,” he said. “The work of the leaders before us is what led us to move in the right direction, and we will continue that movement. The work that we do today is the work that will allow us to see that horizon.”
Senate Democrats also unanimously approved the selection of incoming Sen. Lauren Book

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Senator-elect Lauren Book thanks voters, community with kids’ book distribution

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

State Senator-elect Lauren Book will be saying “thank you” to voters of Florida Senate District 32 with an important personal symbol of her gratitude.
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 22, the Plantation Democrat and children’s activist will host a districtwide giveaway of the iconic “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.
“When I was a young girl, my father used to read this book to me almost every night,” said Book, a former classroom teacher. “It was my favorite and I genuinely cherish the memories of spending quality time reading with him. It inspired me to overcome tragedy, to find my best self, and to reach for the stars.”
After winning the SD 32 seat in June without opposition, Book decided to give back to the community she will represent in Tallahassee starting March.
“I am using our leftover campaign dollars to say thank you to the people of this district for allowing me the honor and privilege of serving,” Book said. “I hope that sharing this book will inspire local kids to do great things and will encourage parents to spend some quality time reading with their children.”
Reading to and with children is an important part of their development, which Book believes is one that gives them a positive environment to grow and learn.
Book says that Seuss’s book, one of the best-selling of all time, “touches on growing up and encourages readers to optimistically explore the world, meet life’s challenges, and confidently relish in the excitement of adventure.”
While supplies last, Seuss’ books will be available at public libraries throughout SD 32, available to any child who asks. Book has distributed more than 2,000 copies, and will also keep a limited supply in her district and Capitol offices.
A map of participating libraries is below:

The post Senator-elect Lauren Book thanks voters, community with kids’ book distribution

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