deGroot Returns With Blast Against Hospital District’s Lobbying



John deGroot is a newspaper friend of mine who spent a half century writing for a living.  Now he is writing for free on the Internet.


At 71, he remains pissed off about injustices and bad government.

His first target on his new website is the North Broward Hospital District and their out-of-control spending on lobbyists.

deGroot is well equipped to run an investigative blog site.  He has been a fixture in journalism for  decades. 

He was part of The Philadelphia Bulletin’s Crackerjack staff when the paper’s slogan was: “In Philadelphia, Everbody Reads The Bulletin.”   

He’s got his name on a Pulitzer and on Broadway as the author of “Papa, a play about Ernest Hemingway.

His articles about Broward County corruption in the 1970s were responsible for the careers of Bob Butterworth, good.  Ken Jenne, not so good. And the county’s current charter form of government.

He was one of my first editors at the Fort Lauderdale News. 

deGroot first tinkered with the idea of contributing to  He wrote three pieces for me.   I wrote about him here.

But deGroot is one of those ink-stained eccentrics who inhabited newsrooms of the past.  He does best when following his own leads without me breathing down his neck.

So now he has

Here is what he says about his new website:

“Basically, my goal is to create a source for material of vital importance to South Florida but which the local print media has consistently failed to cover for a variety of reasons ranging from a lack of will to a lack of resources or (saddest of all) a lack of ability.

“My plan is to focus on the greed-driven and egregious world of acute health care in South Florida, with the tax-funded North Broward  Hospital District my immediate target as a model of waste, inefficiency, shoddy insider politics and an institutionalized indifference to those most in need of life-saving care.

“Hence, my first posting deals with the tax-supported District’s outrageous and historic love affair with politically connected lobbyists a love affair financed with millions of tax dollars with the approval of District’s Commissions, each of whom having been appointed by the current governor for their ability to host an effective campaign event, or assemble a six-figure bundle of contributions.”

I love it

I expect John to be a valuable voice against waste in Broward government. 

We will be sharing information when appropriate. 

Welcome to the Internet, John.

7 Responses to “deGroot Returns With Blast Against Hospital District’s Lobbying”

  1. Former Sun-Sentinel editor says:

    John deGroot is like the town crier of olden days. Using the Internet as a soapbox, he will shout out what is wrong with society. I’m glad to see him back in the saddle.

  2. jt says:

    buddy, when u get it, how about the link to his webcite

  3. I know DeGroot says:

    DeGroot is a strange duck who couldn’t get along with anybody at the sheriff’s department and ended up working at the jail, where Sheriff Jenne cleared out space for him and turned into his office. He is very arrogant. His friendship with Jenne is enough to question his “wisdom.”

    FROM BUDDY: John had a falling out with Jenne. That is why he was working in the jail. He and Jenne are no longer friends.

  4. got the boot degroot says:

    i heard bob norman kicked off of his blog.

    FROM BUDDY: deGroot told me he quit because of what he called the questionable advertisments in The New Times.

  5. Bites the Hand says:

    I remember when John deGroot and Joe Gerwins were the tag team political hatchet men for Ken as Sheriff, and he’d send them off to fend off all kinds of problems. They were very effective and could be ruthless when needed. But the thing about deGroot is (and he’s suffered with this all his life) the guy just doesn’t have any discipline or loyalty. He can’t work on a team. He tries but ultimately the role doesn’t suit him. His ego gets in the way. deGroot is one of these guys that has to be the center of attention, his answer is the only right answer. The problem is he’s never earned being at center of attention, and often has a warped point of view that few can connect with. He confuses a little bit of talent with being brilliant, a little notoriety with being famous, a little respect with being somebody. And so now he’s become a town crier, screaming out his craziness from a hilltop where few can or even bother to listen.

    Nice choice in writers there, Buddy. He and Sam Fields will make great book ends. You are officially becoming the fringe political blog of Broward. Aren’t there any more reliable sources willing to write for you?

  6. Kathy Rayson says:

    deGroot. Yes.

  7. Col. Broward says:

    John DeGroot is about as old as me, Colonel Broward. His opinions are still pithy and to the point. He has always been missed as a columnist and should be an addition to the internet.