Update: Senate Candidate Uses Public Mailing






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.



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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.










My buds at Floridabulldog.org in April wrote about the Lauren’s Kids organization obtaining roughly $7 million in state money.   That story can be seen here.  




16 Responses to “Update: Senate Candidate Uses Public Mailing”

  1. Evan Ross says:

    First, I believe that they are being mailed out statewide, not just in Broward. I live in Miami Dade County and I received one. This isn’t a campaign stunt. It’s a big win for a great charity.

    Second, the insert is not promoting Lauren Book, it is promoting a very worthwhile charity, Lauren’s Kids.

    While there is no doubt that Lauren’s Kids has benefited from Ron Book’s pull in Tallahassee, that does not take away from what a worthwhile cause and tremendous foundation it is.

    I was happy to see it in my recent license plate renewal as it helps raise both awareness and funds to prevent childhood sexual abuse.

  2. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I was embarassed when a lerned institute named something after me several decades ago and have been DOUBLY careful it doesnt happen again. Naming things after LIVING PEOPLE is wrong on every ethical moral religious (for every kind of Jew except only two possible circumstances of synagogues since ca 200 C.E.) n frankly good taste. Bill Cosby. Abel Holtz on Miami Beach Ivan Boesky and others all had buildings named for themselves re-named. I am flabbergasted Mayor Seiler Vice Mayor McKinzie and Com issioners Roberts Rodgers n Trantalis would even let this on their Agenda – but hey Commissioner Romney Rogers named Judy $tern n her daughter to Ft Lauderdale City Boards because hes such a STRONG JEWISH FEMINIST!

  3. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    In Deerfield Beach, the Housing Authority HQ building is named after Sylvia Poitier.

  4. Who Got the $$$$$$$ says:

    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.”

    Is this the fathers guilt for failing to protect his child?

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Of course there is NO LISTING for an “Evan Ross” in any google search in Miami-Dade Co! Surprise!Surprise another lobbyist flunky who is either sleeping on a park bench (unlikely if a lobbyist flunky) or another fake name posting by a lobbyist plain in simple.


    There is an Evan Ross who is a campaign consultant in Miami-Dade County and who has significant experience with Miami-Dade Democratic organizations.

  6. John Henry says:

    So Buddy your advice to her was “Bite the hand that feeds you?”

    It kinda defeats the purpose of what Ron is trying to do. In this case here the daughter is just along for the free ride.

    If you think its bad now, just wait until (god forbid) she gets elected

  7. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I am sorry to blog a third time on the same subject, but I am a research historian and Fort Lauderdale has had two Congressmen who did serious work in Washington, D.C., Dwight Rogers who was one of the great CLEAN AIR ACT sponsors and E. Clay Shaw who was a beach advocate. Neither have streets named for them I have ever seen! We complain about lousey schools and the decline of college educations and young people seem to be incapable of anything but watching the Kardashians and looking at I-Pads and texting, but isn’t it trashing their minds ignoring serious people from Ft Lauderdale on the NATIONAL STAGE and spending time and energy “honouring” a decidedly local person – albeit worthy of a City or County Commission Proclamation – with a street name?
    And, as for “there is a political consultant named Evan Ross in Miami-Dade County” – WHO DOESNT OWN HIS OWN CONDO OR HOME in the County Property Records? Doesn’t that address the whole culture of lobbyists surrounded by flunkeys? Doesn’t it address the larger issue that our politics here in South Florida has become the land of millionaire lobbyists and less-than-wealthy flunkeys looking for an easy ride – off us taxpayers who have to work for a living and don’t have time in our working years to blog or go to city, county or state hearings or have the extra money to give 500 dollars or more to political candidates?


    I believe you are referring to Paul Rogers, who was Dwight Rogers son. Both were Florida member of Congress. Dwight Rogers died in 1954, long before the Clean Air Act.

    The 17th Street Bridge is named for E. Clay Shaw, who was instrumental in obtaining federal funding for it.

  8. Susan Goldstein says:

    This is not some ploy they dreamed up to build name recognition. These inserts have been going out in registration renewals since Laurens Specialty Plate passed, over a year or more. This is not something new, being done because she is running for State Senate. This is to raise money for the organization that helps sexually abused children and survivors. And I am sure she pays for the printing of the inserts to make certain the taxpayers are not funding this promotion. It simply proves that she is seriously committed to raising funds and awareness to support the efforts of her organization. I have also seen donation depositories around the state and other creative efforts in place to promote her cause and help support the victims. License plates provide a recurring source of revenue ($25 per year from every plate)to fund charitable organizations like Laurens that do good work and help many people. She, like others that have specialty plates, SHOULD be working hard to promote them. And she has been doing that long before she decided to run for the Senate. Keep up your hard work Lauren! You will be a great advocate in the Senate.

  9. Zowie says:

    Whatever the conceit of the millionaire influence vendor and his daughter these children are not “Lauren’s Kids.” Their attempt to hijack these innocent victims and exploit them for base political ends (and personal profit) simply stinks.

  10. Evan Ross says:

    I am the Evan Ross that Buddy referenced in his response. I have known the Book family since I was in diapers. There’s no question that I am biased given my respect and affection for Ron and Lauren. Nor do I fail to understand the criticism notes in Buddy’s article. I just disagree with it.

    If I wanted to hide, I could easily post under an alias. I don’t. I’m proud to share my views, even if they’re unpopular. I’m proud to support Lauren, who I am confident will be a strong and independent voice for her constituents. And I’m proud to wear my Lauren’s Kids bracelet every day to remind myself and others of how real the threat of childhood sexual abuse is and how it can and does affect people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds.


    I too am fond of Ron, who have I known more than three decades. He was on Gov. Bob Graham’s legislative team when I arrived in Tallahassee to cover that new administration. My father-in-law and Ron’s father knew each other in Miami-Dade as active orchid enthusiasts.

    I also have been very impressed with Lauren Book.

    I offer my criticism as a suggestion. Lauren has to overcome the belief that she is a creature of her father. She doesn’t need anything that adds to that belief.

  11. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Congressman Dwight Rogers died in office in December 1954 so I believe Romney was right his grandfather was behind the Clean Air Act – so lets have a Dwight Rogers Clean Air Act Boulevard!

  12. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    This is NOT about Lauren Book’s work for children This is NOT even about any INDIVIDUAL but about LIVING PEOPLE GETTING THEIR NAMES ON PUBLIC STREETS and to a lesser extent the highjacketing of government decisions in unpublicized until the last minute actions to benefit lobbyists n their families n friends. Who someone has worked with i.e.Evan Ross n Ron Book has NO PLACE in discussing whether LIVING PEOPLE running for office should have their names or their relatives names on a Street I WALK ON which sure as heck does NOT APPLY to Messrs Book or Ross – who dont walk on even live in Ft Lauderdale! Let Plantation or Miami-Dade get a request to name a atreet for Lauren Book BUT LEAVE FT LAUDERDALE ALONE!

  13. GarlPink says:

    I believe the most disturbing part of this particular brouhaha is not the to-be-expected contributions by the ready, willing and able haters but, rather, the fact that you, Buddy, jumped out on a story with no facts. While the comments of Who, John and Zowie are typically ugly, it is you who should be, well, ashamed for stirring the empty pot. Yes, had Broward County paid for the insert — or paid extra to mail it along with the standard renewal — you would have had yourself a great story; now you just have people believing you had a great story where none existed. If not ashamed, are you not at least a wee bit embarrassed?

  14. Mailman says:

    Don’t the taxpayers pay for the staff to stuff the envelope, the envelope itself and the postage??

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    So Judy Stern daughter is a Jewish feminist(run for Romney Rogers seat in 2yrs unless Char beats you to it) #2,#5,# 11you sir have way to much time on your hands. Go find the Nazi train, I woul d have more respect for you. You are a bigot. Lauren Book do not give in to your distractors. These comments disregard none of them can vote either way anyway. Stay the course .the editorial was a bad idea.Listen to your dad, your greatest supporter..

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    As Mayor Seiler says, Walsh is off his meds again! Totally ignorant of Humor – Jewish or otherwise or the history of Ft Lauderdale before he was inflected on us.

    But seriously to ignore national figures who served in Congress from Ft Lauderdale n name a street for an out of town candidate because of her out of town lobbyist is the pits.