Finally, a few years and $152,000 in the making, Senate President Mike Haridopolos controversial book Florida Legislative History and Processes, is available in e-print. Brevard Community College has put the book online for sale at Amazon.com for $9.99.
Since it took so long to publish, the book is pretty out of date. Consider this line: "Since Eisenhower's election, Florida has supported the Democratic candidate for President only three times [1964, 1976, 1996]."
Apparently Barack Obama didn't exist when Haridopolos was done.
The book deal set off a firestorm three years ago when Haridopolos, then a teacher at Brevard Community College, was pushing for budget cuts at the same time he was being paid for the book while it was being written (instead of being paid afterward). When we requested a copy in January, Brevard cited a Gray Robinson legal opinion that said the book wasn't a public record.
The only way to see the book, said a spokeswoman, was to travel to the college's Cocoa campus to read the one and only version. The Associated Press went to the Chamber of Secrets, read the book and this week published a story about it prior to the Amazon release.
A U.S. Senate candidate, Haridopolos was instantly embroiled in a new controversy. One paper opined that he had no right to lecture about government waste when he was paid a handsome sum for a book that took three years to publish. Haridopolos advocates blamed fellow Republicans who might challenge him for the post.
Still, the controversy might help book sales.
According to Amazon's search engine, Haridopolos is a somewhat.... lukewarm commodity, it appears. When you type in HARI, he's the fourth suggested link beneath "hair dryer, hair dryer in beauty, hair dryer in health and personal care."