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Haridopolos steered money to college that gave him unusual book deal

When he bangs the gavel down on his first regular session as Senate President, Mike Haridopolos will already have sustained more public-relations blows and blunders than any of his predecessors in recent times. As a recently announced candidate for U.S. Senate, Haridopolos' tough job got even tougher.

Last week, Brevard Community College finally published what was supposed to be a "scholarly work," Florida Legislative History and Processes -- a book that revealed little about either despite the title. The $152,000 arrangement, which came amid budget cuts to colleges, has long raised eyebrows. But the prose and common sense advice (buy a computer, get a cellphone if you're a political candidate) produced snickers.

Turns out, Haridopolos helped his former employer when he could. He steered $3.1 million to his former employer according to state budget documents. The two projects: renovations in 2009, and a 2006 project that sought to help build a facility, connected to the college, to help turtle-nesting, manatee and whale and dolphin research. In all, he has accounted for about $42.7 million in hometown spending -- not a lot for a powerful senator.

Two weeks ago, his rules committee admonished him for failing to properly fill out constitutionally required financial disclosures -- forms that revealed, among other things, that he scored a consulting job with a local appliance company that lobbies the Legislature. 

Before all of this, Haridopolos also voted raise taxes by $2.2 billion. He had voted to cut taxes and spending by a far greater amount over his career, but the single tax increase that he anguished over two years ago could prove costly in a Republican primary. Add up all the ingredients -- the tax increase, the financial disclosures, the book deal, the money for the college -- and Haridopolos reputation as a fiscal conservative has taken some blows.

Profile here

Meantime, his colleague in the Florida House, Dean Cannon, looks like he's on autopilot. He's not an announced candidate, runs a more top-down organization and hasn't made as many missteps as Haridopolos.

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Comments

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GSolant

Isn't his exactly what Ray Sansom is being prosecuted for? Oh wait---Sansom never actually received money for it. Can you say "federal prosecution"?

Emmanuelle Javier

there's no connection to funds for building construction and a book, and Haridop was not the budget chair like Sansom...this is just an attempted pile-on article...although, the book was pretty bad and he should return the 150K

Muckraker

Mike Haridopolis: Another Corrupt Overly Coiffed Politician Running For The U.S. Senate

http://www.practicalstate.com/?p=5980

Cheers

whasup

This is the great evil of allowing folks employed by the higher education institutions to serve in the Legislature. It's a patent conflict of interest and abuse of the public treaury.

No person who directly or indirectly is being paid with tax dollars should be eligible to serve in the Legislature. If you want to serve in such an elective office, you should resign that other job.

Mission Benitez

whasup, as much I would generally disagree because I'd rather have a diverse legislature (more than just lawyers) that represents all walks of life...I'm temporarily enjoying the thought of your suggestion...no Haridopolos and no Vasilinda...

:)

Bob

Didn't Ray Sansom do the same thing and end up in jail? Oh yeah, this dude's a real winner....

George Fuller

A much bigger deal than that will be how much he gets in future campaign contributions from the AG, Hospitality and Construction Industry for keeping SB 518, a bill that mandates all new hires be legal workers, from passing the senate.

He assigned it 4 committees to go through in 31 legislative days vs. 2 or 3 committees for most bills.

The first committee to hear it is The Judiciary headed by Flores who openly opposes state immigration laws......

Him blocking the bill will be worht millions in campaign contributions.....

Screw what the citizens want.....

Arthur Drake

A state senator abusing his power for personal profit is about the worst kind of person. I guess maybe Ray Sansom was worse, but not by enough to matter.

I wonder who's paying him to run for the Senate

GSolant

Hari is also being paid $75,000 per year by UF to "teach" a class (i.e. lead a discussion) in the Senate Office building. Doesn't this mean he is using state resources for personal gain? Isn't that a felony??

Kathy h

What is the difference between the actions of ex-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ray Sansom and those of Senator Haridopolos? Sansom agreed to build a multi-million dollar aircraft hangar for Northwest Florida State College and then wound-up with a $110,000 a year job with the college. Here Haridopolos steers multi-million dollars to the junior college, gets a $150,000 "book" deal from the junior college and is a paid lecturer who doesn't have to lecture too much. What did Brevard Junior College pay this self-styled academic and prolific author?

What is the University of Florida paying this man for his "skill set?"

Then for Mr. Haridopolos to "mistakenly" represent to the University of Florida that he was working on a Ph.D at the University of Arkansas! What’s with that?

At least, Mr. Sansom didn't have the audacity to falsely represent his academic credentials when he finagled the job with the college in Northwest Florida.

Then for Mr. Haridopolos to "mistakenly" fail to disclose certain income?

Mr. Haridopolos appears to be short on integrity and tall on mistakes. One would think for someone who wants to be a United States senator those traits would be reversed.

When Mr. Haridopolos asks, "Where else are you going to find the skill set I have?" some would answer "in prison, maybe."

As a footnote: Ex-Speaker Sansom, who was removed from his leadership post,is now defending himself against of a couple felony criminal charges.

wiser American

Arkansaas gives Ph.D. degrees? Amazing!

Give the $150K back!

This is WAY worse than what Sansome did. Haridop needs to a) return the $150K to the taxpayers, b)resign as Senate Pres, c) resign his fake job (just like Sansome did) and d) quit the US Senate race.

He will probably go to jail over this.

heidelja

And WHY has no one mentioned that Hairydubolis is such a FINE example of achievement in Florida that he "gives" the commencement address at schools, e.g, at UCF in December 2009? Or, am I confused, did he "give" the commencement address at UCF because it has close ties (satellite campuses) with BCC and he "supports" education so it supports him?

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