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D'Alemberte promotes Thrasher for FSU presidency

Former Florida State President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte on Tuesday nominated Sen. John Thrasher to be FSU's president, calling him "a joy to work with" when Thrasher was a university trustee during D'Alemberte's presidency.

D'Alemberte's endorsement of Thrasher was first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat. A fixture in legal circles, a former president of the American Bar Association and a well-known liberal Democrat, D'Alemberte sent a letter to William Funk, a Texas headhunter hired by FSU to help find its next president.

Thrasher, 70, is a lawyer and FSU graduate who has been one of the university's biggest champions in the Legislature. He is currently chairman of Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign, and Scott appoints the university trustees who will choose a successor to Eric Barron, who resigned to become president of Penn State.

"In an ideal world, I would not say that John was the best candidate, but in the world we live in I would say he is the best candidate," D'Alemberte told the Democrat Tuesday.

In his letter, D'Alemberte wrote of Thrasher: "He insisted on thorough briefings, but wsa respectful to the professional staff. He understood the importance of faculty governance and worked well with faculty, staff, students and other university shareholders. He made himself for anyone who wished to discuss matters. It was, quite frankly, a joy to work with John."

D'Alemberte said Thrasher, as a former House speaker, ex-lobbyist and currently chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, has the ability to work the Capitol to bring home more state money for Florida State. Thrasher is an intensely proud FSU alum and is a former chairman of FSU's board of trustees. The campus' medical school building is named after Thrasher for securing the funding for it.

Comments

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Billy W.

I want to be sarcastic and say what a wonderful ethical man is John Thrasher. I just can't do that. Will just one reporter report? Will just one blogger blog? Will just one liberal liberate? We all know the man is a slime bucket. Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians all know the guy is worthless when it comes to being ethical.

Besides if he becomes president I will have to be a Gators fan and that just sucks.

David P.

You mean this? Could have been fined $10 thousand?

Published Sunday, July 22, 2001

Thrasher says ethics violation unwitting


By The Times-Union
From staff and news services,

Former House Speaker John Thrasher said yesterday he didn't mean to violate state ethics laws by setting up a February luncheon that brought together lawmakers and one of his clients.

"Sure I regret it, but it was not an intentional violation, said Thrasher, a Clay County Republican who gave up his House seat in November because of term limits.

Last week, Thrasher admitted breaking ethics laws forbidding former legislators from lobbying lawmakers within two years of leaving office. He has agreed to pay a $500 fine.

He entered the settlement with an attorney from the state Attorney General's Office who serves as an advocate for the Ethics Commission. The commission will vote Sept. 6 on whether to accept the agreement.

Thrasher leads the lobbying firm Southern Strategies Group. Under state law, former lawmakers can lobby executive branch agencies controlled by Gov. Jeb Bush or other Cabinet officers.

In February, Thrasher asked a group of South Florida lawmakers to attend a luncheon to meet with Tad Foote, then-president of the University of Miami and one of Thrasher's clients.

"I didn't think about it being a communication that was inappropriate," Thrasher said yesterday.

He said Foote asked him to set up the meeting because some legislators were upset with the choice of Donna Shalala to replace him as university president. Thrasher said he was merely acting as a middleman.

"That's the total sum and substance of it," he said.

After The Palm Beach Post reported that Thrasher might have violated state ethics laws, he wrote a letter of apology to Foote. In that, he said he did not think the luncheon violated the ban on lobbying lawmakers and that he thought his role was "fundamentally administrative in nature."

"Despite my good intentions, I now realize I was wrong," Thrasher wrote to Foote. "I apologize, and I am deeply sorry for any problems I may have caused you or those in attendance at the lunch. I treasure my tenure as a public servant in the House, and I genuinely regret doing anything that reflects poorly on that institution or the position I formerly held."

Thrasher could have faced a $10,000 fine because of the infraction. In 1993, he was fined $500 for lobbying a state medical board on behalf of the Florida Medical Association.

Times-Union staff writer Matthew I. Pinzur contributed to this report, which also contains information from The Associated Press.

David P.

Or this one?

State ethics violator Thrasher to head Senate Ethics and Elections Committee
by Dara Kam | October 7th, 2009

thrasherSenate President Jeff Atwater tapped former House Speaker John Thrasher, the most recent addition to the Florida Senate, to head up the Ethics and Elections Committee.

Thrasher is no stranger to ethics violations. He admitted to breaking state ethics rules twice, once when he was a House member and again after he returned to lobbying.

The first violation took place in 1993 when Thrasher appeared before the state medical board as a paid representative of the Florida Medical Association. State law bans sitting lawmakers from lobbying.

In 2001, after he left the legislature and returned to lobbying, Thrasher was hit with another ethics violation.

The Jacksonville Republican lobbied lawmakers on behalf of his client the University of Miami without waiting for the two-year waiting period to elapse before former lawmakers can legally lobby current lawmakers.

Thrasher admitted he had violated the ethics laws and was chastised for the first violation and fined $500 for the second.

Mrs Jenkins

no way in HELL is corrupt scumbag Johnny TRASHer gonna be FSU President! Not NOW not EVER!

Webcluedin

Yes he will. Nothing anyone can do to stop it. Faculty walk out, burn your bras, stage a hunger strike, barricade the Williams building, but you can't stop this. Have a nice day.

Hmmmm...

While Thrasher will be able to navigate the halls of the capitol, this is a slap in the face of the educational institution... and even a an alumnus of FSU with all the money that could possibly flow its way, I find my stomach turning at the thought...

Can't take anymore

The Koch Brothers will be pleased with Thrasher's installation as the Big Cheese at FSU. For just a little more money they will receive far more influence in what professors get hired (or fired), text books selected, class content, and who gets invited to speak on campus. If the reprehensible "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop can have a building named after him at FSU the Koch's probably get the everything else but Thrasher's medical school building named after them.

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