State Politics

Haridopolos’ $152,000 book now available

TALLAHASSEE -- Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ $152,000, four-year-old book became available Wednesday to anyone with a Kindle.

For $9.99, readers can get advice on how to display their names on a campaign sign and learn that the Legislature has two branches, the House and Senate. It was written under contract with Brevard Community College, which originally hoped to have a bound, textbook-quality book about the history of Florida government from pre-statehood to present.

Most of final 175-page double-spaced product, though, doesn’t show extensive research. It gives a brief description of Republicans coming to power in Tallahassee, 70 pages of simplistic advice on campaigning, a description of how state government works written for someone with no knowledge of government and brief histories of the state and Brevard County.

Haridopolos signed the contract in 2003 and turned in the manuscript in 2007. The contract calls form him to get a third of the royalties from sales, but a college spokeswoman says he has waived that right. The school will get 70 percent of the sales from downloads and amazon.com will get 30 percent.

His advice on designing a campaign yard sign: “Because the purpose of a sign is to increase and reinforce name identification, the candidate’s last name should be clear and prominent.”

In the opening 15 pages, where Haridopolos writes about the rise of Republicans in Florida, he offers one line about former Gov. Jeb Bush’s 1998 victory and a second line on Bush’s 2002 re-election, neither time mentioning an opponent.

Yet he spent five pages discussing the 2006 governor’s race that was going on while he was writing the book.

“Two strong, statewide vote-getters -- Attorney General Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher -- were itching for a fight,” he wrote about the Republican primary that year.

His insight on Crist’s eventual general election victory over Democrat Jim Davis: “Crist’s fundraising advantage kept him on television through the general election season, and the boundless energy he displayed on the campaign trail convinced voters that he was the right man for the job.”

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