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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hank Asher uses Butterworth ties in data mining empire



Boca Raton's Hank Asher is looking to expand his data-mining empire with new products. But the Times' Susan Taylor Martin reports that Asher's motives are facing scrutiny, especially after hiring former DCF chief Bob Butterworth.

One person giving Asher heat: Marion Hammer, well-known Second Amendment lobbyists and past president of the National Rifle Association. "He wants to have every scrap of personal data that he can acquire on any and everybody,'' she said. "I know that he has people working to find ways to get data from state agencies and of course there is data that we would never want him to get his hands on.''

Another interesting disclosure in the story: the Department of Children and Families is helping to push Asher's new tracking system. Two months after Butterworth resigned in August 2008, DCF Secretary George Sheldon and other top officials at the met with Asher at the Boca Raton headquarters. But FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey is skeptical about working with the group, internal documents show.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:13pm]


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