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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mike Haridopolos: His $152,000 book is 'worthwhile,' scrutiny 'political'

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March

ST. PETERSBURG -- Senate President Mike Haridopolos brushed off an AP report on Haridopolos receiving $152,000 from Brevard Community College to write a book that had only one copy printed -- at times testily defending his work Tuesday.

Asked whether it was worth $152,000, Haridopolos replied: "I don't know, how much are you worth?"

But Haridopolos said he hopes the college publishes or releases the 175-page Florida Legislative History and Processes, telling the Times editorial board that he met all his obligations under a contract with the college over four years. Haridopolos said he's sure he has a copy, but it's up to the college to release it.

The AP reported the book doesn't meet an original contract's call for a "publishable, textbook-quality look at the development of the Florida Legislature, state constitution, the governor's office and judiciary from pre-statehood until present." Instead if offered nuggets such as cell phones are essential. Little research is apparent.

"I hope they publish the whole thing so that your version, which I find – I know you’re a very serious writer of course – and so ... that you can see the whole book, not just four excerpts from it," he said, calling the text "worthwhile.'

"And I think if we ask the question, did you read the context? I think you can take anything, any four or five lines out. I did not have a professional editor finish it up, but I met the contractual requirements. And this was a story that was on the front page of your newspaper, I believe, three years ago. This is not a new story. This is political, and welcome to politics."

He's at least partially right: Here's an editorial from 2008.

He added later: "I think as you read the whole book, you can see what it’s like to run for office and to be in office. That’s the goal of the book, and to give some context to what committee chairmen do, the process, and the political history of Florida."

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[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 3:05pm]

    

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