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  1. Opinion

Sketches from the legislative chambers

Friday, April 19, room 301, senate office building: I’ve been waiting with about 40 people in Room 301. It’s 7:30 p.m. The committee was supposed to meet at 5, but the time has been changed twice. The dark-haired man in front of me knows a lot of people. He greets them as they walk by his aisle seat. Committee members begin to arrive. Smoothly, the man in front of me stands up and stops the taller man who is passing by. They greet and immediately begin to whisper. They draw closer as one talks softly in the other’s ear. Each man looks over the other’s shoulder and surveys the room. Now they’re so close I’m feeling awkward. Does anyone else notice this very private exchange? Nope. I find out later that the guy in front of me was Ron Book, one of Tallahassee’s most prominent lobbyists. The other man was state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah.
Friday, April 19, room 301, senate office building: I’ve been waiting with about 40 people in Room 301. It’s 7:30 p.m. The committee was supposed to meet at 5, but the time has been changed twice. The dark-haired man in front of me knows a lot of people. He greets them as they walk by his aisle seat. Committee members begin to arrive. Smoothly, the man in front of me stands up and stops the taller man who is passing by. They greet and immediately begin to whisper. They draw closer as one talks softly in the other’s ear. Each man looks over the other’s shoulder and surveys the room. Now they’re so close I’m feeling awkward. Does anyone else notice this very private exchange? Nope. I find out later that the guy in front of me was Ron Book, one of Tallahassee’s most prominent lobbyists. The other man was state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah.
Published Apr. 30, 2013

As the final days of the legislative session unfold, Times news artist Don Morris takes his sketchbook to the state capital and puts shading pencil to sketch paper to record what he saw as he watched the Legislature (the show) work through the budget (the dough). Click through the sketches above to see his observations and some of the interactions during some of the sessions.