Friday, April 03, 2009

We Have Some Mayberry Machiavelli Maneuvering on Dr. Hamilton's Part

Thank you for your breezy response to my formal public-information request.

I would like to have this public information as well: 1. the ad when you advertised for a lobbyist and the dates and names of the venues; 2. a copy of each applicant's submission in response to the ads; 3. The date you hired Dr. Hamilton for $96,000 (I heard that was his salary); I also want the the date(s) you added each school system listed in your client list and whether Dr. Hamilton brought these clients into your firm. 4. I would like as well the date that you hired Dr. Hamilton out of all the applicants for the job.

This hiring procedure and its motives appear to be an evasion of revealing information about double-dipping pensioners of the school system.

Your list of school clients suggests that you are getting a lot of public money from the schools in this transaction, so I would appreciate your obeying the Florida Public-records law in providing me these data.

Select Type: Select View: 2009 Legislative Lobbyist The "Industry Code" listed below each principal address states the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that most accurately describes the principal’s main business. You may view the full list of codes and titles on the site: M. Juhan Mixon Mailing Address: Mixon & Associates 119 E Park Ave Tallahassee, FL 32301 Phone Number: 850/222-2591 Principals: Bay District Schools 1311 Balboa Ave Panama City, FL 32401 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Brevard County Schools 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Viera, FL 32940-6699 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida Academy of Physician Assistants PO Box 150127 Altamonte Springs, FL 32715-0127 Industry Code: 813910 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida Association of Instructional Materials Administrators 1250 Reed Canal Rd Port Orange, FL 32129 Industry Code: 813920 Effective: 01/12/2009 Florida Association of Kennel Clubs 401 Cardinal Ct Lake Mary, FL 32746 Industry Code: 813910 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida Association of School Administrators 206-B S Monroe St Tallahassee, FL 32301 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida High School Athletic Association 515 N Main St Gainesville, FL 32602-1173 Industry Code: 611710 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida Mental Health Counselors Association 7357 W Sand Lake Rd Orlando, FL 32819 Industry Code: 813920 Effective: 03/10/2009 Florida Perfusionist Society 17080 Safety St Ste 108 Ft Myers, FL 33908 Industry Code: 813920 Effective: 03/02/2009 Florida Rental Dealers Association 6608 Adams Dr Tampa, FL 33619 Industry Code: 813910 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida State Oriental Medical Association PO Box 331097 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 Industry Code: 813920 Effective: 01/05/2009 Florida Veterinary Medical Association 7131 Lake Ellenor Dr Orlando, FL 32809 Industry Code: 813920 Effective: 01/05/2009 Heartland Education Consortium 1096 US Hwy 27 N Lake Placid, FL 33852 Industry Code: 611710 Effective: 01/05/2009 Independent Funeral Directors of Florida 119 E Park Ave Tallahassee, FL 32301 Industry Code: 813910 Effective: 01/05/2009 Manatee County Schools 215 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34206-9069 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Marion County Schools 512 SE 3rd St Ocala, FL 34471 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Osceola County School Board 817 Bill Beck Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34744-4495 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Photo Marketing Association International 3000 Picture Place Jackson, MI 49201 Industry Code: 541922 Effective: 01/05/2009 Sarasota County Schools 1960 Landings Blvd Sarasota, FL 34231-3331 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 School District of Indian River County 1990 25th St Vero Beach, FL 32960 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 Schoool Board of Lake County, The 201 W Burleigh Blvd Tavares, FL 32778 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/12/2009 St. Johns County School District 40 Orange St St Augustine, FL 32084 Industry Code: 611110 Effective: 01/05/2009 c: Commiossioner Smith Governor Crist From:

Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 8:58 PM To: lee DeCesare Subject: Re: Public Information request Mr. Hamilton is not our lobbyist. He is a consultant with Mixon and Associates, who represent us in Tallahassee. We do not employ him.

Sincerely, Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T ________________________________________ From: "lee DeCesare" Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 20:51:31 -0400 To: ; Bev Slough
Subject: Public Information request

Ms. Soughby: I have a public-information request.

I understand Dr. James Hamilton is your lobbyist.

Under the Public Information privilege of citizens, please send me copies of the (a) advertisement for the job and the venues in which it was advertised. Please send me also copies of the other applicants' submissions for the jobs.

Tell me as well what date Dr. James Hamilton became a consultant and tell me as well if he brought a list of school-board clients that now have disappeared from his own Web lobbying site and relocated to yours. I ask these questions under the public-information law.

Lee Drury De Cesare

15215 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Be vigilant on openness

Published Friday, March 13, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist deserves high marks for renewing Florida's commitment to government in the sunshine. Just in the past year, his open government office has trained 2,000 state employees on responding to public information requests.

And his open government commission has recommended ways to refresh Florida's commitment in the digital age. But assuring sunshine in government requires constant vigilance, particularly during a legislative session.

That is why the news media in Florida and across the country have established Sunshine Week from March 15-21, organized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Florida law requires public notice of any meetings where decisions are made by elected officials, and government records are presumed open to the public unless there is a specific exemption in state law. But even in Florida, where voters enshrined government in the sunshine in the state Constitution in 1992, there are new assaults annually on open government.

Among the bad ideas circulating in the Legislature this year:

• Bar public education institutions from releasing identifying information of current and former employees. The measure offered by Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, SB 1260, and Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville, HB 409, would prevent public schools and colleges from providing the names, addresses, phone numbers and employment status of teachers, administrators and school board members.

The exemption would make it extremely difficult for parents to investigate their children's public schools. And the proposed law would have hindered a recent series by the St. Petersburg Times about government employees who earn both a paycheck and a state pension — so-called double-dippers. The legislation would have made it impossible to see how many educators were double-dipping.

• Hide the names, addresses and phone numbers of stalking victims in voter registration records. State law already allows stalking victims to have their addresses exempted from all public records. But it is not okay to have anonymous voters on the rolls as SB 2144, sponsored by Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, would allow. You can't protect the integrity of an election process when some of the voters are named John and Jane Doe.

• Prohibit disclosure without a court order — except to a victim's family — of any crime scene photos and videos that include a severe injury or deceased person. The measure, HB 277 and SB 636, sponsored by Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, would make it harder to examine the integrity of police investigations and unearth mistakes or cover-ups.

But for all the possible assaults on open government this session, there is also a chance to improve it. Lawmakers should approve the following:

• "The Florida Budget Openness Act" would give Floridians online access to state and local government expenditures and revenues. It follows one of the key recommendations of the open government commission, which would give citizens electronic access to see how their government spends tax dollars. The proposal, HB 971 and SB 1972, sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, would direct that a Web site be created to track the fiscal details of every government entity in the state including local governments, the courts, the Legislature, school districts, state colleges, etc.

Interested in how much a city's parks department is paying in salaries? Call up the Web site. Want to know how much bond debt your county is carrying? It would be there. The Web site would give taxpayers the power to understand just how their money is being spent. It would be a tremendous boon to civic activism and engagement.

• Allow foster parents and people considering adoption access to certain parts of a child's case files. The Department of Children and Families is supporting SB 126, sponsored by Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, which would make it easier for the adults caring for a child who has been removed from a home due to abuse or neglect to have access to that child's history. The child would also have access to their own file at no cost. Right now it takes a court order — an expensive and cumbersome process — to open these records.

There are a host of other good ideas available for elected officials to embrace in the report by the open government commission. State lawmakers and local government leaders interested in proving their commitment to the public should take them up, such as a proposal to bar public officials from using electronic communications devices during public meetings.

To his credit, Crist has made open government a priority for his administration. So should Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul. They should persuade lawmakers to reject dangerous new exemptions to public records law and promote those measures that would lead to more citizen access. Each elected official bears the constitutional responsibility to keep Florida in the sunshine.


Anonymous said...

To clarify, Hamilton is being paid 96k by Hillsborough County Schools courtesy of Elia. It is my understanding that that money should and could have gone elsewhere into the school district (i.e. support staff, counselors etc.)

twinkobie said...

My lord.

Anonymous said...

Elia is a crook, plain and simple. It would be nice if someone taped her secretly cursing people out and put it on YouTube.