Earlier this week we wrote about a story in the Daily Beast called “A Tale of Two Jeffreys”
This post is a Tale of Two Laurens, only here the two Laurens are the same person. Senator Lauren Book and Lauren Book, founder of the not-for-profit Lauren’s Kids.
In the year prior to being elected as senator, the State of Florida gave $3.8 Million dollars to Lauren’s Kids. Up went billboards for the organization prominently featuring Lauren… who then ran for Senator. Many questioned whether the money given to Lauren’s Kids was used to promote Lauren Book the political candidate. Even after she won, Lauren the Senator used her political position to vote on State contributions to her own charity, which according to her Public Disclosure of Financial Interests, pays Lauren a $184,999 annual salary.
So now Lauren’s charity gets millions of dollars a year from the State, which in turn promotes bills that Lauren the State Senator Sponsors… hmmm. How can this not be a conflict of interest?
Take for example the article in Florida Politics, yesterday, which stated, “Sen. Lauren Book is continuing to mine for the public support the Plantation Democrat hopes will pressure Gov. Ron DeSantis into launching an independent investigation into how the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office handled sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.” Where is the Senator mining for that support? Through a petition promoted by her charity. “There are several thousand signatures on the petition. Still no response from the Governor’s office,” Claire VanSusteren, a spokeswoman for the senator, said. Wait, is Ms. VanSusteren a spokeswoman for the senator or the charity? According to her LinkedIn page she’s working for both.
In general, Lauren Book has a very defined agenda that not everyone agrees with. It gets very murky when over 10 million dollars of Florida Taxpayer money goes to an organization that so closely promotes one of it’s politician’s agendas. It’s almost as questionable as the same person who pushed for a class of people he called “monsters” to be legislated into homelessness being appointed as the Chair of a County’s Homeless Trust and tasked with the job of helping those he called “monsters” find housing.