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UPDATE: Senator’s attempt to rescue driver license handbook contractor goes nowhere, again

by Dara Kam | March 23rd, 2010

Sen. Carey Baker’s effort to rescue the vendor who has printed the state’s driver license handbook for five years went nowhere today and seems to be destined for the cutting room floor.

Baker had originally proposed a bill (SB 2342) that would keep Ken Underwood in the running for a contract with the Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety which he now prints for free in exchange for advertising his National Safety Commission driver’s ed schools.

Baker, R-Eustis, rewrote the bill to appease opponents, including Underwood’s competitors, but he asked the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee to skip a vote on it today, as he did last week, because it was clear the revisions didn’t pass critics’ muster.

DHSMV chief Julie Jones, who canceled the contract after the end of the year, told the committee that “We need to overcome the perception of an endorsement of one company.”

And committee member Charlie Dean wasn’t much happier.

“It appears to me that this bill is about massaging a current contract,” Dean, R-Inverness, observed.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer got teed off when she tried unsuccessfully three times to download the manual from the Internet for her grandson last summer.

She wrote a scathing e-mail about the bill (SB 2342) in which she objected Underwood’s use of sexy young women in his advertisements.

“The contract that this bill would force DHSMV to renew is apparently a disgrace. It seems to me it ‘gives away the store.’ In my own personal opinion, the state of Florida made a multimillionaire out of a vendor who uses sleazy tactics,” Hammer wrote.

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5 Responses to “UPDATE: Senator’s attempt to rescue driver license handbook contractor goes nowhere, again”

  1. Cynical Idealist Says:

    What is really sleazy is the way Marion Hammer and the NRA continue to strong arm the Florida legislature…

  2. Integrity Where Says:

    Carey just don’t get it. Still sticking up for his friends even after Charlie, Greer and RPOF let him down. I guess you can say he’s loyal. What plans do they have for him now? If he runs once again for Senate he’ll be called a liar because he said he would never do that.
    I would rather see a confessed liar in the senate than the likes of Alan Hays. But then again I’d rather see two new honest people take those seats. Trouble is honest people won’t come forth and get involved in all this ongoing corruption. So we are just stuck with the old seasoned recycled crooks for sale to the highest bidders again.

  3. Eagle Says:

    Cynical Idealist is missing the point entirely. This isn’t about the NRA strong arming the legislature, it’s about Ken Underwood and National Safety Commission strong arming DHSMV through the legislature. This contract was obtained through insider manipulation and kickbacks were probably involved. It never should have happened in the first place. Finally, DHSMV decides to wise up and stop letting itself be manipulated by the sleazy entrepeneur and now he is trying to buy back his sweetheart deal. Marion Hammer’s politics don’t have anything to do it. She’s just one of many who have been ripped off by the handbook contract, whose personal information has been sold by a sleazy company. This should not happen, and when the handbook contract is killed, it will finally stop.

  4. Marion Hammer aims to kill driver handbook deal ‘black flag dead’ | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] Baker pulled the bill from the Governmental Accountability and Oversight Committee yesterday because he didn’t have the votes to pass it although he rewrote the measure to try to appease critics by allowing any driver school to pay to advertise in the manuals. [...]

  5. Blind in one eye and can't see out of the other Says:

    Hey Carey…were the donations that high from NSC and big daddy Underpants that you made a fool of yourself (again)?

    You got played by a player (silly you, you didn’t see it coming?)…I wonder if the nine power lobbyist for big daddy Underpants can save him during this session now? Keep shelling out those bucks Kenny! For once you are being laughed at instead of doing the laughing! TOUCHE’

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