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