BBC ran the story Florida faces sex offender early last week.
Pay particular attention to how Florida state Senator Attorney General wannabee Dan Gelber dances around this "monster" of an issue.
I myself very much enjoy the reporter's depiction of residency restrictions.
Meanwhile, a judge has ruled that the city of Miami may not sue the state of Florida in any other backyard but their own.
With the entire Western world now focused on the third world human rights issue camped out under Miami's Julia Tuttle Causeway, the lawsuit should prove to microscope many key political players, a few who aspire to higher office.
The City of Miami is suing to force the state to close the camp, which has been the subject of national and international scrutiny. The city argues Miami area sexual offenders released from state prison—and with nowhere else to go because of tough residency rules—are all but being told to go live under the bridge.
The larger issue, many argue, is the reflex to treat all sex offenders as the worst of their lot. The Economist news magazine's cover story this week is titled, "America's Unjust Sex Laws." The article points to a system that often lumps the offender who had, say, consensual sex with the sexual predator who inhabits our worst fears.
Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book said, "We need to get legislators to go to a tiered systems and some people should come off the registries. We should look at sexual assault statutes as part of this."
All that may comprise a long-term solution—if politicians shed tough on crime slogans for substantive solutions—but local leaders say the state must begin by doing its job and closing the camp under the Tuttle Causeway.
There are no guarantees about how or when that might happen, as state officials, including Governor Crist continue to sidestep a contentious, growing problem.
Some people should come off the list. But at the same time, make certain to add another select group? Per usual, old Ron Book is playing the part of "walking contradiction" as so aptly described by Lance DeGregory, St. Pete Times (Miami sex offenders limited to life under a bridge, 8/19/09).
Book, a well-known lobbyist, is a walking contradiction. As the father of a girl who was molested years ago by a nanny, he's a fierce advocate for tougher laws against sex offenders. But as the chairman of Miami's homeless trust, he's supposed to look out for the people he helped put under the bridge.
"Those people out there know how I feel about them," he says. "But I've got to put my own emotions in check and figure out how to deal with all this.
"We didn't anticipate how big this problem could get."
Anyone else would've stepped down from the Homeless Trust some time back, due to an obvious conflict of interest.
As long as Ron Book continues to hold the position of Chair, what will be certain is he will continue to cover first and foremost his own seat while others sit alone, separated from family and friends due to feel-good residency restrictions.
With any luck, perhaps this situation will serve as a career-ender for the many who stepped on the backs of others to climb their way to the top.