Chip LaMarca warns Broward Library over banned book promotion
A 'banned book drive' angers some moms.

ala-bannedbooks-2021_slide-d90fa092a252cd5bff053841f5456bfc1b4498ee
The promotion is ill-timed with budget veto season, the Broward County Republican lawmaker says.

Rep. Chip LaMarca is voicing concern after the Broward County Library issued a limited edition “I read banned books” library card just ahead of budget veto season.

Last month, the library issued the cards during National Library Week as the library system in the famously Democratic stronghold launched “book sanctuary zones.” Broward Library also announced plans for events featuring banned and challenged materials throughout the year.

LaMarca quote-tweeted the library’s May 11 tweet showing the special cards decorated with flames with his own sentiment: “Do you think this kind of hyperbole is helpful when you’re soliciting millions of dollars from the State of Florida @BrowardCounty Asking for the 2M people of Broward.”

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis famously vetoed $35 million for a new Tampa Bay Rays spring training facility as part of his $3.1 million worth of vetoes soon after the Rays tweeted a pledge for $50,000 to Everytown for Gun Violence, a gun control advocacy organization, following a school shooting in Uvalde. The team tweeted about gun violence 21 times instead of that evening’s game. Apparently, it earned the Governor’s wrath.

“Companies are free to engage or not engage with whatever discourse they want. But, clearly, it’s inappropriate to be doing tax dollars for (a) professional sports stadium,” DeSantis said. “It’s also inappropriate to subsidize political activism of a private corporation. So, I think, either way, it’s not appropriate.”

This year, the state is making headlines for book challenges to school libraries, resulting from the Governor’s agenda that includes purging schools of “indoctrination.” However, he held a news conference saying it was a hoax that the state was banning books.

Republican Rep. Randy Fine says the controversy amounts to 175 books being challenged. But Penguin Random House, one of the nation’s largest publishers, along with PEN America, a free-speech organization, is suing the Escambia County School Board over 10 books that have been removed about race and LGBTQ issues.

However, Broward County’s library director is offering a safe sanctuary for these books and highlighting them for checkout on its landing page.

“As Director … a vital part of my mission is to ensure that the freedom to read is not compromised,” Allison Grubbs said in a prepared statement. “The right to think, speak and learn freely are foundational values in our democracy and in our libraries.” 

After LaMarca’s quote tweet, however, the library removed the tweet that drew LaMarca’s disapproval.

That’s a good move, LaMarca said.

“Our public library system should not be in the business of politics,” he said.

For some, though, reading is a political act. Political strategist Mac Stipanovich’s Twitter account replied to LaMarca praising the Broward County Library: “There are times when principle and courage are much more valuable than money, if only because they are in short supply. This is such a time.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


11 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 22, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    Rhonda reportedly said “Companies are free to engage or not engage with whatever discourse they want…” I assume that is a misquote or taken out of context or is a misprint or hilarious hackers got in or something, because Rhonda definitely would not say that. Not ever. Never. Like this comment actually posting and not just disappearing. Apparently it is not going to happen. This is the last time I try.

    • Third Times a Charm

      May 22, 2023 at 4:35 pm

      It only took three tries. Yay me.

    • Billy Rotberg

      May 24, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      Have some cheese with your whine.

  • Bwj

    May 22, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    It’s not a hoax people. It’s an attempt by the government to silence ideas and words that they don’t agree with. The word in censorship a, and authoritarian government does just that under the guise of freedom.

    • Billy Rotberg

      May 24, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      Why do you want 5 year olds to be exposed to gay porn, Fascist gun control pusher?

      • Bwj

        May 28, 2023 at 7:36 pm

        I didn’t say that and show me where schools are showing gay porn in kindergarten.
        By the way, fascists are to the right of center.

  • Dr John Langrod

    May 22, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    La Marca anda Deathsantis Censorship efforts are the road to Fascism and ane insult to the residents of ! Florida! Talking about the supposed lack of freedom in Cuba and Venezuela is sheer hypocrisy !
    The GOP must be defeated because otherwise we will lose our Freedom ! This is an embarassment to the Nation and to the world!

    • Billy Rotberg

      May 24, 2023 at 1:06 pm

      Poor thing! You fight for gay porn to be in the hands of 5 year olds, cry about Muh Fascism while pushing the Hitler gun control aganda. Get a clue!

  • steve grabarczyk

    May 22, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    LOL the politicians should NOT be in the business of dictating what can and can not be in a library, what an effing tool and hypocrite

  • SteveHC

    May 23, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Another FINE example of Florida’s Republican Fascism. Their voter-base “constituents” will eventually curse the days they voted them into office once they truly feel their own self-inflicted pain.

    • Billy Rotberg

      May 24, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      You fascists push Hitler’s gun control.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories