UPDATED: Say Puh-Leese! (and Levin the Whale Gives Up His Fortune)

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[UPDATED: George Levin has agreed to turn the bulk of his multimillion-dollar fortune over to the Rothstein bankruptcy, reports the Daily Business Review. See the lede after the jump.]

How close are politicians and lobbyists?

Well, this photograph of former Florida Rep. Susan Goldstein (R-Weston) and Dave Ericks (L-Everywhere) should provide a clue. They just look so darned happy. (But don't read anything more into it. Goldstein is married, and Ericks... well, he split from another GOP golden girl, Donna Arduin, several months back.)

Goldstein was a fairly quiet rep, there to put a pretty face on the God-awful GOP agenda. She is now, you guessed it, a lobbyist. Ericks is a major lobbyist who

works for all kinds of interests, including several Broward cities, the Forman family, Republic Services, the Broward Country Property Appraiser's Office, and BSO (to see a full list of his clients, click here).

He also owns the popular watering hole Clydes & Costellos in Tallahassee, where a lot of legislators go to party after they're done fucking up the state. Both he and his daughter/partner, Candice Ericks, were campaign contributors to Goldstein's campaign. Click here to see the full list of her backers -- it's a who's who of influence peddlers, of course.

-- Here's the lede on the Levin story and the link to the Julie Kay special:

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Levin and Rothstein before the collapse
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., millionaire George Levin, whose Banyon Investors Fund was the primary feeder fund that funneled about $830 million into Scott Rothstein's Ponzi scheme, has agreed to surrender the bulk of his assets under a bankruptcy settlement.

John Genovese, representing the trustee for the defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm, announced the settlement in court Friday. It still must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Ray following a hearing to allow any other creditors to dissent.

In what appears to be the largest settlement to date in the case, the former hedge fund manager has agreed to give up most of his 29 properties and business interests.

Under terms of the settlement, Levin, 70, and his wife, Gayla Sue, will keep their primary home, a Fort Lauderdale waterfront home valued at $4.2 million, and $750,000 in jewelry and personal effects.

The value of the 29 assets was not disclosed, but Levin has stated in financial papers he is worth $100 million to $200 million.

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