Interior Design Protection Consulting

May 6, 2011

Florida Cartel…are ya dead yet?

Amended Bill Belies ASID's Claims

As we have been saying all along, if deregulated, everyone in the design community would be able to (1) offer commercial interior design services and (2) submit documents for pulling permits which do not impact structure or lifesafety.

ASID and their puppet coalition, IDAF, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and mobilized their large grassroots to try to counter the fact that deregulation will open new job opportunities in Florida and end the monopoly.

We’re right.  They’re wrong.  Period.

Take a look at the amended version of HB 5005, as agreed to at conference last Saturday.  The bill (amendment language submitted by the NKBA approx. a month ago) now includes definitions of interior design and outlines what is legal to perform.  Anyone who can read and comprehend English can see that deregulation will NOT prevent those currently licensed from doing commercial work or from submitting plans (albeit without a seal) for permitting.  This is in agreement with the Florida Building Code which states that an architect is only needed if the lifesafety is impacted — even those currently licensed cannot do that type of work now.

The amended bill takes a last whack at ASID’s blatant and deliberate effort to hoodwink legislators.  Their argument has no life.

However. . . .

Due to some really bizarre in-house politics in Tallahassee right now, we have no idea how this will be voted on later today.

Stay tuned. . .


  1. Nah Nah Ne Nah Nah

    Comment by Michael Dudek — May 8, 2011 @ 6:05 pm |Reply

    • Michael, That’s certainly the mature and intelligent response I might expect from you. I interpret it to mean that you know interior design legislation is unnecessary and unconstitutional and you’re gloating because the cartel won a battle in spite of that fact. You got lucky only because the Senate chose to make an example of HB5005. It had nothing to do with interior design and everything to do with the ego’s of the Senate. Luck will only get the cartel so far. It’s just a matter of time now.

      -Pat Levenson

      Comment by Pat — May 8, 2011 @ 9:31 pm |Reply

    • Michael —

      To coin an expression from Viet Nam, the BOAID decided it had to destroy Florida’s interior design law in order to save it. After being partly struck down and then substantially rewritten by the courts at the Board’s behest, the law barely covers anything anymore and is essentially meaningless.

      If you’re up for a friendly wager, I’ll bet you $100 (donated to the charity of the winner’s choice) that Florida’s interior design law will not be successfully enforced against anyone between now and May 1, 2012. And then we can make the same bet every year after that because I predict Florida’s interior design law will NEVER be successfully enforced again, period. And not because people won’t try, but because they won’t succeed.

      If the cartel thinks this battle is over, or that they managed to preserve their monopoly in Florida by preserving the few remaining scraps of practice act that remained after the BOAID threw it under the bus to save it from the court challenge, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. More fireworks to come, trust me.

      Clark Neily

      Comment by Clark Neily — May 8, 2011 @ 10:11 pm |Reply

  2. Mr. Dudek, If I were you, I would quietly take my win and run. Otherwise, people may associate you with the embarrassingly inept and possibly corrupt Florida State Senators. Remember, ASID hired a team of Lobbyists to deal with these feeble Legislators (I wonder where they got all this money from?).

    Comment by Elliot — May 8, 2011 @ 10:16 pm |Reply

  3. Dudek, Dudek, mmm…anyone notice the first three letters of this dudes last name spell “Dud”.
    @ Elliot…This wasn’t a win, it was a reprieve…they dodged a bullet, and it wasn’t of their own doing…next time…and there will be a next time…these very same Senators, when it comes time for their reelection, will be looking for sacrificial lambs to offer up to the tax payers and guess who they will choose?

    Comment by Lyle — May 8, 2011 @ 11:28 pm |Reply

  4. Dear Professor Dudek:

    Perhaps an appropriate lesson plan for class today-
    Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

    – Addie Smith

    Comment by Addie Smith — May 9, 2011 @ 6:53 am |Reply

  5. Mr. Dudek –

    ” Success without honor is like an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger but it
    won’t taste good…” – Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach, Penn State

    Bon Appetit!

    Comment by Robert E. Smith, P.E. — May 9, 2011 @ 7:06 am |Reply

  6. Awww wah- Hey why don’t you all take your sour grapes and make some more bitter whine.

    Amd yes Mr. Smith P.E. you can quote me on that.

    Comment by Michael Dudek — May 9, 2011 @ 9:25 am |Reply

    • Hmmm. Same old rhetoric, Mike, and I also see you didn’t take Clark up on his bet. That really says more about your [lack of] self-confidence than your words do.

      Comment by IDPC — May 9, 2011 @ 9:39 am |Reply

  7. Clark if I had the time to follow each and every attempt at BOAID enforcement I might take you up on your offer. Although since you have the time and financial wherewithall to do so maybe you could also include the far more evil and diabolical AIA cartel. How dare they limit competition by claiming sole responsibility for HS&W. Oh and don’t even get me going on their years of gender discrimination. Unfortunately us certified interior designers are just easy pickin’s for the anti-regulation crowd. Thanks to you that is changing.

    I actually have to go and grade projects by students who actually realize the importance of their chosen occupation and that they must earn their professional status rather than sitting back and bitching about the injustice of the system.

    Comment by Michael Dudek — May 9, 2011 @ 11:59 am |Reply

  8. Michael — Do you happen to know what percentage of state-licensed interior designers in Florida “earn[ed] their professional status” in the way you seem to mean: i.e., going to school and passing the NCIDQ exam, as opposed to simply getting themselves grandfathered in without those credentials? According to the DBPR, it’s about 60%. Any thoughts on why that percentage remains so high 17 years after the practice act was adopted? And how about the absence of any requirement that those folks disclose their actual (lack of) credentials to prospective clients? Because I’ll tell you something — from outside the interior-design-cartel-bubble, those two items smell pretty rotten.

    Comment by Clark Neily — May 9, 2011 @ 2:13 pm |Reply

  9. My question to all those in support of the Institute of Justice is this:

    How did you guys get involved with deregulation in the first place?

    Do you not understand that deregulation is not going to provide you with a job? Anyone who understands the profession and even those who don’t, realize that someone with education and licensure has more experience than those who decide one morning that they want to become and Interior Designer, Lawyer, Doctor etc etc.

    Where did each of you attend school? Did you receive a degree related or in the field of Interior Design? If not, why are you fighting for this profession when you may or may not want to be an Interior Designer?

    I am not trying to be ignorant, I am truly trying to understand your point of view and get a better understanding of the Institute for Justice and its leaders.

    Comment by Nikole Dixon — May 9, 2011 @ 3:17 pm |Reply

    • Nikole,
      If you’re truly asking these questions of “all those in support of the Institute for Justice” than no one person can respond but I thought it would be fun to try. Perhaps you mean to ask “How did all those who support interior design deregulation, including the Institute for Justice, get involved in this righteous cause?” Well, that’s not relevant to anything and it would be a waste of time to type a response here.

      The result of deregulation can only mean that the profession of interior design would be open as it should be to be practiced freely by anyone. It would be up to the public to make the decision as to whether a particular designer is qualified for a job. The only reason to regulate a profession is to protect the public from potential health, safety and welfare concerns. Though interior design is practiced freely in 47 other states, there is no proof anywhere that interior design presents any HSW threat.

      None of the deregulation supporters that I know have ever dismissed the importance of an education as it pertains to interior design, but the level of that education should be up to the individual. There are many successful and qualified interior designers all over the country that don’t have the level of education currently required by Florida law. Some, much less. For that matter, 60% of the practicing, licensed designers practicing in Florida today were grandfathered and do not possess the qualifications that is required of those entering the field. They aren’t even required to disclose that information to those seeking their services.

      If you truly want to understand the point of view of those who support deregulation than do some research. There is tons of information all over the web. I’ve already rehashed too much of it in this response. If you want to learn about the Institute for Justice and their leaders you could start by visiting their website (

      Pat Levenson

      Comment by Pat — May 9, 2011 @ 9:12 pm |Reply

      • Pat, I spent a LOT of time responding to Nikole’s questions on a previous blog ( and she keeps asking the same questions even after being presented with evidence. She needs to take an active role in seeking and finding the answers herself instead of continually asking the same questions and expecting others to do the work for her. The answers are ALL out there. One only has to look.

        Comment by IDPC — May 9, 2011 @ 9:50 pm |Reply

      • The question that I asked is the question that I meant to ask. I really would like to know what got you involved in Deregulation to be fighting for this.

        My own reasoning behind this is that I want to UNDERSTAND and see why you are passionate about this cause. It should be expressed [your passion] behind this cause if you support it 100% without the slightest bit of doubt. I am not asking the same question over and over. I just want to understand your passion behind the Institute of Justice. That is not something that I can find on the internet. That comes from your heart and that is what I am truly trying to understand.

        Comment by Nikole Dixon — May 10, 2011 @ 4:00 pm |Reply

        • Good grief, Nikole! Yet again, I will tell you it’s all there on the IDPC website, including a fairly lengthy autobiography on how and why I got involved in fighting regulation. You simply must focus, take the initiative and do the research yourself instead of waiting for others to do the work and then hand you the info on a silver platter. Even when we’ve handed over the facts, you still didn’t digest them and automatically reverted back to parroting the party line indoctrinated in students by ASID.

          And let me correct one more of your misstatements — my passion is not “behind the Institute for Justice.” I was passionate about stopping anti-competitive interior design regulation long before I discovered IJ. IDPC and IJ are both passionate about overreaching governmental intrustion of the interior design industry and so we have come to work together for a common goal. You would know that if you had thoroughly researched our website. I suggest you do so.

          PS: At what college are you studying interior design?

          Comment by IDPC — May 11, 2011 @ 11:07 am |Reply

        • Nikole, I know you’re “not trying to be ignorant” but it seems to come to you so easily. Believe whatever you want and quit pestering people. -Pat

          Comment by Pat Levenson — May 11, 2011 @ 11:39 am |Reply

  10. I really can not believe the money people spend to defend themselves! The hired guns were needed by ASID because they feared that the Public might make different choices given the option. There is an absolute difference in protecting the public from unsafe practices or harmful situations vs. protecting “pride”. A license does not make someone a professional—and this decision goes to prove that the Real Floridians have left the State of Florida and the choices are not in the hands of the native people here like they are in other States—Holy Cow–Grow up Mr. Dudek–You actually Teach students and make comments like that? PLEASE GOD HELP US IF THAT IS TRUE!!!!

    Comment by Sue — May 9, 2011 @ 8:11 pm |Reply

  11. Clark may be correct in that the BOAID lost its teeth in regards to actually regulating the practice of ID. That’s OK they grow back.

    Comment by Michael Dudek — May 10, 2011 @ 12:49 pm |Reply

    • But, Mike, legs DON’T grow back. Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design prosecuter David Minacci, after reading Judge Hinkle’s reinterpretation of the practice act said, “I cannot defend it…the practice act was saved but really had the legs cut out from underneath it.”

      A copy of his February 8, 2010 email to Janice Young is available here:

      And at the BOAID’s last board meeting, BOAID attorney Mary Ellen Clark confirmed that the case law overrules the current statute.

      As usual, Mike, your posts are pure bloviating foolishness and not supported by any credible evidence. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts. More’s the pity for your impressionable, unwitting students.

      Comment by IDPC — May 11, 2011 @ 8:47 am |Reply

  12. Mike, why not invite Clark to a classroom debate so that your students can truly hear both sides of this important issue? It’s obvious from your emotional and over-worded posts that you are not providing them with the TRUTH and FACTS on this matter.

    My guess is that you’ll leave this challenge on the table, like you did Clark’s bet.

    Comment by IDPC — May 11, 2011 @ 9:17 am |Reply

    • I love that idea! Michael- Do you feel strongly enough about your point of view that you think it can withstand public debate?

      Comment by Pat Levenson — May 11, 2011 @ 9:37 am |Reply

  13. I should have know you would edit my last post.
    You and Clark don’t deserve my students time.
    They are to busy trying to improve the world in which you live and work.

    Comment by Michael Dudek — May 11, 2011 @ 4:24 pm |Reply

    • ROFL! Mike, you’re nothing if not predictable!

      There’s no way I’m going to post your 1000-word, self-promoting, fact-free missive. I’d lose my readership – their eyes would glaze over almost immediately, as did mine.

      As for your declining a classroom debate with Clark – while I usually try to use more eloquent language, there’s just no other phrase to describe… CHICKEN SHIT!

      How condescending to your students! You’re just afraid you’ll lose them if they hear facts, statistics and empirical evidence which justify FREEDOM to design, just like every other school that refuses to let us speak.

      The paternalistic assumption that students will not be able to weigh the evidence and the credibility of the various messengers and come to their own conclusions underscores the vulnerability of your position.

      Any college or university worth the ink they print their diplomas with should desire to give their students unfettered access to information so important to their future – in this case, whether or not they will support or oppose the restrictive, anti-competitive, single-entry method into the field.


      Comment by IDPC — May 11, 2011 @ 5:36 pm |Reply

    • Mike- Can you list 3 private blogs that favor keeping legislation and that post all opposing viewpoint comments. You can use any excuse you want but it’s clear to even the most casual observer that you don’t really believe the things you say. You know you couldn’t defend your position in a debate with Clark.

      Comment by Pat Levenson — May 11, 2011 @ 5:49 pm |Reply

  14. The intelligent seeks knowledge and is secure enough to “grapple and digest” contrasting points of view.

    An open mind produces the highest quality interior designer and creative thinker.

    Rigidity, fear, ignorance (or arrogance) reduce the rest to excellent test takers and flood the marketplace with robotic, formulaic practitioners.

    And so it goes – the mouth of fools feed on folly. The wise embrace illumination.

    Comment by Addie Smith — May 14, 2011 @ 10:04 am |Reply

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