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BOO 2011


Photo by Jason Greene

Local Color - Staff Picks


Best refusal to bow out

Former U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson

Former U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson may have been ousted from his seat by Republican Dan Webster in November’s election, but that doesn’t mean Grayson plans to give up his soapbox. He now blogs on Huffington Post about everything from Sarah Palin to health-care reform to federal government spending – and his missives still hit our inboxes with regularity. Grayson’s weighed in on WMFE’s plan to sell its TV station to a Christian broadcaster, the shooting of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the killing of Osama bin Laden and anything else that captures the national zeitgeist. Does Grayson have his eye on public office in the future? He hasn’t mentioned any specific plans, but in April, the Committee to Elect Alan Grayson (still a going concern, apparently) sent out a press release announcing that the Grayson campaign outraised Webster by $8,000 in the first quarter of 2011. “The amazing part is that Mr. Grayson was not actively trying to raise money,” the press release gloated. Don’t call it a comeback.


Best explosion of political unrest

Awake the State

The state’s nascent liberal base reacted loudly to the election of Gov. Rick Scott and the supermajority of conservative legislators this year – not once, but twice, all over Florida. The first (and arguably best) of the two local protest rallies happened on March 8, right at the beginning of this year’s legislative session. Hundreds gathered outside the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce building on Lake Ivanhoe – OMG, the chamber even called in security reinforcements! – to make sure they (peacefully) registered their discontent about the corporate hijacking of state government. A sequel of sorts followed on May 11, which, in the wake of extreme losses for Democratic causes in Tallahassee, was less a bookend than a rallying cry to keep the angry momentum. This is the state of our state: You need a megaphone to scream the obvious.


Best political approximation of Bosom Buddies


Though Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon’s senior-photo-day sandy-blond coif may not bear much resemblance to Tom Hanks’ 1980 Bosom Buddies Buffy-fro, his partner in legislative crime, Senate President Mike Haridopolos (he of the Paul Ryan Medicare flip-flops and overarching flip-fop) couldn’t be more of a Peter Scolari if he tried. In what should have been a great moment in Central Florida representation, these two Floridian psychos commandeered what might have been the most sensational pratfall-slapstick attempt at governance ever (and that includes the bitchy reign of former House Speaker Marco Rubio). Even if every syllable uttered from their conjoined lips is tantamount to an attack on reason, you just can’t help but adore the chemistry of two Republicans embroiled in situational comedy. Only this time, the laugh is on us.

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