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Happytown

The attorney general's office wants you to die, Rick Scott wants you to remove your blouse, Publix wants a tomato in its face and Florida loves its Nazis!

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wondertwin powers activate!: New AG Pam Bondi keeps McCollum’s ugly suit alive

The suntan-oil scented controversy drifted away – just like the Medicare fraud one, apparently – until last week, when the Christian Family Coalition finally caught wind of the juicy affair.

“We cannot have a governor in the state of Florida that invests in companies that sell pornography,” CFC member Rev. Mark Boykin told the Miami Herald. “We are asking that before he takes the oath of office, Gov.-elect Scott gets rid of his stocks from QuePasa Corporation. The governor of the state of Florida should not be benefiting or have an interest in pornography. It goes against our family values.”

Hello, religious right. Welcome to your capitalism nightmare.

Attention, supermarket fetishists: The Publix on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park is back. Bigger, better and reeking of barbecued ribs, the store garnered a respectable crowd for its grand re-opening Nov. 18 – including about 30 people protesting outside.


The demonstrators were mostly students, calling Publix out for not agreeing to the demands of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a collective of migrant laborers based in Southwest Florida who pick the majority of the tomatoes bought by the nation’s food industry during the winter months. “What we’re arguing for is nothing radical,” said Carlos Hierro of the Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farmworker Ministry. “We want Publix to live up to the ethical business practices 
they espouse.”

The CIW and its allies want Publix, among other things, to pay an extra penny per pound for tomatoes picked by the workers to alleviate their “sub-poverty” wages. (Currently, the average piece rate for a 32-pound bucket of tomatoes is 50 cents.) If you think you know who David and Goliath are in this story, think again: In the past five years, the CIW has persuaded virtually the entire fast-food industry, three of the nation’s largest food-service providers and just days ago, the Florida Tomato Grower’s Exchange into paying that extra cent per pound. (OW will report more on the coalition and its efforts early next month.)

At the beginning of the event, a delegation from the protest met with a Publix manager inside, and if not for some T-shirts twisting the Publix logo to spell out “Poverty,” 
the exchange could have been a Publix 
commercial.

After joshing around with the manager inside, the delegation returned to the street to be angry again. Between chants, Interfaith Action organizer Jordan Buckley sniped at Publix’s fair-trade coffee. “While Publix is willing to pay a slight premium to lift wages abroad, they refuse to do the same in their home state,” he said.

The sole counter-protester, a man flicking off the crowd from his black Tacoma, answered Buckley’s analysis with his own measured critique: “Fuck you – poverty’s good!”

Eddie Izzard famously marveled 
at the surely exhausting nature of being a “mass-murdering fuckhead,” like Pol Pot or Hitler. “You must get up very early in the morning,” he joked. “Death, death, death, lunch, death, death, afternoon tea … ”

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