Mike Haridopolos gets sanitized, Teresa Jacobs conjures DPAC magic and rich people in apartments can feel a lot safer now
Published: February 10, 2011
Love is in the air, traveling like a communicable disease-laden breeze of phlegmatic infection dead set on tempering your next utterance with illness. And because politics is forever a rumbling Petri-dish of wayward microbes, it seems only fitting that last week brought with it a political stunt with antibiotic leanings. The occasion was the first big-boy appearance by little man - and Florida Senate President - Mike Haridopolos as he began to stage his Lego ladder to Washington, D.C., by way of Democrat Bill Nelson's descending U.S. Senatorial space-shuttle seat. Haridopolos pulled an Orlando "flyover" fundraising stop on Thurs., Feb. 3, imploring his gathered minions (including "No-Name Club" rabble-rouser, attorney Fred Leonhardt, natch) to go ahead and pre-write those required $10,000 checks before even entering the Orlando International Airport Hyatt Hotel for a make-believe salad. Everything above board! No hijinks or airborne ethical germs here! Except it was a so-called "private strategy session," so nobody real was allowed in.
Haridopolos, according to http://saint petersblog.com, raised about $1 million on Thursday - Nelson already has $3 million in the bank - but he also raised his coiffed profile. The other half of our favorite topical comedy troupe CannonHair™, Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, popped out of a cake labeled "Surprise!" and issued his endorsement. Scattered development interests and lobbyists shuffled around in a back-pat line-dance. It was our little man's big day!
Until reality set in, that is. In a triumph of guerilla politicking, several progressive groups anticipated the fanfare and launched their own bit of comedy in the direction of Haridopolos. First, there was the website, www.DirtyHari.org, a "one-stop shop for what Floridians need to know about Senate President Mike Haridopolos," according to a press release. For now, those things are what we already know: that Haridopolos screwed up his financial disclosures, took an overpaid side gig with University of Florida, virulently opposed health-care reform and keeps a staff of double-dipping public employees. More dirt is expected as more dirt presents itself.
Which is fine, because we happen to be in possession of a brand new bottle of DirtyHari.org hand sanitizer! It's green and it has a blond Haridopolos wig on it! The pointed piece of swag was developed by Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action (and countless Chinese orphans) as a means of getting the ethics point across at the Haridopolos event. Sources tell Happytown™ that the six-inch bottles could be found in all of the bathrooms surrounding the super-secret fundraiser, and that, in fact, one found its way into the slimy hands of a Haridopolos employee. Reportedly, Haridopolos denied it ever happened, and decided to hang his press-release wig back on the fact that he made $1 million appear out of thin air. Cough. We think we're getting sick.
> Email Jeff Gore and Billy Manes