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This week we get all hot and bothered with Debbie Wasserman Schultz at an Obama office launch, then we get get all cold and critical in our private prison cell. We go to extremes.

Photo: Billy Manes, License: N/A

Billy Manes

Who’s to blame for the death of the CMA, besides the CannonHair™-led Republicansin the State Legislature from whom we never expected any noble deeds in the first place? Governor Rick Scott, perhaps? Nope. In fact, the governor – get ready for this, Happytown loyalists – took a sensible position on the matter, proposing that a small portion of the Department of Corrections’ budget be siphoned off to save the CMA. This plan, however, was blocked by the Florida House. Also, in May, Scott vetoed the bill that would have erased the CMA from the state statutes, meaning sympathetic legislators could take a swipe at refunding it during the next legislative session. But then again, the next session will feature the same (im)balance of power as the last. “Governor Scott is disappointed that the legislature didn’t see the value in [the CMA],” Lane Wright, the governor’s spokesperson, told the Weekly. “He did everything he could to save it.”

So where were we again? Ah yes, blame. Well, how about our cohorts in the media? Hard looks at potential consequences of closing the CMA have, for the most part, only appeared in print after the agency was already dead and buried. An editorial by the Sun-Sentinel advocating the sustenance of the CMA didn’t appear until a week after the agency closed – though the Legislature’s desire to eliminate it in May was not a closely guarded secret. “It had all the makings of a fiasco – to me, it was obvious,” says Jim McDonough, the state’s former secretary of corrections, whom we spoke with on Aug. 25. “But I never saw a story on it until a couple days ago.” (We kindly reminded McDonough that we mentioned the Legislature’s plans to eliminate the CMA in our May 19 story, “Privacy Policy.”)

But for prisoners in South Florida, where all correctional facilities are set to be privatized by the beginning of next year, there is a silver lining to this cloud: Many private companies provide their inmates with air conditioning, which feels amazing on an open wound.

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