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COLUMN

Happytown

The week when Haridopolos learned how to lie on YouTube, Republicans falsely conjured reparations and objectivity was kicked out of the Middle East. This is the week we'll never forget?

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You know those days when you can’t seem to find the Braille bible that’s supposed to be tucked away in your rancid extended-stay nightstand – you know, underneath that sock, that cigarette and that condom wrapper, in that drawer next to the lube? That’s when we typically lunge at our computers to look for inspiration, specifically from the somehow still-active U.S. Senate campaign Twitter account of beauty school dropout (and Florida Senate President) Mike Haridopolos. So, there we were last Thursday, scrolling through such sound-bite scripture as “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. – I Timothy 6:12” (filthy!) and “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19” when we slowly (and angrily) came upon a missive that read “Check out our new video: Something Different is Happening in Florida” with a YouTube link attached! Hello, politi-porn!

“The year is 2011 and the president is Barack Obama … ,” it begins as a slow-motion slide-show of clip-art renderings of misery plays to a funereal soundtrack. Washington is spending too much, unemployment is bad, foreclosures are eating your babies. “But in Florida something different is happening … ,” it continues, just before making a logic leap to explain why Florida is not part of the miserable trend. “With bold leadership, Florida is heading in the right direction,” the video declares over a picture of Gov. Rick Scott (with Haridopolos grinning in the background), summing up Republican victories in a feel-good package of budget cuts, tax cuts, spending cuts, welfare reform “and more money in your pocket.” Wait a minute. First of all, there is no more money in our pockets (we checked). Second of all, what the hell is Haridopolos running for? And, if we may have a third, who paid for this?

“There wasn’t a cost associated with the production of the video as it was produced and edited on the Senate president’s personal equipment, and it was disseminated through his social media networks,” Haridopolos spokeswoman Lyndsey Cruley writes in an email.  “Additionally, the president is simply interested in getting the facts out directly to Floridians, and we will continue to do that through a variety of channels, including videos, emails and social media.”

Apparently, Haridopolos drummed up this fact-free psycho-thriller all by his lonesome because he was either bored or wrong. Politicians are just like us! That seems unlikely, though, as the video is posted on the flsenate.gov website and, while shoddy, doesn’t seem to reflect the poor quality of a video we’d imagine was thrown together by Haridopolos using the iMovie software on his MacBook.

Anyway, our Pink Slip Rick friends at Florida Watch Action were quick to put up a response video in which a very similar montage is used with the same title to communicate an extremely different message: Gov. Scott killed 40,000 jobs by shutting down the high-speed rail project, cut $1 billion from education and rejected federal healthcare dollars. “Something different is happening in Florida,” it ends. “A coordinated attack on the middle class.”

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