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COLUMN

Happytown

Alan Grayson called Newt Gingrich fat. We drank. A federal judge tossed out the redistricting lawsuit. We drank. The ACLU challenged piss tests for the poor. We drank. And then we, along with the firefighters, took to Facebook to post inappropriate pictures. We don't remember any of it.

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In case you’ve ever wondered (you haven’t), this is how our collective cranium swirls around on Friday afternoons whilst trying to conjure your beloved Happytown™ into a barely discernible reality: Somebody suggests drinking instead, somebody throws up and ruins that idea, and then we stare wanly into our inboxes waiting for magic to appear. Well, that’s not exactly true, but given the apparent absence of inebriation filters offered by some of our favorite political subjects, you might think it was.

On Sept. 6 we received a bizarre missive from congressional has-been/hopeful Alan Grayson in which he brazenly belittles grumpy old Newt (NEWT!) Gingrich for tweeting that he ate at McDonalds with his wife. That led Grayson to recall bumping into the Newt-troll on the House floor a year ago at which point he called Newt fat. “I remember you being much slimmer back in the 1990s, when you were relevant,” Grayson apparently lurched. All of this, dear readers, was sent to us in an email signed “Alan Grayson.” Who’s watching the Frankenstein store? Anyway – beyond removing Grayson’s hands from the computer before he scares away any chance of his own relevancy returning – sometimes, at least in the world of Happytown, you have to draw the line.

Which is (cough, blatant transition)exactly what happened on our almost-drunk Friday, Sept. 9, when U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro tossed out the much ballyhooed lawsuit against the most boring subject in the world: redistricting! Line, drawn.

You’ll recall that voters overwhelmingly supported Amendments 5 and 6 last year, an act so democratic that two congressional representatives – Corrine Brown, D-Everywhere-in-Florida, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Somewhere-in-South-Florida – were joined by our own Florida House of Representatives in boo-hooing the whole thing because, well, they don’t really trust voters? The suit basically came down to the odd semantics of whether you, the citizen, have the right to tell them, the power royalty, how to draw congressional lines. And that’s sort of where we trail off into boredom.

Except not really. See, when House Speaker Dean Cannon was quizzed about how much taxpayer money he was spending to try and defeat a taxpayer-approved constitutional amendment by State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, Cannon’s office ballparked the legal fees around the $1 million mark. Then, says Randolph, Cannon came back and said that only about $116,000 had gone into the redistricting battle. When Randolph asked Cannon’s office where the other $900,000 went, well, he got the big brush-off.

So what does it all mean? If Brown is to be believed, it will be appealed.

“I am disappointed,” she told the St. Petersburg Times. “When you are disappointed, what do you do? You go on to the next step, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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