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COLUMN

Happytown

In which Mike Haridopolos confuses himself into a lawsuit, Rick Scott confuses state universities for idiots and the gays are about to be less confused – legally speaking – in Orlando. A ball of confusion for everyone!

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While we spent the better partof last week alternately overindulging in pre-chewed casserole cuisine and stabbing forks into our eyes-too-big-for-our-stomachs, it seems that Florida’s most punishing gluttons – the Republican legislature and its gold-lined turkeys of doom – were mitigating more pressing controversies than mere digestion. And we thought our infighting fat families were awful!

In what will forever be known as the wonkish back-and-forth that nobody seems to care about anymore, Senate President and beauty consultant Mike Haridopolos was thrust into the melee of the Republican Party of Florida’s wild (and allegedly illegal) fiscal ride, credit cards a’clankin’. Just days after being quietly deposed for former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer’s retaliatory civil suit aimed at challenging the jury trial that Greer is facing early next year for criminal misdeeds, on Nov. 22 Greer amended his complaint to include not just the state party and Greer’s temporary replacement, Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, but also our favorite blonde gnome, Haridopolos. Why? Because Haridopolos isn’t very good at depositions or telling the truth.

According to the News Service of Florida, Haridopolos grunted the following bon mots to Greer’s attorney: “Jim Greer was incredibly unpopular. Most people viewed him as incredibly arrogant. We viewed him as a person who never raised money and always spent money. So, our goal was to have him leave the party because you want – we wanted a new chairman who would do better job and get the base excited again as opposed to – clearly the base was dissatisfied with his performance.”

What? A couple of key points here. There was a time when Haridopolos – and his CannonHair™ cohort, House Speaker Dean Cannon – were praising some of Greer’s leadership tactics, that is, until everything popped like a Charlie Crist-shaped balloon. Also, there was apparently a severance agreement that Haridopolos signed, which would probably have swept this whole controversy under the rug (if Greer hadn’t been nailed with corruption charges that probably apply to the whole damn party) and handed Greer $123,000 to just walk away – though Haridopolos now claims he didn’t actually read said agreement before signing it. (“I’m not a lawyer,” he said. “So I didn’t read the contract.” Genius.) Also, last year Haridopolos lied to the Miami Herald, telling the paper that he had never even heard of the agreement, much less acted on it. Now he admits that he thought it was confidential. Add to that the fact that Greer is alleging that the RPOF offered him $200,000 in hush money to stop the $5 million civil suit, and this whole thing stinks worse than a week-old turkey stuffed with Republican hot air. Don’t sniff the right wing!

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