The week where a call to arms brought unpleasant attention to the bumbling Republican machine, some oil cash brought more tackiness to the Panhandle and Joe Biden's brother brought bad education to Florida. It's already been brought-en!
Published: January 5, 2012
“You’ll get to see members who don’t live in their districts, not because of any reason other than the fact that we drew these districts blind,” House Redistricting Chairman – and incoming Florida House President – Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told the Florida Current, reassuringly.
Speaking of blind, the Republican Party of Florida will also come face to face with the acrimonious civil lawsuit filed by its former leader Jim Greer, something it doesn’t seem the party is too keen on doing. The St. Petersburg Times was lucky enough (cough) to have an email exchange with Greer in which the soft-spoken hunk of cuddle bloviates heavily about the RPOF legal machine trying to filter (to its liking) the subpoenaed deposition of former Victory Strategies accountant, Richard Swarttz. You’ll recall that Victory Strategies is the Greer-formed company at the center of the $125,000 RPOF fraud controversy; those are the charges that Greer himself will be faced with in criminal court in July. Still, Greer smells a conspiracy.
“This becomes more bizarre every day as persons who can substantiate the party’s knowledge of Victory Strategies, drew up and signed the agreement, the party now wants to protect from giving depositions,” Greer wrote in an email to the newspaper.
In other news, it’s a great time to be a Republican, isn’t it? You can’t even hear yourself think!
Hey, remember that nasty oil spill of 2010 that sort of affected Florida enough for you to have to start enduring commercials egging you on to Panhandle vacations?Last week, the expected fallout from what happens when you throw millions of dollars at redneck municipalities broke into the news cycle, bringing with it tales of candy-cane ice-rinks, beach towels, senior citizen proms and “most deserving mom” contests. In April, BP announced $30 million in tourism grants to Florida, bringing the total mea culpa-cashfronted by the oil giant to $62 million for tourism. Panama City Beach decided to spend $1 million on a Christmas paradise, $100,000 on a pirate-themed festival, $1.3 million on a country music festival and $425,000 on a Christian music festival, reports the Naples Daily News. That sounds about right. Have you ever been to Panama City Beach? Did you not come back with crabs and a criminal record?
“It wasn’t all that busy out here [Christmas] weekend,” one area merchant told the paper. “There weren’t that many people over there skating, and that is a lot of money to spend.”
Still, the schizophrenic party busingseems to have paid off, with at least one BP spokesman, natch, calling 2011 “a banner year for tourism in the Panhandle.”
That’s all well and good and greasy, but it looks like BP might have bigger fish to fry. On Dec. 29, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors were this close to filing the first felony charges against BP for its handling of the Deepwater Horizon incident. BP, which has already spilled $41 billion on the goopy fracas, now stands to incur further federal fines as well as potential prison time for several of its less savory (or truthful) engineers who sold the whole deep-drilling in the Gulf goldmine. Some stains won’t be wiped away by a souvenir beach towel.
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