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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where Gov. Rick Scott made a big ass out of himself to the Big Apple, Democrats bit back at Mitt Romney's perpetual gas leak and Sanford considered arresting the media for doing its job. Message control!

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As the Tampa Bay Times pointed out, the absence of real context to Scott's missive meant that other key factors like our ridiculous foreclosure problem, the potential for hurricanes and the fact that 68 percent of Florida residents still believe that the recession sky is falling were conveniently left out. But such salient reminders mean nothing to Madison Avenue millionaires hip to the idea of trashing it up in the name of cost cutting. Nor does the fact that our state is currently beating Alabama and Mississippi in the national racism stakes or that, um, rich gay peopleare actually allowed to marry in New York. Maybe he thinks they're as dumb as he is?

“As you are exploring cost-saving options and evaluating whether or not you want to continue paying higher taxes, I ask you to consider doing business in Florida,” his letter concludes. “Come for our beaches, sunshine and incredible weather, and stay for our business opportunities.”

Tell that to Solantic, Scott's own former company that recently left Florida for the relative serenity of Tennessee. Or, better yet, don't tell anyone. It's embarrassing.

Speaking of fact checking awkward CEOs parading as figureheads, on March 28, we skipped across the street over to the Obama for America Orlando office for some press-conferenced backlash to Republican Ken Doll Mitt Romney's latest disjointed mumblefest on energy policy, and boy are we glad we did! You may have noticed that Romney's been trying to paint his presumed opponent Barack Obama into a gas-is-too-damn-high corner lately, clinging to the last vestiges of “drill baby drill” and whatever else it is that Republicans say to their idiot base, even if his own policy, according to every source, has been flipping and flopping since his days in the Massachusetts capital. Hey, guess what? Willard knows nothing of which he speaks.

Though we were the only English-speaking media in attendance at the Wednesday presser, it was worth it to hear local party chair and state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, mouth off in response.

“‘Drill baby drill' is still alive because the Republicans can't move off of bumper-sticker politics. That's where they've taken policy in general,” he said. “Do they really still believe it? It's sort of a sad state of affairs.”

Even sadder when you consider the facts: Our dependence on foreign oil is the lowest its been in 16 years; oil production on public lands is up 13 percent under Obama; fuel-economy standards are up in the auto industry for a good reason; there is no magic bullet to stop the global speculation on oil prices that's driven the pain-at-the-pump headlines of recent months. It's all an illusion!

Obama for America national campaign co-chair Lynnette Acosta drew an even starker comparison to Romney's shapeless, unregulated vision of today. It's just like the days of Enron, she said, giving corporations “full reign to rip us off again.”

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