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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where we dusted off our gaydar machine and pointed it at Charlie Crist again, then we figured out that you shouldn't be grading the FCAT writing test if you have communications problems of your own. What are words for, when no one's listening anymore?

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Nothing warms our hearts quite like an outdated political scandal involving queer speculation and bribery; it's the same sort of joy we experience when you get your chocolate in our peanut butter while we're upside down in a time machine, and it gives us the perfect opportunity to mock both the political shame system and refer to ourselves as peanut butter cups.

Anyway, on May 16, the Tampa Bay Times came out with a shocking report – well, not shocking; that part comes later – on some of the ins and outs of the Republican Party of Florida spend-a-thon scandal involving the fiscal romance between former party chair Jim Greer and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Now, these kinds of divorces are always ugly because that ottoman is mine, but this one is kind of scary. There were voicemails involved!

“Listen, I just wanted to call and tell you something as a man, not like these other people that have put knives in your back and never had the courtesy to call you directly or talk to you,” Greer's June 2011 voicemail message to Crist began. Uh-oh. “I'm sure you know our friendship has ended, is over, and I'm just very saddened by that,” Greer continued. “But I wanted you to know personally from me, that in the future there's probably going to be things coming out that are going to be hurtful to both you and Carole (Crist's wife). But I'll be honest with you, I don't care anymore because I did everything that I ever could for you.”

Before we get too far into what must have been a whiskey-fueled fumbling with an aberrant iPhone in a gay dive bar, it's worth remembering that this all came one year after Greer was indicted for fraud and money laundering via a shell company that funded the state's GOP. Most of the details in this scandal have been covered to death – the parties, credit cards, boats, hookers, blow – but this latest revelation via voicemail has a slightly intriguing ring to it. Crist, as one might expect, has already submitted the voicemails to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and is crying “extortion” at the top of his white-haired, television-attorney-spokesman lungs. What sort of “things” might be “coming out” to hurt Crist and his fancy wife of convenience that did not hurt him during his coveted U.S. Senate bid in 2010?

Back in 2006, when Crist was running for governor, the rumor mill was abuzz about the slight, chrome-domed confirmed (at the time) bachelor who required the wind of a fan for public appearances, and was even fueled by a competitor named Max Linn. He told Happytown™, “He knows that I know he's gay because it's been discussed.” That wasn't quite evidence enough for us, so we scanned Crist's torso with our in-house gaydar machine, the B-MANES 3000, and concluded that it was a possibility. Then he went and got married and all bets were off.

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