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COLUMN

Happytown

The one where we go to the oath of office ceremony for the Orlando City Council and Mayor Buddy Dyer, dive into the slimy mess of Florida's voter purge, then come up for air only to find that boy band members grow up to be anti-abortion activists. This is your Happytown!

Photo: Barry Kirsch, License: N/A

Barry Kirsch


You know what's not gone is that slimy voter purge scandal we've been harping about. Because Florida has to be the Petri dish for all things politically awful, Gov. Rick Scott's recent foray into ethnic cleansing – er, voter suppression – took a national turn last week when the whole world looked down the map to the lower right and shook its head again.

You know the details: 2,700 people were flagged as potential non-citizens and notified by elections officials that they needed to prove themselves worthy of the right to vote; many of those people were in fact citizensand the database is crappy; some elections supervisors refused to even engage in this stupidity; and this is going to end badly.

Well, that it did. Or might? Late in the evening on May 31, T. Christian Herren Jr. from the U.S. Department of Justice issued a letter to the state calling foul on the stealth operation for going against the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. Shot down, then!

But not really. A spokesman for Florida's Secretary of State responded with all due idiocy. “We are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible people from being able to cast a ballot,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Then there was some noise about the state accelerating the purge, because, you know, you're not the boss of me.

Thankfully, the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections can still rub synapses together and had their general counsel issue a statement on June 1, according to the Palm Beach Post, refusing to urge to purge.

“I recommend that Supervisors of Elections cease any further action until the issues raised by the Department of Justice are resolved between the parties or by a court,” it said. Hmm. Well, the DOJ has given the state until June 6 to figure out exactly how hard it wants to fight, so we'll see if fairness prevails.

Hey, do you remember when boybands –like old Orlando boybands scrubbed from the belly rolls of Lou Pearlman, not new boybands like One Direction – were going to save Orlando with their ceaseless smiles and sexless choreography? Well, fermentation has not been kind to many of the tuneless pinups, especially one Brad Fischetti of almost-beens LFO of “Summer Girls” and “Girl on TV” fame.

Thanks to Twitter, we now know that Fischetti didn't much care about the wishes of girls, after all. Instead, he's been whiling away his last vestiges of dignity by standing outside of the Orlando Women's Center and praying with those old men who scream at poor girls entering the clinic in search of an abortion. Bloggy hot spots like Buzzfeed and Jezebel picked up on the tastelessness – including twitpics of actual women and names of “abortionists” his followers should harass. “Hey, awesome, thanks for the update on someone's life that doesn't concern you at all!” Jezebel proclaimed.

Guess if you can't save Orlando or save your career, there's only one place left for you to go: crazy!

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