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NEWS

Our dumb state Vol. 8

Attack of the banana cream Republicans

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But Haridop-olos’ big-boy campaign was doomed from the start. First, he overlapped his federal fundraising efforts with the state’s legislative session, raking in nearly $2.5 million in the first quarter alone, largely from special interests hoping to steer Floridian politics in their own direction. He brushed off any criticisms, naturally, telling the Miami Herald, “They’re buying into my agenda. I’m not buying into theirs.” And while fundraising is in fact prohibited during session for state legislators, they are allowed to solicit cash if they’re running for federal office. No scandal here!

So why did Haridopolos abruptly pull himself out of the U.S. Senate campaign in July, then? By his own logic, the double duty was too much for a Senate president to handle. Probably a more likely reason, though, is that Haridopolos is set to be recorded for deposition for his role in the never-ending Republican Party of Florida corruption scandal later this month. He’ll be deposed by none other than Cheney Mason, who – as you may recall – just hopped off the Casey Anthony circus (middle finger intact) and is now taking his high profile back to the courthouse to represent Jim Greer, the former RPOF chair who’s been accused of embezzling party funds. After seeing the magic that Mason was able to pull off with the Anthony fiasco, we can only expect that Haridopolos will feed his flagging ego with a U.S. House run in the coming the months.

KEGGER LEGGER

Fulfilling the legislature’s presumed requirement for everyman schlubbery as a means of accurate constituent representation, the state couldn’t find a better (or, in terms of tailoring, worse) fit than the malaise personified in future Florida House Speaker Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary. This is, after all, a man of very little means giving off the appearance of skyrocketing success; a man who was somehow able to parlay a $1.5 million mansion foreclosure and a $2.7 million legal judgment against him into a celebrated party superlative, even with a paltry $32,000 legislative salary. While the rest of us were kiting checks to ourselves for peanut butter and gas, Dorworth was racking up more than $1,000 in campaign expenses for beer-pong stumbles to Super Bowl parties. Got to keep it real, brah.

Like most of his bulging brethren, Dorworth has the capitalist god on his side in the form of the gray hairs at the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the deep pockets of the Koch Brothers. What that basically means is that he’s barely capable of forming an opinion on his own – “My guess is that we just did a ton of research on it,” he told website PolitiJax of a recent bill – and he doesn’t really have to. A recent records request by the lefties at In These Times magazine revealed what nobody could ever have expected: The text of at least one of Dorworth’s “bills,” an anti-union measure, was effectively written by the Koch Brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council, right down to a “Copyright, ALEC” signature at the end. If you weren’t aware, ALEC basically writes all the horrible privatization legislation you see repeated in every state legislature. His staff, of course, said it had no idea how that paperwork made its way into Dorworth’s office, even though Dorworth is a card-carrying ALEC member.

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