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NEWS

Our dumb state Vol. 8

Attack of the banana cream Republicans

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How about a huge foreclosure scandal? In a state where 22,377 homes had foreclosure filings in July – or, roughly, one in 400 – Bondi recently found herself in hot water for effectively firing two of her high-ranking foreclosure fraud attorneys, June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards, for what they claim are political reasons. The pair were investigating two separate lending companies, including Jacksonville’s Lender Processing Services (which now employs Joe Jacquot, the former deputy attorney-general of Florida; he also worked for Gov. Scott’s Solantic health clinics). In addition to the obvious political associations, LPS reportedly donated $36,500 to the Republican Party during the 2010 general election. Also, both attorneys had been given glowing reviews under former Attorney General Bill McCollum. Uh-oh. In a save-face measure brought on by some rather loud Democratic grumbling, Bondi immediately took the public relations step of calling for an independent investigation into the matter. Surely that won’t be tainted.

WESTWORLD

Our dumb state cried a collective single tear when the “Die Quickly!” musings of former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, gave way to the stumbling mute math of his replacement, Dan Webster, last November. Webster, who only grudgingly accepted the Republican Party’s nomination at the last minute, would not be good for news copy – when he even dares to show his face, it’s usually followed by the sort of gobbledygook reserved for the rocking chairs outside of a Cracker Barrel.

But Florida’s Republican Party, recently emboldened by the nonsense-speak of a Tea Party electorate, would not go quietly. Enter U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation (ha!), coined by New York magazine “Insane Florida Congressman Allen West,” and his reactionary political shenanigans. To those familiar with West, the snowballing news of his blowhard temper shouldn’t come as a surprise. This is, after all, the same former Army colonel who shot a gun into a bucket of sand with an Iraqi soldier’s head in it, openly hates Muslims and encouraged his supporters to effectively scare Democrats back into their homes. Die quickly? More like, “die now.”

More recently, West has ruled the headlines with further forays into the Autism spectrum. First, he shot an email (thankfully just an email) to Democratic leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz, politely opining that “You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. … You have proven repeatedly that your are not a lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” All Wasserman Schultz had to do to afford that love letter was to attack West’s stance on increasing costs for Medicare beneficiaries, obviously a large portion of the state’s population and his constituency. Imagine if she had called him gay!

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