Columns > HappytownHappytown
Remember the halcyon days of wine and roses, way back when we could simply glare at Attorney General Bill McCollum’s equine mug with a modicum of contempt and yet still get on with our regular dribs and drabs of Floridian existence? Well, it’s now become impossible to look away. The scent of desperation emanating from his camp – where we presume they manufacture regret and terror – is so far up our noses that they are bleeding, and the very idea that this man might don the gubernatorial blouse in November is giving us night sweats. He won’t, of course. He can’t.
On July 14, McCollum – not at all politically – threw his name (and therefore our state’s) into the racial profiling fire when he signed on to an “amicus brief” with seven other states in defense of the controversial Arizona law that basically turns all immigrants into tacos or something. While not the most forceful or surprising maneuver from a man who obviously hates everybody – McCollum last attempted to make political hay by leading a lawsuit to block states from the evils of Obamacare – it does send the signal that this is going to be another election season full of ugly wedges and aching heels.
“I support the current law in Arizona, and I support the efforts to see a similar law brought to our state,” quoth McCollum in a press release. “Seeing no action or leadership from the federal authorities, Arizona has every right to move forward to protect its citizens.”
Gosh, why would McCollum go off and say something like that? Could it have anything to do with those incessant television ads by opponent and bald-porn-horror-show Rick Scott in which McCollum is quoted – recorded, even – saying the exact opposite? You know, “We don’t need that law in Florida. That’s not what’s going to happen here.” Hmm.
Well, it doesn’t necessarily matter, see. Any sort of wingnut goodwill McCollum might hope to skim off the top of this, his latest attack on the White House and all those silly communist decisions its been making, will soon be lost if an actual court ruling (decided the same day, July 14, as McCollum’s political stunt) is allowed to stand. That ruling came in response to a suit by multimillionaire Rick Scott who tried to cry foul on the state’s public campaign financing laws because Scott – who will buy you and eat you – doesn’t think that it’s fair for taxpayers to have to start funding McCollum’s campaign once Scott inevitably exceeds the legal $24.9 million spending limit. McCollum reportedly has only $800,000 left in his coffers and will get $2.5 million from your pocketbook this week. Then, for every dollar over the limit Scott spends, one more McCollum dollar will come from you. Scott is, of course, appealing the ruling, as courts in other states – including, wait for it, Arizona – have thrown out similar campaign finance laws. We’re sure that the neo-populist conservative revolutionaries will adore what is basically a tax to pay for the failure of a worthless candidate in a recession-era campaign. Rumors that the state legislature might steal McCollum’s racist thunder when they assembled for a special session this week – a one-hour session about oil where nothing happened, natch – with their own take on the Arizona law never panned out. Will that buy McCollum time? No. You will.
This week in gay: we’re getting married … on a train! On July 8, two separate gay marriage decisions were handed down that could build a path toward the dismantling of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, though both of them were in Massachusetts. The first, Gill et al v. Office of Personnel Management, filed on behalf of some gays allowed to marry in the state, alleged that DOMA was unconstitutional in not acknowledging the rights of the couples. The judge basically agreed, saying that all of that stuff and nonsense that is thrown up in the argument – endangering babies and straight couples, etc. – was faulty. Hooray! On the same day, a suit by the state (brought by lazy old Martha Coakley) against the federal government ended with a similar ruling: specifically that Section 3 of DOMA was in direct conflict with the Tenth Amendment. OMG, now the gays are Tenthers! Both decisions will probably be appealed and make their way – along with the California Prop 8 decision – to the Supreme Court.
Not to be outdone, the straights over at the National Organization for Marriage – the “gathering storm” folk that thought gay people were weather – are launching their “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” tour, which will stop in Tampa on August 8.
Will they take a train? Not if they’re gay, they won’t, at least that’s what our friends at the Family Research Council are hoping. In an “action alert” sent out July 13, FRC president Tony Perkins decries a reported $250,000 ad campaign by Amtrak targeting the gays. Amtrak is government! This means government likes gays! “In a very real sense, this ad campaign is a federal endorsement of homosexual behavior – one of the most serious public health threats in America,” writes Perkins. So much more threatening than ignorance.
Two things we didn’t know going into this week: Amateur pro wrestling is alive and well – OK, alive – in Central Florida, and teen girls still keep diaries. One thing we did know: Amateur pro wrestlers and diary-keeping teen girls do not mix. Orlando’s Chasyn Rance, who appeared on VH1’s Tool Academy and reminds us of a buff LaBeouf, learned that the hard way last week when he was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a 15-year-old girl. According to the girl’s diary – again, really?! Written diaries? – that her mom found, she was visiting Orlando from her home in California on several occasions, during which she hung out with Rance, smoked weed, got drunk and practiced the piledriver maneuver together. Rance also didn’t know, apparently, that when you get arrested for being a pervert, you should take down your website that’s chock full of goodies for bored Orlando Weekly staffers to giggle over like the words “not cocky” emblazoned next to your smiling mug, or personal info that lists “Girls” as one of your hobbies, or ludicrous photos of yourself in boy shorts giving it hard to another dude, or that your “finishing maneuvers” include the Sensational Spike. What we’re saying is you should take down your website that prosecutors could reasonably consider a treasure trove of douchey evidence.
Imagine you’re a 14-year-old boy. You’re on a flight to Orlando, by yourself for some theme-park merriment (again, we’re imagining), and the cougar sitting next to you says, “What do you say we snort some coke and join the mile-high club?” Do you a) do it, b) break out the “Dear Penthouse” stationery, or c) call your Daddy to fly down from Chicago to come get you and then, two years later, sue Southwest Airlines for not properly protecting your purity? An unnamed Chicago family is picking option “c” after their son had just such an encounter with “an older passenger” on the flight who “was obviously intoxicated and/or under the influence of other drugs,” according to the lawsuit. The suit also claims Southwest was negligent and should’ve protected the little twerp. “I do not understand how an airline today, in this post-9/11 world, would permit a passenger to be abusive to a small child,” says their lawyer who must figure the boy’s emasculation has long since been complete. (Southwest refused to comment but were overheard kicking “fattie” Kevin Smith off their plane … again.) Of course, the question of double standards is valid, especially in light of our own recent (as in directly above) takedown of Chasyn Rance for succeeding where this boozy floozy failed, to which our response leans toward unevolved Neanderthalian: Come onnnnn, it’s wicked different. Are we right or are we right?!!! The family seeks $50,000 in damages.