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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Ex-Deaniacs screamin' at their onetime hero
By ADAM C. SMITH, Times Political Editor
Published September 2, 2007
There's an irony to the Democratic National Committee coming down so hard on Florida Democrats for busting the primary calendar. But for the Florida Democrats, Dr. Howard Dean today might be back in Burlington, Vt., writing scripts for Ben & Jerry noshers instead of leading the DNC. Remember, it was Florida DNC members who early on threw their support to Dean (mostly thanks to then-Florida Democratic chairman Scott "I'm a gun-owning, pickup truck driver and I have a bulldog named Lockjaw" Maddox) and gave Dean the big mo.
"I feel like I screwed up, where I supported this man," said DNC member Janee Murphy of Tampa. "We stepped up to the table. We stuck our neck out, and back then Howard Dean was quoted more than once talking about the uniqueness of this Southern state and making sure every vote was going to be counted. ... We're the state that has dealt with election cycle after election cycle of issues when it comes to voting. For him not to stand up for us is a slap in the face for every Floridian."
Meanwhile, Maddox told the Buzz said thinks Dean had little choice but enforce the rules and that Florida Democrats should comply by holding later caucuses to award the state's delegates.
Arrested legislator matches Bush ratings
An internal Democratic poll in state Rep. Bob Allen's Space Coast district yields some interesting results. The survey was done as Democrats prepare for a possible race for this open 2008 seat, and asked voters whether Allen, a Republican who faces a misdemeanor charge of solicitation involving an undercover police officer, should stay in the House or resign.
The Schroth, Eldon & Associates poll of 300 voters (margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points) asked voters to agree or disagree with the statement that Allen should stay in the Legislature "until his guilt or innocence has been determined by a jury." A bare majority of 51 percent agreed with the statement, 38 percent disagreed, and 11 percent were not sure. The poll registered a 46 percent disapproval rating of Allen, the same as for President Bush in this solidly Republican district.
A rerun run for Republican
Republican Bruce Cotton, who last year lost a primary against Dottie Reeder, is running again for state House District 51, against incumbent Democrat Janet Long.
Says Cotton's old boss, state Rep. Leslie Waters: "Bruce Cotton knows the state and local issues that matter to Florida families and issues important to our local businesses. With a spouse employed as a health care professional, and a son in elementary school, he knows firsthand what working families want and deserve in an elected official."
What if we get a hurricane, Charlie?
Anybody notice that Charlie Crist's national press is no longer uniformly glowing? Take this snippet from last week's New York Times magazine cover piece on Wall Street's risk analysis for catastrophes:
"The disaster waiting to happen in Florida grows bigger by the day, but for a man running for governor of Florida, ignoring it is a political no-brainer. If he's lucky - if no big storms hit in his term - he looks like the genius who saved Floridians billions in catastrophic-risk premiums. If he's unlucky, he bankrupts Florida and all hell breaks loose, but he can shake down the federal government to cover some of the losses."
Even the doghouse has a seating chart
So, who gets to sit next to Rep. Allen on the state House floor?
Why it just happens to be a charter member of House Speaker Marco Rubio's doghouse: Rep. J.C. Planas, R-Miami. The draft of a new seating chart is making the rounds and it shows the disgraced Allen being relocated from his second-row seat between Marti Coley and Adam Hasner to the fourth row, between Planas and rookie Democrat Darren Soto.
"This job is about working to make people's lives better, and it should make no difference where you're seated as long as you're here to work," Planas told the Buzz. Rubio spokeswoman Jill Chamberlin said the chart is a draft soon to be revised.
It's a boy!
Rubio's wife gave birth last week to their fourth child, a boy. He weighed 7 pounds. 11 ounces.
It's a $10,000-a-month adviser!
Donna Arduin has a new contract with Rubio. The former adviser to Jeb Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Rubio's team last session, helping craft the plan to swap property taxes for higher sales tax. Her firm, - Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics - will earn $10,000 a month beginning Sept. 1 and will work through the end of regular session in May.
Tampa woman heads GOP network
The Florida Republican Women's Network elected Anne Voss of Tampa to a two-year term as president. The Florida Republican Women's Network says it "advocates for the passage of legislation important to the security and well-being of all American citizens and promotes the election of qualified, viable Republican women candidates."
Voss used to lead the Florida Federation of Republican Women, which split from its national counterpart in a bitter dispute in 2006, leading to the creation of the women's network.
Adam C. Smith, Steve Bousquet and Alex Leary contributed to this week's Buzz.