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      This Week in Florida - Tampa Police Pretty Sure Republicans Like Prostitutes

      August 27, 2012

      By Billy Corben

      Dear Missouri,

      On behalf of the people of the great-ish State of Florida, I want to thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      And thank you, specifically, to William Todd Akin, who has served your 2nd congressional district since 2001, for helping deflect negative attention from my state and the criminally irresponsible decision-making of our voters, just as we’re being thrust into the political spotlight/crosshairs of the Republican National Convention, which begins tomorrow in Tampa. Todd is currently running against democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill to be your senator. And, as you may have heard, he committed the ultimate sin in politics: he said (out loud and on camera) what he really thinks and feels, regardless of its absolute, undisputed scientific and medical falsity. You have to admire his courage. Most people never have the strength and self-awareness to publicly admit that they are insane. But apparently you agree with him, as his kamikaze act of honesty hasn’t seemed to hinder his fundraising abilities.

      But enough of Missouri and on to Tampa, where the RNC—and This Week in Florida—is getting ready to begin:

      - Thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac, Governor Rick Scott narrowly avoided having to perform logical contortions to reconcile his claims of leading an economic recovery in Florida with the Romney campaign’s assertion that our key swing state continues to suffer economically due to President Obama’s failed policies. Not to put too fine a point on it, but just so we’re clear: Everything good occurring in Florida is because of Rick Scott and everything bad is because of Barack Obama. OK?

      - United States Florida Senator Marco Rubio has the honor of introducing Romney in prime time. You may recall Rubio was being considered to be Romney’s running mate on the republican ticket, but didn’t get beyond the thorough vetting process that Sarah Palin once did.

      - Banana Republican Congressman David Rivera, who recently made an appearance in this column when Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle let Rivera walk on well documented (alleged) campaign finance crimes involving theft, money laundering and racketeering—much to the chagrin of other state law enforcement agencies. (Rundle, incidentally, has had some curious campaign financing issues of her own.)

      Now, the Miami Herald is reporting that Rivera is mixed up in yet another sketchfest currently under investigation by Miami-Dade police, the FBI, and a federal grand jury.

      This situation involves a ringer Democratic primary candidate, cash-stuffed envelopes, and blatant federal campaign law violations. You know, typical Miami shit.

      Rivera has taken his “wasn’t me” defense to Spanish talk radio, where you can literally say anything without repercussion. In all fairness, Rivera’s rebuttal is one of the most honest statements to ever pass through his lips: “What I know is that nothing that is written in the Miami Herald can be believed.”

      Problem with that is, the sources and reporting on this particular article are solid (kudos to Marc Caputo, one of Florida’s best and brightest).

      - As the Romney campaign and Republicans nationwide attempt to distance themselves from Akin and his controversial remarks, they continue to push an agenda consistent with his beliefs. In Tampa last week, a GOP committee approved draft language calling for a constitutional ban on abortion, without any explicit exemption for victims of rape or incest. It is expected that convention delegates will vote on and approve this next week.

      - Speaking of unwanted pregnancies, Tampa strip clubs and hookers are expecting big business during convention week. In anticipation of this, Tampa police mounted (no pun intended) an undercover crackdown on prostitution in 12 area strip clubs, resulting in 16 arrests.

      - There will be plenty of room for prostitutes and protestors alike in the joint, as the Hillsborough county sheriff has emptied a 1,700-bed Tampa prison in anticipation of mass arrests during the convention.

      - Ever wonder who pays for all the booze and parties at political conventions? Taxpayers do, of course!

      - Republicans will promote their “We Built This!” convention theme at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, an arena whose construction was significantly financed by government tax funds.

      - A JetBlue Airways gate agent at the Fort Lauderdale airport was caught on camera stealing the wallet of an 11-year-old boy who was flying alone to visit his grandma in New York.

      - A 15-year-old girl claims she was gang raped on the Carnival Sensation cruise ship, and a Florida man is accused of being the ringleader.

      - A Vero Beach rug dealer smuggled opium concealed in rugs from Iran through the Orlando airport. In addition to violating a federal trade embargo, the case has raised serious national security concerns—particularly because he was only caught after a confidential informant tipped off investigators.

      - The Moore Haven kid who lost half his arm in a gator attack this summer just started his senior year in high school and he’s got a really positive attitude for a kid who lost half his arm in a gator attack this summer.

      - Florida is a sex offender’s paradise. We lead the nation in registered offenders, so just imagine how many there are who haven’t signed the guestbook. A Michigan man was busted for snapping cell phone pics of a 12-year-old boy under a stall at a Macy’s department store men’s room in Brandon.

      - The 81-year-old Margate ‘Grandpa’ molester is behind bars, accused of lewd acts with at least two girls under the age of 12.

      - New Civil War Watch: Florida Governor Rick Scott simply cannot be bothered with all these pesky federal courts with their annoying voting laws and all this civil rights crap and their whiny, “you can’t disenfranchise minority voters,” blah, blah, blah.

      - Hip-hop artist Juvenile backed that ass up into jail. He was arrested over a fight at LIV nightclub in Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau hotel and was cuffed in the same valet driveway where LeBron’s mom got popped.

      - The Aventura woman known as ‘Kat Stacks’ to fans of Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, and scantily clad women is being held in a Louisiana immigration facility after a judge ordered her to be deported to Venezuela. Her mother claims that Andrea Herrera (Stacks’ real name) was a victim of sex trafficking and should be protected.

      - Gotta give credit where credit is due: The police chief of Quincy, Florida is spearheading a summit to address the epidemic of wrongful convictions at a gathering of the International Association of Chiefs of Police near Washington, DC.

      - A Pembroke Pines family has received a $20,000 settlement from the city after a cop shot and killed their dog.

      - A Pensacola cop was fired and arrested for battery when he was caught on his own dashcam slamming a female suspect into her car. Twice.

      - Miami-Dade tried to give Los Angeles a run for its money with an absolutely spectacular police car chase this week: speeds of over 100 miles per hour, driving the wrong way down an expressway, and an ending with bullets blazing. Sounds like an average Miami commute.

      - A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy, fired for having sex on duty with a drunk woman who he drove home outside of the county he is paid to patrol has his job back. This begs the question, “Who does an on-duty cop have to fuck to get fired in Palm Beach County?”

      Billy Corben is the co-producer and director of Cocaine Cowboys, The U, and the upcoming Broke for ESPN 30 for 30 Vol. II, among other films. He also runs The Billy Pulpit.

      @billyCorben

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      Topics: this week in Florida, mitt romney, RNC, strip clubs

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