By Chris Joseph
By Chris Joseph
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Chris Joseph
By Chris Joseph
By Chris Joseph
By David Minsky
By Michael E. Miller
Rachel begins marking a pad of paper with a large permanent marker. The mayor walks over with a blue pen, which isn't permanent, and tries to convince Rachel to switch. She refuses. "We're negotiating here," Naugle says. "She's going to be a lawyer I think, like her mom." In the end Rachel wins and continues using the permanent marker.
How is George W. taking advantage of your support?
He had a press conference in Orlando with a group of Florida Democratic leaders supporting him, and I was one of them. I think my endorsement helps, because he's going to need Democrats.
But is it honest?
I am a lifelong Democrat. [Laughs.]
Isn't it a sham?
It's just what it is, that's all. I can tell you that if Al Gore wins, I won't be staying in the Lincoln Bedroom. Naugle gets out a baby wipe and attempts to wipe the black marks off Rachel's face, while she screams. Then he enthusiastically reads her a book and resumes the interview a few minutes later.What are your thoughts on Bill Clinton?
Is there a statute of limitation on rape?
Do you think he's guilty of rape?
I think it should be investigated. He abuses women.
What do you think about Hillary Clinton running in New York?
[Laughs.] I thank God she didn't move to Florida. Really, I feel sorry for her. I think a lot of people don't leave abusive situations. They are trapped.
You think Bill abuses Hillary?
Mentally. He has sex with other women in her house. But she's way too liberal for me. I like some New York politicians, like Rudy Giuliani.
Are you cut from the same cloth as Rudy?
Yeah, in terms of cleaning up cities with law and order. And this [Rick] Lazio seems like a nice man too.
What did you think when the Monica story broke and the country came to Clinton's side and basically saved his presidency?
Those men -- [House prosecutors] Asa Hutchinson, Bill McCollum, and Lindsay Graham -- were heroes. I feel that history will not be kind to Clinton.... Everybody is saying they don't want personal attacks. But this office is personal. It's personal for all of us.
Did you make an issue out of Clinton using marijuana?
No. A lot of people I grew up with inhaled. It's a phase our country went through. I think it's very bad for young kids today, and I would tell them, "Just say no." I was very antismoking because I thought cigarettes were taking my father away from me. That's one reason I never tried pot, because I couldn't stand inhaling. He died at age 78 of heart failure. So I had this hatred toward inhaling to the point where I hold my breath when someone is smoking. I think that played a big part in why I didn't use marijuana.
What about George W.'s alleged cocaine and alcohol use?
I don't know if there is a cocaine issue or not. I'm told he used to drink a bit, but he quit. I respect and admire him for that. His comment was that was when he was young and reckless. Many people go through stages in life.
Shades of Henry Hyde's "youthful indiscretions."
I would hope he stopped. I think he has a proven track record in business and in governing a pretty big state.
What's his track record in business?
He made a lot of money. [Laughs.] That's called being a success, bottom line. I don't think anybody argues that. I think people criticize him because he's not the best speaker in the world. But we know his dad wasn't, either. They called it "Bushspeak." But he was a great President.
Is there any part of the national Democratic platform that you agree with?
On national issues, I'm someone who is very conservative, and I believe in limiting government. I do support some forms of gun control, though. [He pretends to aim a pistol.] Use two hands. [Laughs.]
You have a concealed-weapons permit and carry a gun, right?
When I feel the need.
When was the last time you felt the need?
What kind of a gun do you have?
I have more than one gun. The handgun that I carry the most is a Smith & Wesson. The fact is that crime has gone down significantly in states where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry a firearm. I think criminals fear the armed, law-abiding citizen more than the police. In areas where people are discouraged from carrying concealed weapons, crime goes up.
Are you an NRA member?
No, but I do belong to the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, which is based in Tallahassee. I used to hunt with my dad, but I'm not an active hunter now. I got my first gun when I was 12 years old.
Do you have any assault or automatic weapons?
No, but if someone wants to have one for target practice or hunting, I sure wouldn't judge them for that. AK-47s? I have no qualms about them. There are two reasons to have a gun. One is to go hunting, and the other is to protect life and property. I remember my dad going off during the riots we had and spending the night protecting his family. I think millions of crimes are prevented because law-abiding citizens are able to defend themselves. One of my best friends' life was threatened, and he had to shoot an intruder in his house.
Was the intruder armed?
I don't know all the details, but the police slapped my friend on the back, and said [feigning a Southern accent], "Damn, you got him, son." [Laughs.] "Damn, you got him, son."
What's your position on the death penalty?
In Florida it's an environmental issue.
I don't follow.
I think a strong rope and a stiff tree would be better than wasting all that electricity. [Laughs.] I think Old Sparky has had its time. We're headed for lethal injection.
Do you think executions should return to being public spectacles?
No. I think people would figure out ways to commercialize it and make money from it.
Isn't that the American way?
[Imitating an announcer's voice] This execution is brought to you by... Raid insect and roach killer.
Let's talk about your archnemesis real quickly, former city manager George Hanbury. You still hate his guts, don't you?
He betrayed the citizens of Fort Lauderdale. He got the votes on the city commission to privatize the cemeteries, and the company he got to do it was a bunch of crooks. It was a big betrayal. My dad is buried [in one of those cemeteries.] There are so many instances of dishonesty. In the end I found that he took money that didn't belong to him. He violated the laws of the city. And he even billed the taxpayers for a facelift. He had sagging eyebrows that a lot of us would attribute to old age, but he said it was a medical condition. He had his forehead cut open and eyebrows brought up, and maybe that's a good thing. Maybe he couldn't see the shadows from all the high-rises he was approving or something. But then, during the same procedure, he had incisions done on the side of his face and the wrinkles pulled back. Now that was cosmetic.
You've really investigated him.
I used up a lot of capital trying to expose him. He's finished. I told him, "For the rest of your life, if you ever try to work for a city again, I will follow you and tell how dishonest you've been." He took $20,000 that absolutely didn't belong to him [from his city-allotted] housing allowance. And I proved it. I have the documentation in my office anytime anybody wants to see it. It was beyond the statute of limitations, so we weren't able to get him charged.
You'd like to see him behind bars?
Oh yeah. He's up there with Cesar Odio and Donald Warshaw.