The Dirty Dozen of 2008

If only we could fit all the bums in...

Roger Stone It's one thing for the average Joe to blame Roger Stone for eight years of President George W. Bush and all those senseless deaths in Iraq. But for Stone himself to express regret? C'mon. He's a soulless Republican hatchet man — the guy who led the infamous Brooks Brothers riot in the 2000 election recount, basically guaranteeing that we got one of the dumbest damn commanders-in-chief in the history of the oval office. Stone is supposed to put on a stony face and say: "Regrets? Heck no! GOP 4-ever, man." But, no. In November, Stone told blogger Benjamin Sarlin that there have been "many times" he regretted what went down in Florida. Like when he sees images of people blown to smithereens in Iraq. "Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade," Stone mused. Like, there might not have been "an unjustified war if Bush hadn't become president," he added. Boo hoo, Roger. Repenting publicly might make Stone feel better. But the hired gun is still in the saddle. Stone was the brains behind the Republican campaign against Broward sheriff candidate Scott Israel. Stone compared Israel to three figures whom Stone himself helped usher into power: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Richard Nixon. What chutzpah. In one political ad, a Tricky Dick voice impersonator intoned, "Scott Israel is my kind of guy, a real operator. And just like me, he is not a crook." Yeah, sure. Dirty Meter reading: 8 (Jump in the shower, boys. Stone just walked through the room.)

Pat Riley He may be one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. He presided over the Miami Heat for more than a decade. He assembled the young franchise's first championship team. But as great as "Coach Slick" can be courtside, his willingness to push aside loyal colleagues for personal glory, then dump the whole coaching thing when the season sours, is less than admirable. Three years ago, when it was apparent that the injection of Shaquille O'Neal would lift the Dwyane Wade-led Heat into the elite of the NBA, Riley had no problem bumping player-favorite Stan Van Gundy from the coach's seat and replacing him with... himself. Since the Heat won the title that season, giving Riley his fifth ring, the president/coach got a pass. South Floridians, still buzzing from the amazing championship run, let Riley slide when the team got swept in the first round of playoffs the next year. But last season was a complete bust: The Heat started in last place and never improved. Just when it seemed like Riley was going to stick by his guys, he announced a vacation from coaching to "scout future talent" for the Heat. President Riley got out of watching the downer team from the bench. But he earned a place in our Dirty Dozen. Dirty Meter reading: 6 (Only because we're still a touch giddy over the championship.)

Rick Ross One of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a hardcore rapper is to have his alleged "street credibility" exposed as fake. Rick Ross, Miami's homegrown, deep-voiced rapper, made a career out of calling himself the boss of all bosses. In his rhymes, Ross likens himself to one of the largest gangsters the city has ever seen (he isn't referring to his sizable gut here). And he claims to be one of the biggest cocaine cowboys in Miami's history. When a little rumor that Ross isn't nearly as badass as he claims started to circulate, that he actually used to work as a correctional officer, Ross staunchly denied it. He's on record in print and video interviews claiming he never worked as a screw. But internet gotcha site smokinggun.com did a full investigation, locating Ross' old pay stubs as well as photos of him in a correctional officer's uniform. They blasted it out to the blogosphere and blew Ross' thug credibility. Ross, who currently lives in Davie, continued to deny that he ever worked as a C.O. Finally, two months ago, he confessed to working for the system. The man. The law. He may never live down the fraud. Rick Ross got caught, big time. Dirty Meter reading: 6 (Fibbing on your resume? Not so bad, unless you're a gangsta.)

Lew Hay III For all we know, the CEO of Florida Power & Light might not murder kittens and eat them for breakfast. It's possible that Lew Hay III doesn't steal candy from babies, prank call his own grandma, or move furniture around inside blind peoples' homes. After all, he does sound awfully sweet on those quarterly conference calls when he announces nearly double-digit profits. But Hay's face represents the company's evils. In June, FPL raised our rates by 16 percent because of higher fuel costs. When fuel prices dropped, the company didn't offer refunds until the AARP raised a stink. Even then, FPL said bills would drop by a measly 1.4 percent in January (hey, you still gotta pay to upgrade the nuclear plant). Come March, FPL intends to ask for a rate increase of 6 to 9 percent. Personally, Hay rakes in $10.4 million a year with a total compensation package that includes a country club membership. Also in 2008, FPL's "green" Sunshine Energy Program was found to be an aimless joke, and the company began construction on a new power plant in the Everglades. FPL pushed the Everglades plant with little public input, and then, after the state reluctantly agreed to a twin-turbine plant, craftily added a third combustion unit to the plans. In press releases, Hay makes friendly noises about his environmental concerns. So maybe he's not the bad guy. Maybe someone else in the company's corporate ranks is cranking out all that evil. FPL Group's former CFO Moray Dewhurst snuck out of the company in February to "undertake an extended ocean sailing venture." We hear that he stomps on coral reefs and spears baby whales for snack time. Dirty Meter reading: 8 (Electric power and fat paychecks are nifty.)

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