Best Flack (2006)
If there were more people like Stephen Gaskill, maybe the Democratic Party wouldn't be in such an ugly mess. That's because Gaskill is a smooth media man and political operative who knows the game and how to play it well. A spokesman for Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich during the Clinton administration, Gaskill moved from the Beltway to sunny Fort Lauderdale in 2001 for a change of pace. He dreamed of a slower life as a consultant. No more political rat races. But in 2004, the Dems started calling. Gaskill agreed to become the communications director for former Wilton Manors Mayor Jim Stork's well-funded campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw. Gaskill gave a professional appearance to Stork's laughable candidacy. It wasn't his fault that Stork flaked out and dropped out of the race 100 yards from the finish line, leaving the Democrats scrambling for a replacement candidate. Besides, after Stork's flameout, Gaskill landed a cherry gig with the Kerry-Edwards campaign, handling media relations for the candidates' families. It's possible that a Kerry-Edwards victory in 2004 would have sent Gaskill back to Washington, but fortunately for South Florida, he remains here. Today, Gaskill serves as the communications director for the Fort Lauderdale-based Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus.