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Carpetbagger Needs Home

The Florida Ethics Commission received state Rep. Jim Waldman's financial disclosure form this past on July 1 listing his official district address as 4509 Carambola Circle.

That's the little condo in Coconut Creek owned by Ronald Sherman where Waldman -- a millionaire (barely) -- claimed he rented a room. But on that very same day, July 1, Sherman

signed a declaration for the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office promising that he does not rent out any part of his condo and that the unit is "solely and exclusively for my own personal use." Sherman was under investigation for homestead fraud and needed to do that to try to save his tax exemption.

Waldman had actually filled out the financial disclosure a couple weeks earlier, but he cut it so close that by the time the thing reached Tallahassee, it was already officially false.

It's just another interesting detail in the case of Waldman, the apparently homeless representative. Oh sure he has a house on four acres worth $800,000 nearby where his fiance lives, but he swears he told investigators he doesn't reside there.

Let's not forget the human side of this story. Jim Waldman appears to be among a growing number of legislators who have been made homeless in their own districts. Make sure to send this post out to your relatives and friends -- maybe they or someone they know can give a good caring home to the rep. Waldman is housebroken, has his shots, and takes up a very small amount of space. In fact, all he really needs is a mailbox.

One more thing. The reason the Florida Constitution demands that legislators live in the districts they represent is to make sure professional politicians backed by special interests don't carpetbag from one district to another. It's an anti-carpetbagging measure designed to provide a little protection for democracy.

Maybe from now on we should just identify Waldman as Rep. Jim Waldman (D-Keiser).

Yesterday's comments were interesting. Inside, I address a few of them.   

-- From DF3 on the Jim Leyritz trial: "I'm shocked the jury didn't return the verdict yet. Evryone figured when they wanted to stay instead of going home a verdict was imminent."

Let's get down to brass tax: A lot of people were expecting the jury to find Leyritz not guilty in 20 minutes. They thought the apparent problems with in the case -- the questions about who ran the red light and the fact that both Leyritz and the victim, 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch, intoxicated -- would make it a no-brainer. They also thought that defense attorney David Bogenschutz had argued the case so brilliantly -- and the prosecutors had muffed it so badly -- that the jury would quickly accede to his will. That the judge threw out the lead DUI manslaughter charge But what if the jury doesn't go that way? What if they look at the evidence and say, hey, Leyritz was plastered and he ran his car into someone in the middle of the night and killed her. Period.  Lawyers love to get lost in the details, and get others lost in the details, to obscure the big picture.  You can throw all your fancy arguments designed at creating doubt out the window in the face of some big truths.Do I think this will happen?

If I had to bet, I'd put my money on a hung jury, but I'm in the minority on this one. But that's just an idle hunch: Most of the legal eagles down at the courthouse are betting on a acquittal. 

--  From Virgil Starkwell: "Dolphins finished. Now, Marshall looks hurt. Stick a fork in the Dolphins."

I'm inclined toagree. This season had a lot of high hopes -- with Marshall and Dansby added, legitimate high hopes -- and it's all but crashed and burned. I'm pinning it on coaching at this point. The play-calling has been suspect too often, two star running backs have been set off to the side, a surprise season starter on defense (Jason Allen) has already been kicked to the curb, the special teams (a very good indicator of coaching) have been atrocious, and there's been a lot of second-guessing all around. 

After Thigpen's absolutely horrible performance, people are praying for Henne's return. I've always been in Henne's corner because he's a competent quarterback who can get the ball up and down the field. And I was hoping Sparano would have put him in last night but he didn't. Hey, Brett Favre is 41 and he's playing on a broken ankle. If Favre can do that -- and start every game since 1992 -- then Henne probably could have toughed it out last night. Playing hurt is a big part of football. Didn't happen of course.

But are the Dolphins really dead this year? My answer is no, but they barely have a pulse. I base that on their schedule. Of the seven games they have left, four are against Oakland, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Detroit. Every one of those games is dangerous (anybody seen Cleveland lately?), but they are also winnable games against teams that have been perennial losers of late. The other two are against the teams they have to overcome to get into the playoffs, the Jets and Patriots, both away and both big chances for the Dolphins to really help themselves. They lost to both teams this season at home. Historically the Dolphins have been pretty strong in these division games. If Henne comes back, the defense rises, and they manage to play a strong stretch on the backside of the season, they could pull out a wildcard.

I wouldn't bet on that, but it's certainly possible.

-- Someone has become a big Dead Norm Abramowitz critic. I'm still a buyer of Dead Norm. Here's a snippet from yesterday's comment:

So anywho, sorry i been away, me Crazy Ed and Lil M ( marc sultanoff) been out and about. Fuckin'Lil M and Crazy Ed been fuckin with me real bad 'cause and I quote..." I ain't got no street creed" meaning I'm the only one ain't been busted by da man, geez to hear these two fuckin yutz' talk, they real gangsta's. I mean, Lil M been wear Sean John and baggy pants, fuck, I told him, Lil'M, pull up your pants I can see your fucking colostomy bag for cryin out loud, he just laughs and sez, hey, don't like my junk,don't look! Fuckin character.

I laughed my ass off two or three times on this one. The idea of Ed Portner and Marc Sultanof as geriatric gangsters telling a ghostly Norm Abramowitz he needs street cred (he wrote "creed" which makes it even better somehow, like folk art) is damn near genius. This guy should be booked at the recreation center at Kings Point.