Touting yourself as a lunatic has just become a political campaign strategy.
Adam Hasner -- the former Florida House majority leader who represented parts of southern Palm Beach County and northern Broward County -- thinks acting like a right-wing extremist will get him elected to the U.S. Senate.
Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos -- also looking to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012 -- are now too liberal for Hasner's camp.
That's why Hasner is going radical.
"This has never been a guy who ran as a moderate and certainly not a guy who governed as a moderate. His voting record is that of a limited-government conservative," Hasner adviser Rick Wilson told the St. Petersburg Times. "This stuff is coming from George LeMieux, who waged a 10-year war against conservatives."
The Times notes this is the self-touting consistent conservative who drove a hybrid car, pushed tax incentives for electric cars, and tried to enact legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
While the votes were being counted in 2004 for Hasner's reelection bid, the Sun-Sentinel noticed the same -- Hasner wasn't the typical right-winger.
"Hasner described himself as a moderate Republican who opposed expanding the state's private-school voucher program until greater accountability measures are added," they wrote.
Apparently Hasner's senior adviser isn't very hip to Hasner's history.
Hasner received an "F" from the Christian Coalition of Florida in his legislative days, and his emissions bill carried a cap-and-trade provision -- as the Palm Beach Post says, that's known as "cap and tax" in the conservative circles.
Wilson claims his candidate's bill actually killed the cap-and-trade provision to spite then-Gov. Charlie Crist -- which is an interesting claim.
"Adam killed the cap-and-trade program George and Charlie tried to ram it through," Wilson told the Post. "Adam has never and will never support a cap-and-trade plan."
Let's hit the book of Florida statutes:
The Legislature finds it is in the best interest of the state to document, to the greatest extent practicable, greenhouse gas emissions and to pursue a market-based emissions abatement program, such as cap and trade, to address greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
That's the first line of the law, which Hasner cosponsored.
But it's whichever way the wind blows for Hasner -- once upon a time, the base of the Republican Party supported the cap-and-trade emissions programs as a free-market approach. Now that the party is done being "taxed to death," Hasner dons the flip-flops.
If anyone needs a political attack ad against Hasner, it's already been made.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.