The Tribune Co.'s Tallahassee team, Linda Kleindienst and Jason Garcia, tell us of the shameless political smear being used against U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, who is vying against Rod Smith in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Seems some unsavory folk are spreading the information that Davis missed a July 20 vote to support Israel in its war in Lebanon. Two Jewish members of Congress, Robert Wexler and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have come to Davis's aid. The latter is quoted: "This shady group has decided to scare Jewish voters in South Florida and distract them from the main issues in the campaign because their candidate is faltering in the polls."
The culprit is a group called "Florida's Working Families," which has also issued a mailer with a photograph of Davis next to a picture of bombing carnage. Who's behind Florida's Working Families? Big Sugar and Big Citrus, which are both supporting Smith.
Yes, it's utterly disgusting. And it should help knock the charlatan Rod Smith -- who recently began putting out a series of horribly contrived TV ads (overheard in a bar while one was being shown: "Well, this guy is as full of shit as the rest of them") -- out of the race. The story was actually broken by the St. Pete Times yesterday and the Herald's Beth Reinhard and Gary Fineout also followed it today.
Funny, because Reinhard was initially on the Davis-bashing bandwagon for the very same meaningless missed vote. It was pointed out in the Pulp here. In her July 22 column, Reinhard played right into the nonsense. She wrote:
Remember Stuttering John, the verbally challenged comic on the Howard Stern show who would put celebrities on the spot with painfully blunt questions?
Too bad he's not moderating tonight's debate in Fort Lauderdale between the two leading Democratic contenders for governor.
A question he could toss at U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, who has racked up the second-worst voting record in Congress since he started running for governor: Why did you miss the vote Thursday condemning the attacks against Israel?
A reporter can dress up a story, or column, any way he or she likes. It's bad instincts that are hard to hide.
More coverage highlights:
-- Irv Slosberg strikes again. As Josh Hafenbrack reports, the state rep (and little substanceless nutball) is creating his own version of FEMA out of the million dollars-plus he's put into his own ridiculous campaign. George Bennett in the Palm Beach Post also has a version worth reading.
-- The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo reports on a threat to Broward County's gambling industry. It has to do with fraud allegations in the petition process for the slots initiative and it's one of those things that's going to take a very long while in the courts. Gambling honcho Dan Adkins told Caputo he's not overly concerned: ''We're absolutely planning on going forward. We believe there's a constitutional amendment on the books, there's a statue on the books. ... We feel the voters have spoken and the issue is properly on the books in the state of Florida.''
Italics added. There's typos and there's really funny typos. That's a really funny one, as dim bulbs of all stripes actually believe the word statute is "statue." One wonders, though, is Caputo simply quoting Adkins phonetically -- and correctly? Is Adkins one of those dim bulbs. We may never know.
Here's another one, from the Sun-Sentinel. In Ted Hutton's story on how much Jeffrey Loria and Joe Girardi really do love each other, he writes:
"Three hours later Loria was setting directly behind the Marlins' dugout at RFK Stadium at the start of the game."
Who's copy editing this shit, L'il Abner?
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-- The lede from Jennifer Mooney Piedra's quickee on a convenience store robbery:
"A customer at a Fort Lauderdale convenience store repeatedly stabbed the store clerk Monday night, but he is expected to live, police said."
-- The Herald's Ashley Fantz follows the Daily Business Review story about the FTAA video showing police gloating over shooting protesters with rubber bullets. Nice job, but when is this going to get national attention? It's gonna make for great TV.