-- Good Jim reared his head in the Miami Herald today. Todd Wright quotes Mayor Jim Naugle:
"I think the ugliest side of local politics are the developers and vendors give thousands of dollars to candidates. For that money they get access. If you got a major contributor, you are going to return that phone call quicker than most."
That's the thing about Naugle. He really means that and, as far as his relationship to the developer/lobbyist crowd, he's as clean a politico as there is in South Florida. Something to be said for that. The eternal question: Does Good Jim outweight Bad Jim?
(By the way, to find that Smirking Chimp link, I searched for "naugle" and "schlub" so I could find that now-famous housing quote. Well, only a few things came up because Naugle used the word "schlock," which, as a few commentators note, is a total mis-use of the language. C'mon Naugle, if you're going to use Yiddish in your hate speech, use it correctly. It's a schlub sitting on the sofa drinking beer, not a schlock).
Hey, at least he's got a good side. I haven't seen a positive thing from Mayor Mara Giulianti. Ever. Naturally, she opposed Peter Bober's less-than-robust attempt to take some of the money out of politics. She argued that wealthy candidates will still be able to put unlimited cash in their campaigns and will therefore have an unfair advantage. She's right. Shouldn't a candidate like Mara, who is totally sold out to developers and lobbyists, be able to raise as much money from special interests as a some schlub can take from his own bank account?
"No one up here is going to sell their soul for $500," Wright quotes her. "If you can be bought for $500 then you can be bought for $200."
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What we love about Mara is that she sold her soul for much, much more than that.
-- Put this story from the Herald's Wilfredo Cancio Isla in the "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" file. Which one are they to you?
-- This clear-eyed story by Linda Kleindienst and Mark Hollis in the Sentinel is a lesson to all reporters: Never overestimate human nature, especially when it comes to humans in powerful positions. It often sinks to levels that seem unfathomable.