Stacy Ritter was interviewed on WFTL 850-AM this morning about the Mutual Benefits scandal -- and she took the time to take a shot at the Pulp host. (Quotes were typed fast, so forgive a typo or two).
"The newspapers are in business to sell ink and if they don't have anything to write about, they'll make it up," she said. "In this case I gotta tell you I've been disturbed by the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and the New Times. Bob Norman from New Times has been on my case and he repeatedly lies about me. But you know what, New Times is good for two things: wrapping fish and finding a good penis enlarger. So I'm not worried about New Times."
Sure, Mayor Ritter, you find a good penis enlarger int the New Times and then discard it like an old shoe. I feel so used right now.
She also took a shot at Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, who said on the air yesterday that Ritter could be facing a "Alaska Senator Ted Stevens type charges." Ritter brought up his homophobic remarks from a couple years ago and said he had an ax to grind with her.
"Jim Naugle doesn't know much," Ritter said. "But he wouldn't know anything about the rules in Tallahassee because he's never served in Tallahassee."
She specified right off the bat that she doesn't have "ownership interest" in the boat. It's owned solely by her husband, Russ Klenet. Okay, that's fine. A tiny point, but we'll cede it to you. It's not your boat that's at issue, it's your vote.
She also repeatedly said that the $100,000 in home renovations was declared on her joint tax return with her husband, as income. Again, fine. But I don't think anybody ever accused her of tax evasion, so it seems a bit off-point.
This is about her taking money from a fraudulent company and voting for an amendment that was specifically designed to help that company skirt state regulation so it could get away with its crimes.
Yet she tried to hang the brunt of her defense on the tax thing. She also repeated that the rules are different in the legislature so she was allowed to vote.
The Legislature has indeed written laws that have basically legalized corruption. Doesn't mean a damn thing to the feds, who are investigating Mutual Benefits. Honest services are a whole different ballgame -- and Ritter knows that.
But she's the victim here, of course.
"I am most concerned about my reputation and quite frankly my husband's reputation," said Ritter, who has a Saturday show on WFTL (explaining somewhat why it was largely a softball interview). "We don't do anything wrong."
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Well then, who are the bad guys?
Other than me, Scott Wyman, and Jim Naugle, Ritter at least conceded that Mutual Benefits was full of crooks. "Nobody is going to defend Mutual Benefits," she said. "These are bad people."
They sure are, but how can the mayor not see that her husband was one of them? He lobbied for the company knowing full well that victims were complaining all over the country that it was a Ponzi scheme and several states had taken action against the company. On top of that, when the SEC shut down Mutual Benefits, Klenet took money from those "bad people" at the firm to help buy another viatical firm.
Oh well, we'll just have to keep watching. And listening.