So Broward County voters chose John F. Kerry over George W. Bush by a 2-to-1 margin. Tailpipe can already visualize the bumper stickers that, in a year or two, will start to appear on all the hardy little hybrid cars around Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, after the shit really starts to hit the Bush administration fan: "Don't blame me. I'm from Broward County."
But a look at the record shows that not only was the county's support for Kerry lukewarm (less than the Gore turnout four years ago) but that it was as knee-jerk as a migration of lemmings.
In every county-level and state-level election in Broward, the candidate who raised the most money won, no matter what their qualifications or party affiliation. Incoming County Commissioner Lois Wexler, incoming Property Appraiser Lori Nance Parrish, incoming School Board members Maureen S. Dinnen and Robin Bartleman, and incoming state Sen. Nan H. Rich -- all the moneybags hopefuls won in 2004.
Does cash buy votes in Broward County? Take a look at the close Florida House District 97 race between Republican Susan K. Goldstein and Democrat Barbara Herrera-Hill. Together, the two candidates raised roughly $225,000 in campaign contributions. In the end, Goldstein raised 51 percent of that money and just so happened to garner, in Florida's Democratic stronghold, 51 percent of the vote.
To hell with party affiliation. Show me some green.
Die, Liza, Die
Fort Lauderdale artist Liza Trainer and her group of film students have created an online collection of short films called Ted-E Adventures (see "Die, Ted-E, Die," Trevor Aaronson, February 12). The dark, tongue-in-cheek film shorts depict the brutal and often bloody slaying of a cuddly little teddy bear. Ted-E has been decapitated, put in a blender, run over by a semi, and shot pointblank by a 9mm handgun.
But on November 7, while working on a a full-length movie project titled Stick to What You Know at her Fort Lauderdale studio, Trainer suddenly became the target of all that hostility. Jesse Nieves, a laid-back 23-year-old who often wears a portable USB hard drive around his neck, started arguing with Trainer about the workload. He got in her face, Trainer told the 'Pipe, and she pushed him back.
That's when Nieves allegedly picked up a large metal pipe and struck Trainer. She attempted to fight back. Nieves bit her in the chest, then allegedly hit her again with the pipe. Trainer fell. Nieves stood above her, striking her repeatedly, according to a police report.
He stopped. "Jesse was panting," Trainer says. "It was like he'd just run a marathon." Trainer then ran to a phone and called 911. Nieves faces a charge of aggravated battery. Trainer, bloody and exhausted, was treated at Broward General Medical Center for bite wounds and lacerations to the head.
"He was trying to kill me," Trainer says.
Fortunately, unlike poor, often-killed little Ted-E, Trainer survived.
Anyone who ever wanted to penetrate the upper crust of Palm Beach -- with a machete, say -- will at least catch a glimpse next Halloween. That is, if all goes well for Bloody Social, the first slasher flick we know of that is set in the billionaire-laden beach burg. The movie (in film industry terms, it's "in development") is the brainchild of Warrington Gillette III, who ravaged a summer camp as Jason in Friday the 13th Part II. In real life, Gillette watched helplessly two years ago as his father, Palm Beach millionaire Francis Warrington Gillet Jr. , died at age 71.
The coroner listed heart problems as the cause of death, but Warrington Gillette III (the son prefers the spelling of the name that evokes a sharper, more marketable edge) believes his socialite stepmother was involved. According to him, Elesabeth Ingalls Gillet took up with a younger Cuban lover shortly before his father's death. Gillette III says she refused to allow an autopsy on his father's body, then withheld virtually all property and money from her husband's kids ("He's not going to get anything," the stepmom told the New York Daily News, referring to Gillette III in the classically high-handed language of a rich movie stepmother) and neglected to provide a headstone for her dead husband. When New Times called her, a woman with a twangy Southern accent picked up the phone at Gillet's number and declined an interview on behalf of the lady of the house, huffing to the 'Pipe: "I can tell you she won't have anything to do with it." Just the kind of behavior that, in all the movies that Tailpipe has seen, invites ghastly Technicolor retribution.
In fact, Jason's on the case. Watch out, folks. "I'm on a journey for justice," Gillette III says.