UPDATED: Rothstein Holding Court at the RNC

And it's not even Model Citizen's latest photo illustration of Ken Jenne as a tortoise. It's the rather extraordinary shot taken at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul below.  

I'll let you have fun identifying the folks in the photo. Remember, Rothstein was a delegate at the convention (another honor he paid for with stolen money). In one of the few noncontentious interviews I ever had with Rothstein, I called him while he was at the convention. He was clearly on cloud nine. This is what he said about Roger Stone (who, yes, is pictured, next to Rothstein, in the photo):

"Roger's like a rock star here. He can't go ten feet without someone yelling his name and asking for a picture with him. It's unbelievable. He's been on all the local TV stations."

He told me during the phone call that he was an official "innovator" for John McCain and said he'd "raised" more than a million dollars for McCain's campaign. He also told me that he was part of a small and honored group that would have lunch with Sarah Palin later that day. From the original post:  

"This is great," Rothstein said of the convention. "You have to be here to understand what's really happening. It's over. The Democrats don't stand a chance. They won't know what hit them."

But it hasn't been all fun -- the protesters have bugged him a little bit. He said one of them accosted him on the street.

"He told me that unless I found Jesus immediately, I would go to hell," Rothstein recalled. "He said I was a fat cat in a fancy suit smoking a cigar."

Rothstein laughed.

"I was just walking down the street smoking a cigar," he said.    

-- Well, Kim Rothstein bodyguard Joe "Meaty" Alu should be getting off his paid vacation today. At least that's according to his Facebook page, posted by a commenter on the blog last night. His photo shows Alu standing next to one of the two $1.5 million Bugattis previously owned by Scott Rothstein. And there was a lot of talk about smoking cigars, sitting by the pool at his $450,000 Rothstein-financed Victoria Park home, and getting tattoos. Here's what he wrote on his wall on Saturday (the page has since been privatized):

"Dam I see a lot of gym and cigars in my future paid vacation till Tuesday!!!!!! If I only still drank LOL."

On February 10, he wrote:

"Shit another paid day off I guess it's off to the gym before my tat."

Whoa. I didn't think Alu was getting paid for his work for Kim Rothstein since her husband's Ponzi scheme imploded. Is he, in fact, being paid? Or did he get another job? These seem pertinent questions, since any money that could possibly be paid to him by Kim or anyone else would have come from the stolen Ponzi funds.

Alu assures me that he was just kidding with his niece and that there are no real paid vacation days, since he gets no pay for his work for Kim Rothstein. "It's my niece; I was just busting her balls. I was just kidding with her. I live off my retirement, you know that. So I'm paid every day in that way." 

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman