The Miami Herald's Nirvi Shah and Hannah Sampson have a story today about the Town of Southwest Ranches offer to buy back the swampland it sold the school board. You know, it's the land that the board bought for $4.3 million and later found out was so wet it couldn't be used for the high school, known as LLL, that it had in mind. In the story, Beverly Gallagher, the school board member who pushed the hardest for the purchase, reacts to the gesture by saying:
''This is a very nice offer. They're such nice people.''
Apparently Shah and Sampson forgot to add that Gallagher then burst out in bitter laughter. Because if Bev is serious, she really does need professional help. This is the town that blatantly ripped off her and the school board to unload that land, using sleazy real estate broker Ira Cor as the conduit. Buddy Nevins and Jean-Paul Renaud at the Sentinel clearly showed that Cor misrepresented the land as 80 percent dry to the school board (I was going to highlight that article yesterday until the Wasserstrom charge shook everything up).
The question: Was Gallagher -- who has a financial connection to Neil Sterling, the mega-lobbyist who reps the builder and architect of LLL -- duped or was she a willing participant in the sham? Gallager and Cor, after all, are very good friends. They dine together and Cor, I'm told, loves to buy expensive bottles of wine at the little soirees. I personally think she just went along in her clueless manner, simply happy that her wheels were being greased at every turn by board bigs.
Now we should use some of that grease for the rail that we're going to use to run Cor and Gallagher out of the public domain.
After the jump: The first volley of Wasserstrom coverage and Eric Boehlert on the Herald, Post, and Mark Foley.
-- Speaking of a bad public servants, the Herald and Sentinel wrote up the Keith Wasserstrom arrest. Both efforts were less than auspicous, but to be fair, they were simply the first in what will surely be a barrage of coverage. You can bet that both newspapers are working on future weekenders on this case.
-- Media Matters' Eric Boehlert, formerly of Salon, has an excellent story on-line about the Miami Herald and Mark Foley. Boehlert breaks down Tom Fiedler's rationale for not running the Foley e-mail story in a comprehensive way and lands some well-placed jabs on the Palm Beach Post. Most importantly, he ties the history of less-than-frank Foley coverage to their inaction on the e-mail story (which would have been the biggest scoop in the Herald since Fiedler broke the Gary Hart story almost 20 years ago). It's a must-read(and not just because it includes quotes from the Pulp writer).