Last week, the Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith failed to proofread his “Winner and Loser of the Week in Florida Politics” column, in which he accidentally(?) named Carlos “Historical Footnote” Beruff a “winner” of the week after spending $31.40 per vote to achieve exactly nothing.
In light of the fact that his column is an invaluable source of water-cooler talk across the state of Florida, I want to help him do a better job of delivering exactly the kind of fodder the political class in Tallahassee has come to expect from him. The following individuals are hereby nominated by The Capitolist as potential finalists for Smith’s prestigious weekly awards:
THE CAPITOLIST’s NOMINEE FOR WINNER OF THE WEEK: Governor Rick Scott – As one of the governor’s former advisors, I can tell you that Rick Scott never wanted to see his state clobbered by a hurricane. But, being governor of Florida for more than six years without a hurricane coming through is like training for years to become an elite soldier without ever getting the chance to put your skills to the test in a real battle. With Hermine, Scott has risen to the occasion, working tirelessly over the past week to help clean up efforts, coordinate the response, and has done everything in his power to restore Floridians who were impacted by the storm. While some criticized both the governor and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for a communications spat that briefly erupted earlier in the week, both will be judged on how they responded to the crisis. And Rick Scott is now in his element, wearing blue jeans, rolling up his sleeves, and working hard (as he always does) to get the state’s capital city back on its feet.
THE CAPITOLIST’s NOMINEE FOR LOSER OF THE WEEK : Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood – Apparently Sheriff Wood thinks it’s OK for government employees to use expensive county equipment to make their lives a little more comfortable. At least two of the highest-ranking members of Wood’s command staff believe their own personal comfort is more important than pubic safety. These VIP law enforcement officers took county-owned portable generators to their private homes, rather than putting those generators to work powering lights at busy intersections, or ice machines serving the underprivileged, or fans, lights and air conditioning units for the elderly. In an email to The Capitolist, the sheriff’s office defended the decision, citing family concerns over public safety.
The scandal quickly became the biggest story we’ve ever published in our short three months on The Capitolist, which doesn’t bode well for Wood. And even worse for him, the story has started to reach critical mass, with Tallahassee residents panning his explanation on social media sites like Facebook, which has fueled most of the traffc we’ve gotten over the past 48 hours. In fact, over two days, the traffic to the story has only grown, outpacing yesterday when it first broke and was even covered by WFLA radio host Preston Scott (Hour 2 of the program).