Wednesday, September 06, 2006


New poems – like, new poems by meonline at Edmund Hardy’s excellent Intercapillary Space. Check ‘em out.
Today was a bleary, awful, rainy day, made worse by the fact that I’m nursing the remnants of a pretty bad cold. It was also primary election day down here in the land of the butterfly ballot. When I went by to cast my electronic vote into what for all I know is an electronic void, I had the entire polling place to myself, & about 7 enthusiastic poll-workers offering to help me with every move. (Overall, turnout looks very low for this primary – maybe around 10%.)

Few surprises in the results so far. God’s little gift to satirists, Katherine Harris (the woman voted “most responsible for the recount debacle of 2000,” the political theorist who recently told a Baptist magazine that separation of church and state is “a lie,” and the devout Christian whose statement that “unless you’re electing Christians, you’re electing sin” might not go down too well with Florida’s Jewish community) will be the Republican candidate for US Senate. Look forward to some bigtime humiliation for Her of the Tight Skirts come November. No doubt she’ll start a political blog afterwards.

Charlie Crist, apparatchik of the Jeb Bush administration, has won the Republican nomination for governor, in a primary race which amounted to two men claiming “No, I’m more like Jeb than you are!” Does one get extra points for having a junkie daughter or a wife who tries to smuggle Parisian binge-purchases thru customs? (Both true facts about our Jebbie – not that you’ll hear much about them when our doughboy in Tallahassee starts up his presidential bid in 2012 – or even 2008.) The sad fact is that Crist is probably going to win the general election: for some inexplicable reason, Floridians actually seem to like their governor, tho what he’s done for the state amounts to the same old Republican screwing of the poor & favoring of the privileged. Just that Bush charisma, I guess.

My favorite race actually seems to be working out the way I wanted it to. That’s the Democratic primary for State Senate, district 30, where Irving “Let Irv Serve” Slosberg has been assiduously slinging mud at the pretty innocuous Ted Deutch for the last four months. Irv is – how do I say this? – a real piece of work. He’s a former Chicago cabbie (points in his favor) who moved down here & got really rich; in 1996 he switched parties & became a Democrat so he could run for State House in this largely democratic district. He’s done some good things in office, I understand, mostly having to do with highway safety.

But Irv’s really gone off the rails in the last year or two. In preparation for the hurricane season, he’s set up a fleet of refrigerated trucks stocked with ice and frozen dinners – the SEMA, he calls it – Slosberg Emergency Management Agency. His campaign has involved an endless string of free movies & free meals snowed down at Irv’s expense upon every retirement community in sight. The man’s a mountebank with only the most tenuous grasp upon reality, & a nasty habit of making up facts & figures off the top of his head. One figure that should give one pause: he’s spent over a million bucks out of his own pocket on this campaign, making it probably the most expensive State Senate campaign in US history.

Irv's lied about his own voting record in the State House; he's lied about his own past party affiliations; he's lied about his opponent's past political involvements. And he's done it in an endless stream of slick but grammatically inept fliers that have been clogging up my mailbox for weeks now.

The latest results show Irv about 10 points behind Ted Deutch, & I fully expect to check the finals tomorrow & find out that – for once – money hasn't won an election, even in this our post-democratic polity.


Su said...

Do you think Jeb might be a VP candidate in '08 before his 2012 bid for President? I get the impression this is in the works.

Front page of the Palm Beach Post showed pics of both Davis and Crist in similar poses. November ought to be interesting: run of the premature-gray guys. At least 1/2 of Florida's population will feel represented. Maybe there should be a 'gray' party in FL. They can all be gray on issues and gray on top. Eventually, they'll just blend in with the gray landscape of concrete walls and highways and pavement faded by the sun.

Did the Democratic candidates for Governor ever get a debate on TV? It was scheduled during Ernesto and I wasn't sure if it was rescheduled in time.

P.S. - Irv's a decent-enough fella - and no dummy. He's just tacky, that's all.

Mark Scroggins said...

Nah, Su, I'll agree with the "tacky" bit, but nothing can convince me -- after the barrage of fliers I got over the past few weeks, chock full of distortions, guilt by associations, & outright lies -- that he's "decent enough." Maybe if I'd been there yesterday at Century Village where he was handing out free umbrellas to voters... He's one of those guys who if he lived in the 19th century, would be buying you drinks if you promised to vote for him. I mean, Jeez, what kind of whack job spends almost $3 million of his own money to buy a seat in the friggin' FLORIDA SENATE, where everybody knows that anything that gets put forward by ANY Democrat gets struck down by the GOP majority on sheer principle?

Check out the press archive on Ted Deutch's website for further evidence of Irv's "decency."

Or, if you have any investment whatsoever in antitrust issues, check out the "Irv Lowers Gas Prices" link on -- a hare-brained proposal that would leave us at the mercy of 2 or 3 different gas station chains.

Ooh, that turned into a rant... read the poems...

Brian said...

Man, I'm just glad I don't have to hear that damned "Let Irv Serve" song on the radio anymore.

Su said...

Damn, I need to change my district. I could've used a new umbrella.

I suppose I should have been clearer: Irv's a decent enough fella for a tacky politician. Back in the day, he was a nice guy to some folks I knew. His political agenda seems to have changed all that though. Back then (the 80s maybe), he didn't seem to want to be thanked or acknowledged for what he'd done. For this reason, I thought the "Irv saved us from starving to death after Hurricane Wilma" ads were pretty funny.

I find it really hard to vote in Florida. It's difficult to see through all the smearing and (as Brian noted) bad ads. No one seems to really want to talk about the issues - just name that they align with so-and-so on such-and-such. I always feel like I'm just there choosing (cliche alert) the lesser of two evils.

I did read the poems. Haven't I read a version of 'The spillage of sunlight...' before?

Amy said...

It's hard to find a decent politician, maybe impossible. Former politicians OCCASIONALLY turn out all right, and first-time candidates are sometimes okay, but I think the only person who ever managed to be decent WHILE in office was Paul Wellstone. And even he had his shaky moments. And now he's dead. So see what that gets you!