For the month of July, Slate.com is promising to blog about Florida for a month under the banner "Oh #Florida." The goal? To try to explain "why it’s both the Land of Flowers and the Land of Face-Eating Zombies."
So far, entries include a definition for the word "cracker" as it pertains to both Florida and the Trayvon Martin case, the perils of driving here, a mention about the fact that we're the lightening capital of the United States and some discussion of our wacky politicians, including wildlife commissioner “Alligator” Ron Bergeron. So far, most of the entries are reading a little like a "guess you had to be there" story. We hope they start to dig up some real dirt on Florida, because so far most of it is pretty vanilla stuff.
We have a few "Oh, #Florida" stories of our own, which we've gathered up over the years. Our take is a little darker than the one Slate has taken with its "Oh #Florida" blog. For instance, did you hear the one about the KKK Imperial Wizard from Edgewood who once suggested to the Sentinel that police should belong to the Klan – all of the discipline and order is good for officers and that being in the Klan "makes them a better cop." Then there was the one where former House Speaker Chris Dorworth was caught trying to pass off a bit of legislation written by shady political organization the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as his own. Like a lot of politicians, Dorworth was just being a good corporate mouthpiece and putting the bill in front of his colleagues for consideration – unlike a lot of his colleagues, he didn't think to take the "copyright ALEC" line off the very end of the bill. D'oh!
We have the entire Jim Greer/Republican Party of Florida clusterfuck that illustrates just how ugly and crooked politics can get in the Sunshine State, the thing with the former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll who was accused of engaging in an untoward lesbian affair with an aide then responded by telling the media that women who "look like me" don't engage in those kinds of affairs. Oh, here's another good one: former state Rep. Scott Randolph was once chastised by Florida Republicans for uttering the word "uterus" on the House floor and causing the boy pages to blush – the non-scandal made national news, causing pretty much the whole enlightened world to groan. Oh #Florida, indeed.