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Dan Webster’s early retirement?

Democrat Shayan Modarres makes a play for Webster's congressional seat



Late retirement

Over the past few months, we’ve found ourselves drunk at “events” and accidentally scraping elbows with a young, clearly politically minded, well-appointed man-with-entourage, and it turns out that said beefcake is actually a Democratic contender for an almost unwinnable U.S. Congress seat: that of professional mime (meaning he never says anything) U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, the oafish Republican from Winter Garden. Ladies and gentleman, welcome Shayan Modarres, who, coincidentally, assisted Trayvon Martin’s family’s legal team because he’s a legal eagle with a mind for equality.

You may recall that it was Webster who ousted Congressman Alan Grayson a few years back (only to allow him to rise from the dead when the districts were redrawn two years later) because of crazy old white people screaming at Obamacare town halls. Webster also narrowly defeated Democrat Val Demings two years ago for no reason we can imagine other than the fact that she is African-American and we’re talking Lake County. Val’s fine; she’ll be Orange County mayor soon.

But Modarres, who, by most standards, is a newbie and a long shot, isn’t letting his chances stop him from making some whimsical political inroads. On May 8, Modarres is planning on holding a public press conference at City Hall in Winter Garden at 10 a.m., followed by a private soiree downtown later that evening. The theme: “You’re invited to Daniel Webster’s retirement party!” Modarres points to the fact that Webster has never actually passed a bill, he’s only co-sponsored two bills, and he voted down the Affordable Care Act with his tea-party brethren 52 times.

But it’s worse than that. When Webster was in the Florida Legislature, he pushed for a bill that would only allow women to divorce when adultery is involved, with no such limitations for men. He’s a keeper.

Anyway, to honor Webster’s (urged) retirement, Modarres has tweeted Webster an invite, and promises to present him with gifts like donut holes (because of the ACA repeal attempts) and a fishing pole for taking money away from the SNAP food assistance program – fun stuff.

“I heard he likes to play Sudoku and read the Bible,” Modarres says, so likely those will be there, too.

As for himself, Modarres apparently wants to retain some level of seriousness about his positions, leaning left and not apologizing.

“I think the work I did on the Trayvon Martin case and fighting for equal justice, this is the same fight on a bigger scale,” he says. “It’s just widening the net to include women’s rights, immigration, the LGBT community – fighting for justice on every level.”

“It’s going to be a very positive campaign,” he says.


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