In an impressive display of political moxie, our very own ACLU Central Chapter voted 12-0 Nov. 20 to impeach President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
So what, you ask? A valid question. But here’s why it could be significant: The vote, says Central Chapter president George Crossley, was inspired by a Southern California chapter that did the same thing over the objections of the national ACLU. That makes Central Florida only the second chapter in the country to vote to impeach Bush. Crossley hopes to send a message to the state organization, and ultimately up the chain to the national folks, to grow a backbone and start working toward impeachment.
The issue hasn’t come up nationally, he says, because ACLU bigwigs see it as a losing battle without Republican support. Crossley says that’s a political game. “My argument was that let’s not talk about the politics of the situation. Let’s look at the facts. Do the facts warrant impeachment?”
Those facts, as our local ACLU sees them, involve domestic spying, torture, denying arrested people access to the legal system and lying about the reasons for going to war.
“Did Bush and Cheney violate the Constitution in the last seven years? The answer is yes,” Crossley says.
He plans to deliver the Central Chapter’s articles of impeachment to the state ACLU for them to vote on Jan. 5. Should be interesting.
We had all but given up hope for mayoral candidate Tim Adams’ Buddy Dyer–baiting campaign, which had been nipped before it could bud by the city. The powers that determine who is and isn’t eligible to run declared recently that Adams’ power bill did not substantiate his residence within city limits for the required amount of time.
But wait! Adams says he’s resided at his current address on Millenia Boulevard since December 2006. He also says that his interpretation of the rules indicates he only has to have lived at that address since Jan. 18 to qualify. So there.
“The city’s bluffing,” Adams tells us. “They know they’re wrong.”
In order to prove the city’s general wrongness, Adams and his lawyer, Fred O’Neal, filed a complaint Nov. 21. Yep, that’s the same Fred O’Neal who represented qualified mayoral candidate Ken Mulvaney in 2004 and has more than once been referred to as “Doug Guetzloe’s lawyer.” Well, nobody’s perfect.
We called up city clerk Alana Brenner and she helpfully pointed us to the qualifying forms on the Internets, where she notes that the cutoff was bumped up to that “magic date” of Jan. 18 back in July because the election itself was moved up to Jan. 29, 2008. She also acknowledged that if Adams can prove his residential claim, he could still be in the running.
Adams left us with this interesting tidbit: “Buddy doesn’t live in his house.”
Which is technically true, says city spokeswoman Heather Allebaugh. Dyer is staying in a house around the corner while his estate is being remodeled. Allebaugh also produced a list of actual documents considered by the city in making their decision to boot Adams, including a $40 power bill (too cheap!) from August 2007 under the name Aretha Adams, and assorted other bits that don’t look too good for Adams’ case. Still, we’d vote for him.
So let’s get this straight: Michael McCoy has resigned as Orlando police chief to become Orange County’s public safety director. That position is being vacated by Jerry Demings, who is also running for Orange County sheriff next year. Buddy Dyer appointed Val Demings, Jerry’s wife, to take McCoy’s old job. Hmm.
If you need to cry a little, go ahead: Orlando magazine editor and publisher Jim Clark is leaving his post.
For the past seven years, Clark has helmed the monthly lifestyle glossy, but it’s his column that we’ll miss the most. In every issue, Clark would rant about local politics, the media or whatever else came to mind. He did so authoritatively and insightfully, sounding sort of how we imagine we’d sound if we grew up, donned a suit and tie, and traded the Jim Beam for $30-a-shot scotch.
Fortunately, the 60-year-old Clark – who, we note, taught an American history class at the University of Central Florida a decade ago that a staff writer at this very publication got an “A” in – isn’t retiring. “We’re going to go start some magazines,” he says.
Clark says his new lifestyle mags should be up and running by May. And although they sound an awful lot like competitors to his former employer, he says there’s nothing scandalous about his departure. It was simply time for something new.
Clark dedicated his last column to trashing state attorney Lawson Lamar and the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation over our recent, um, unpleasantness. An excerpt: “The MBI says its efforts have closed adult movie theaters in Orlando. Apparently, absolutely nobody in Lamar’s office or at the MBI has heard of video disks and cable television. People don’t need to go to adult movie theaters anymore, Lawson. The MBI also claims victory in battling advertising for prostitution. Here again, a lack of knowledge is holding back the MBI and Lamar. The prostitutes have discovered the Internet, which is why they don’t do as much advertising in phone books and newspapers. Next, Lamar and the MBI will be claiming victory in their fight to reduce stagecoach robberies and Prohibition violations.”
We’ll miss ya, Jim.
Between bouts of throwing up turkey and cranberry sauce this week in order to achieve our perfect gay-model heroin chic, a press release knocked on our bathroom door. Sure, it would have been nice if it had been Janice Dickinson -– the self-proclaimed “original supermodel” drunk whose chemically engineered face could botulize an entire Third World nation. But instead it was just a little electronic communiqué involving her personage and the funniest gay underwear picture we’ve ever seen.
Gay Orlando couple Shaun McCarron (New Orleans heritage, son of a real estate “mogul,” UCF master’s degree, buns) and Paul Anderson (religious North Dakota upbringing, former Disney intern, “international” model, licensed massage therapist, buns) are set to take Oxygen Network’s The Janice Dickinson Show by push-up package storm at 10 p.m. Dec. 4, which is a cause for civic pride, especially when you consider that they’re for gay marriage (they signed a petition at www.millionformarriage.org), are members of several gay organizations, hate breast cancer and care about animals (Paul supports PETA!).
Will Janice force them into penis enlargements or cosmetic eyebrow arches? Will Paul and Shaun fight and embarrass all of gay America? Will Orlando suffocate under the pressure of its own Botoxed ridiculousness? Tune in and find out.
This week’s report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes and Bob Whitby.firstname.lastname@example.org