In today's edition of the Friday files, we're looking at everything from double standards to strange public-relations strategies — with a couple of gator bites thrown in for good measure.
•Chomp, die. Did you see where trappers tracked down and killed the alligator that they think bit the swimmer in Lake Mary Jane? Listen, I'm not the kind of guy you'll find leading a PETA parade, but what exactly did this alligator do to deserve to be killed? According to reports, it sounds as if he was minding his own gator business until somebody swam into him. If I woke up to find somebody freestyling on my face, I'd probably bite 'im too.
Flexible principles. During the weekend, Dean Cannon and other Republican legislators said they didn't think it was necessary to enact a constitutional ban on oil drilling in the Gulf — because it's already prohibited by state law. Funny, I don't recall any of them making the same argument when the topic was gay marriage.
We're always messy! Tourism officials in the Keys are furious at national broadcast media for televising reports about tar balls related to the oil spill washing up on the beaches. Their contention: These tar balls aren't spill-related — we have them all the time! Yeah, that should get folks flocking back to town.
Shifting gears. Republican Marco Rubio has run one of the most impressive campaigns of the year, going from upstart to frontrunner in a matter of months. The question now is whether his campaign maestros know how to run a campaign that appeals to anyone other than the far right. Rubio is still churning out press releases touting his support from folks such as Liz Cheney — which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Rubio already has the Republican base locked up. Heck, if staunch conservatives were any more smitten with Rubio, he would have to take out a restraining order. What he needs now is to draw some moderates away from independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Mom, who? Speaking of Meek, the Dems' leading Senate contender is taking some deserved heat for disclosures that, as a congressman, he tried to get tax money for a project that also happened to have his mom on the payroll. Meek's defense seems to be that he didn't know, telling the Miami Herald at one point: "There are things that your mother hasn't told you." Um, yeah, like how much she spent at Stein Mart last week. Or how many nickels she lost in her last bridge game. But come on, Congressman. If your mom is getting tens of thousands of dollars from the same guy for whom you're trying to snag earmark money, file that one in the Things-I-Should-Know column.
Eclipse of logic? A story in Thursday's paper noted that legislators neglected to fund the state's 5-year-old solar-energy incentive program. Asked whether Gov. Charlie Crist might ask lawmakers to take up the matter in the special session, the governor's office responded that they might be too busy talking about oil drilling and ways to promote renewable resources. Think about that for a minute.
Cities ahoy! I notice that the folks eager to build houses in east Orange County are trying to re-brand their would-be community as simply "Innovation." You know, if this naming trend keeps up — Innovation, Celebration, Harmony, Destiny — Central Florida is going to sound more like a fleet of cruise ships than a place to live.
Scott Maxwell, who wouldn't mind setting sail aboard the Relaxation or S.S. Libation this weekend either, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-6141.
From the Friday files: Double standards, weird PR and gator bites
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