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Magic deals, shady pols: Watch both | Video

Orlando MagicJustice SystemCorrine BrownRepublican Party2011 NBA LockoutRichard DeVos

Does the NBA lockout have you blue?

Are you longing to cheer for the Magic?

Well, fear not. You may soon have the chance to cheer for the Magic against one of their weakest opponents — the Central Florida Taxpayers.

It might not be much of a game. The last time the Magic took on the Taxpayers — when Rich DeVos said he wanted taxpayers to "help" him build a new arena to boost his profits — the Taxpayers didn't even put up a fight.

The problem was our defense. We had Buddy Dyer and Rich Crotty in as our guards. And the Magic were able to drive straight to the public coffers.

When the game ended, the scoreboard showed that the Taxpayers ended up "helping" pay for more than $400 million of the $480 million arena.

No wonder DeVos wants to make another deal!

The latest news is that the team is eyeing more city-owned property — this time for an entertainment complex it wants to build near the arena.

On its face, the idea sounds boffo. More jobs. More entertainment options. And a swell of local tax rolls.

Maybe this will be just what downtown needs.

Still, whenever the Magic starts talking about "deals," I cheer with one hand in the air … and the other on my wallet.

(Un-)American Dreams

For today's political update, we visit our state capital, Havana.

Oops. I meant Tallahassee.

I've been getting the location confused ever since Florida leaders started using the public's money to try to overturn the public's vote. It's the kind of thing you'd expect in countries run by dictators or authoritarians.

Anyway, the latest out of Pyongyang has Speaker Dean Cannon trying to decide whether to continue trying to overturn your vote for Fair Districts.

A federal judge told Cannon that, no matter how much he and Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown like the gerrymandering status quo, they have no legal right to overrule the public.

What's the legal term for Duh?

The ruling sent shock waves through Damascus — sorry, Tallahassee — where legislators scrambled for answers.

Obviously, their first instinct was to blame the ruling on a liberal activist judge who was "legislating from the bench."

But that was hard to do when Judge Ursula Ungaro was first put on the bench by Republican Gov. Bob Martinez — and then later promoted by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

So now everyone in Riyadh is wondering how they can justify spending even more of the people's money against them.

Said a spokeswoman for Cannon: "Speaker Cannon is in the process of reviewing the judge's order and determining whether further action is appropriate."

Allow me to help you, Mr. Speaker: It's not appropriate. It never was.

You were wrong to fight Fair Districts in the first place. You were wrong to try to overturn your constituents' vote.

And you set new standards for wrong when you decided to use taxpayer money — in a cash-strapped state, no less — to further your political goals.

You don't have to agree with the overwhelming majority — 63 percent — of Floridians who supported this ballot measure. But as long as you're a leader in this country, you should respect them.

The last word

Before Monday's GOP debate, the Democrats' national leader, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, offered a "prebuttal" … which has to be the most annoying word — and concept — in all of American politics. The fact that it's now standard procedure for both parties to rebut what they think someone else will say before they actually say it speaks volumes about the current level of discourse in this country.

smaxwell@tribune.com or 407-420-6141

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Orlando MagicJustice SystemCorrine BrownRepublican Party2011 NBA LockoutRichard DeVos
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