Today we look at soaring parking rates and Charlie Crist's latest flip-flop — this time on gay adoption.
But first: Quick, somebody fetch the B-12!
Because Dr. Maxwell has officially diagnosed the governor's race as anemic.
Check out the symptoms:
The new front-runner is a guy whose claim to fame is his connection to the biggest Medicare fraud case in American history.
He's whupping up on the career hack the Republicans used to worship.
And, as big of a mess as both of these Republicans are, both of them are leading the lead Democrat, who has struggled to get her own party's supporters enthused, much less anyone else.
If this field of "front-runners" were any weaker, we'd need the defibrillators.
Overall, the message seems to be that Floridians are ready for change — and aren't too particular about what kind.
How else to explain Republican Rick Scott — the man ousted from a health-care company fined more than $1 billion for defrauding taxpayers — having a 13-point lead over establishment darling Bill McCollum?
Seriously: This dude's company stole from you. And yet primary voters seem more smitten with his tough-on-immigrants talk and "Let's get to work" catch phrases than his actual track record. (Welcome to modern politics.)
Even the blessing of GOP messiah Jeb Bush hasn't helped McCollum much.
It all looks pretty pathetic for the GOP — until you realize that every single person I just mentioned is beating Democrat Alex Sink in the polls. (And that probably includes Jeb … who's not running.)
Sink's prospects may only worsen, now that former Democrat-turned-indie Bud Chiles (son of former Gov. Lawton) is in the race.
In general, the cast of underwhelming characters looks better suited for a VH1 reality show than a major political race. Let's hope there are some major improvements to the plot line before the series finale.
Adopting new belief
Back when Charlie Crist was a reliable Republican, he opposed gay adoption.
Now that he's a liberated indie, he has apparently changed his mind.
In an interview with Time this week, Charlie said: "I think it's important that, you know, you have a live-and-let-live attitude as it regards adoption. I think probably the best decision-maker would be a judge."
Even the interviewer seemed confused — perhaps because Crist is, at this very moment, running a state that is trying to tear apart two happy families, simply because the would-be parents are gay.
In these two cases, judges did decide that living with these parents was in the best interest of the kids. But the state of Florida is still fighting.
Listen, Charlie. We all know that you're a pandering flip-flopper who would turn tail on your own wife if you thought it'd score ya two extra points in the polls.
What we're asking now is that you at least try to make your flops convincing.
Because — news flash — you're governor! If you want to change Florida's antiquated discriminatory laws, get off your constantly campaigning duff and start trying to do so.
Otherwise, this latest position shift looks as disingenuous as it probably is.
Park the price boost
And finally, a note about Orlando's desire to jack up the price of arena parking to $20:
What a crock.
I'm sure there are more eloquent ways I could express myself. But I'm not sure any of them do this idea the same justice.
Remember, after all, that one of the many shady sales pitches for this new arena was that it would provide affordable entertainment for the little people.
Mayor Buddy Dyer would talk about $5 tickets to NBA games when they were trying to con the plebeians into handing over their taxes at the request of a billionaire team owner.
It probably wouldn't have helped the sales pitch much to mention that you might have to spend $20 to use your $5 ticket — especially in a low-wage tourism-based town, where it takes many workers two or three hours to make that much.
Perhaps if our mayoral negotiators had driven a harder bargain on behalf of taxpayers, the way leaders in other towns did, the Magic would have actually paid a fair share for the building it was demanding. Local governments wouldn't be so strapped for cash today.
And you wouldn't be asked to pay so much for your affordable entertainment.
Dr. Maxwell can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-6141.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun