OK, so Ali vs. Foreman it was not.
In the much-ballyhooed debate between John Mica and Sandy Adams Tuesday, no one delivered a knockout.
Instead, the two incumbent Republican members delivered a constant barrage of jabs before the Tiger Bay political club at the downtown Sheraton.
Forget the "Rumble in the Jungle." This was more like: "Soft punchin' over a catered luncheon."
Still, the scorecard ultimately favored Mica, as the veteran congressman offered more specifics — both in terms of answers and what he'd accomplished.
For instance, one of the very first questions was whether either candidate would support raising the age for Social Security at some point.
Mica offered a straight-up "yes."
Adams, on the other hand, did more sidestepping than a Texas line dancer, saying among other things: "we need to have a debate…"
Um, you were actually at a debate, congresswoman. The moderator even pointed that out.
The best Adams could do was to concede that raising the age "may happen" some time.
That's weak — especially for a candidate who keeps talking about the need to make "tough choices" in tackling the deficit.
Instead, the freshman Adams tried to center her case on the simple fact that she hasn't been in Washington while problems accrued. "He was," she said of Mica time and again.
Adams was actually at her best when talking about her own life story as a former sheriff's deputy and single mom.
Still, Mica outshone his opponent by focusing on the things he'd actually accomplished.
His biggest flaw may have been sounding overly aggressive toward Adams — and repeatedly referring to himself in the third person. ("John Mica did this," and "John Mica did that.") Scott Maxwell thinks that last part is weird.
Still, I don't count Adams out. Tea Partiers have surprised veterans in other races. And Adams has no quit in her. She should try backing up that spunk with concrete answers and accomplishments … so says Scott Maxwell.
Last week, the governor's office confirmed what the Sentinel exposed — that Workforce Central Florida appears to have improperly funneled $50,000 to myregion.org. The inspector general questioned both Workforce's approval process and "value" of the services the agency got from this chamber-of-commerce-connected group. The end result? No on one was punished. And taxpayers will not be reimbursed. That, my friends, is justice … Florida-style.
Costly legal bills
More maddening and costly was Orlando's legal fight with the sidewalk-chalk protestor. It turns out, the city paid outside law firms $155,363 to handle — and lose — the lawsuit.
Yes, the city has 17 full-time attorneys. Yet Mayor Buddy Dyer decided to bring in additional lawyers at a cost to taxpayers of up to $500 an hour.
Crikey, Buddy. I know tons of lawyers who could lose for a lot less.
More important, this arrest never should have happened. Chalk on the sidewalk isn't illegal — as evidenced by the fact that Buddy himself has encouraged residents to chalk away in the past.
I made that point right after the arrest. Apparently the judge appreciated the point because he mentioned it in his ruling when describing the arrest as unconstitutional.
I've long said chalk messages that tick you off are problems for garden hoses — not jail cells.
Hoses are also $155,338 cheaper.
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