Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has long been accused of being a lightweight — someone more interested in scoring TV time on "Fox & Friends" than actually dispensing justice back home.
But Bondi has taken superficiality to new heights. Or perhaps depths.
Florida's top cop halted an execution — so that she could host a political fundraiser.
For a campaign without an opponent.
Basically, Bondi told the families of victims who had been grieving for 25 years that they needed to grieve another three weeks so she could break out the champagne flutes and rake in the campaign checks.
Tuesday's event was billed as a "hometown campaign kickoff" at Bondi's waterfront home, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
And, as everyone knows, lethal injection can cast quite a pall on a party. So a few weeks ago, Bondi quietly decided to reschedule … the execution.
You can't make this stuff up. Seriously, it would sound too stupid for fiction.
But not too stupid for Florida.
Personally, I'm opposed to the death penalty. Forget the morality of the debate; I'm just not convinced the state gets it right.
Did you know that Florida has sentenced more than 20 people to die — only to later discover that (oops!) we made a mistake?
Do you really believe we caught every mistake? Come on, most of you don't trust government to get your drivers license right.
I've seen way too many wrongful convictions, involving everything from faked evidence to botched prosecutions, to bet anybody's life on the system.
But here's the thing: Pam Bondi doesn't share my distaste for the death penalty.
She loves it. She even boasts of sending two people to death row back during her days as a prosecutor.
Bondi not only wants to kill folks, she wants to kill 'em faster! That's why she's a supporter of the "Timely Justice Act" — so that the state can execute people more quickly.
Well … unless she has a party to attend.
Pam Bondi trivialized the most consequential action a government can take — ending someone's life.
Her behavior would seem to make her ripe for a challenge.
Fortunately for Bondi, she's a Republican — and Florida's Democrats are so incompetent that they couldn't find their own rear ends if you spotted 'em both cheeks.
Still, Bondi will probably ultimately face someone — thanks partly to this episode.
The attack ad practically writes itself …
It would open with weeping members of the victim's family. Then a shot of the execution chamber. A close-up of the terrified convict strapped to a gurney. Tension builds. More weeping.
Finally, the bat phone rings (red with a blinking light). The warden answers, looks puzzled and says: "Halt the execution? Why?"
Cut to a smirking Bondi actor, who winks at room full of fat-cat, check-cutting special interests and says: "Let's just say I have something more important to do."
The warden shrugs. The weeping intensifies. And the ad fades out with Bondi sipping champagne as dollar bills rain down like confetti.
Bondi must know this is coming. She actually apologized — after she was caught and started taking heat.
I'm not sure how much comfort that brings to Phyllis Novick — the Ohio mother of the woman who was strangled, stabbed and left dead in a South Florida trash heap.
When told by the Times why the execution of her daughter's killer had been delayed, she asked: "What's going on down there?"
What went on, Ms. Novick, was that our attorney general decided she had a party to attend.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun