Alex Sink and Rick Scott: The Lost Debate

Categories: Broward News

People are trying to make a big deal that Alex Sink's campaign relayed a forbidden message to her with a cell phone during the CNN debate.

Cal Deal
Who will replace this guy?
But people seem to be missing the really scary part: Rick Scott thought the message was sent via an "iPod."

A campaign aide named Brian May sneaked a message to Sink with a cell phone through her makeup artist. Sink canned May after the debate. 

Scott noticed this peccadillo and ratted her out on the air after the commercial break.  

"The rule was no one was supposed to get messages during the break, and your campaign did during the break with an iPad or, or, an iPod," he said.

Come now, can Florida afford a governor who doesn't know the difference between a phone, an iPad, and an iPod? That kind of shocking ignorance simply cannot stand.

OK, so it's not that big of a deal. And to be fair to Scott, he identified the device as a BlackBerry to his aide in the video CNN provided of the commercial break. Why he switched it up once he was on the air we may sadly never know.

But here's the problem: These debates often get broken down to one comment or gaffe while the public is distracted from the real issues, and all meaning is lost. When George W. Bush was getting routed in debates (you know he never could talk pretty), his campaign would seize on one remark by his opponent to throw it upside down. Disastrous war on Iraq? Bush seems incoherent? Who cares; John Kerry said something weird about Cheney's lesbian daughter. We have a winner!

But Brian May should have known better. More inside.


-- Who is Brian May? Well, he made his initial political mark as chief of staff for former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas and also served as a right-hand man to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. With that kind of résumé, May should have had the sense not to break the CNN rules form -- which, incidentally, he signed for the Sink campaign.  

And May is, of course, a stinking lobbyist. He recently was hired by a -- wait for it -- red-light camera company to lobby Miami politicians. His company, ACS Solutions, lost. He also represents developer Flagstone Property Group in its long-delayed and troubled attempt to build a mega-yacht marina on Watson Island. It's true: May is just another political consultant cashing in on his proximity to politicians to make big bucks. In fact, he was the poster boy for an ethics reform drive in 1998 that was voted down by the Miami-Dade commission.

This party needs an enema.

Finkelstein with Ceasar.
-- Howard Finkelstein needs to watch the company he keeps. The public defender was honored as Man of the Year by the Coconut Creek Democrat Club. Why Coconut Creek? Because Broward Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar dismantled the Tamarac club he founded and looted its meager bank account after a critic of his, Patti Lynn, was elected president.

That's another story, though. Anyway, JAABlog reports that Ceasar was praising Finkelstein up and down and that Ceasar's good friend the shady political profiteer Jack Shifrel sang the national anthem.

Howard, I know you are sworn to legally defend people who do terrible things, but do you have to hang out with them socially too? I kid Mr. Finkelstein. He's a politician -- and I'm convinced one of the very few really good people in Broward office. But he must play the game with the swamp scum that inhabits Broward's political world. Shame, though. 

-- Are Stacy Ritter, Ilene Lieberman, and Ken Keechl in a bunker together somewhere? They just don't come out to play much anymore (commission meeting today -- and even then Ritter has been absent and Lieberman has been uncharacteristically demure). Keechl is laying low to avoid publicity before the election (all publicity is apparently bad publicity for him at this point), and the other two are the subjects of a state corruption investigation, but still. I wonder if we've scared them into a corner. 

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