YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: on drunken nepotism, dark histories, and dumb DPAC moves



BECAUSE NEPOTISM MEANS NOTHING IN THE DRUNKEN FLORIDA LEGISLATURE: "Rep. Matt Gaetz recently held himself out as a man who accepts responsibility for his mistakes. He brought up his 2008 DUI arrest during a meeting last week of the House criminal justice committee, which he chairs. The topic: a bill that would keep mug shots of people who are charged with crimes off the Internet until they are convicted. Though he was never convicted, his booking photo is readily available online, Gaetz said. ‘I'm of the view that that is part of who I am,’ said the Fort Walton Beach Republican, who in 2016 will seek the seat now held by his father, Senate President Don Gaetz. ‘I made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest, and that is sort of something that we all live with.’ The bill passed the committee unanimously. Gaetz said such exposure could be a problem for those unaccustomed to publicity. But as it turns out, notoriety is about the worst consequence Gaetz, now 31, has faced from the DUI arrest. He didn't have his license suspended for a year when he refused the breath test — as Florida law dictates. And he didn't have that refusal used against him in a criminal proceeding. Charges against Gaetz were dismissed after events that included, among other things, the forced resignation of the arresting officer." (via Tampa Bay Times)

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MORE FIRST-HAND HORRORS FROM THE DOZIER SCHOOL FOR BOYS. LIKE SLAVERY, THEY SAY. UGH: "A few days before attending the 2013 hearing in Tallahassee, the five men returned to Dozier to call attention to stories from the "black side" of the once-segregated campus—stories they felt were being overlooked, despite all the news coverage. They hadn't seen the place in a half century or so. Photographer Nina Berman joined them on their road trip to Marianna, and accompanied some of the men into the dilapidated cottages where they'd lived during their time there. "Every morning before we went to work or school or wherever, you had to line up, and Mr. Crockett inspected you personally," 67-year-old Richard Huntly recalls. "Standing there in one of the cottages, I could see him coming down the line: 'Open your mouth!' you know? Stand back and look at your shoes—'Smile!' And if you missed a point, he would brush your teeth for you, and when he brushed them, you didn't like it."" (via Mother Jones)


IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, OUTSPEND THEM? OK: “A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers. The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch. In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own. The money would move through Mr. Steyer’s fast-growing, San Francisco-based political apparatus into select 2014 races. Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.” (via New York Times)


THIS MAY BE THE DUMBEST MOVE BY DPAC YET, EXCEPT, YOU KNOW, ALL THE OTHER ONES: “Ron Legler, a key leader of Orlando's arts scene and advocate for downtown Orlando, will leave Central Florida this spring to run a performing-arts center in Baltimore. ‘It's such a huge loss I don't even know where to start,’ said Barbara Hartley, executive director of Orlando's Downtown Arts District. ‘He's an amazing champion for the arts. I'm happy for him, but I'm sad for us.’ As president of Florida Theatrical Association for the past 13 years, Legler was responsible for bringing touring Broadway shows to Central Florida. But he also took a keen interest in more local aspects of the Orlando arts scene. Legler, 46, was an early chairman of the Downtown Arts District and a vice chairman of the Orlando Fringe Festival. More recently, he served on the board of See Art Orlando, which installed eight public sculptures throughout downtown. And in December, he volunteered his time to serve as interim executive director of Orlando Ballet. Legler begins his new job as president of Baltimore's France-Merrick Performing Arts Center in May.” (via Orlando Sentinel)


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