By Michael E. Miller
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Sabrina Rodriguez
By Michael E. Miller
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Luther Campbell
By Kyle Munzenrieder
Welcome to the first annual WTF Florida Awards ceremony! It's the only awards show celebrating the special brand of bizarre depravity we excel at here in the Sunshine State. A black tie isn't required. In fact, jorts and a NASCAR cap are preferred.
Let's take a look at this year's nominees in politics and sex. (For all the WTF Florida Awards, check out riptidemiami.com.)
Outstanding Achievement in Campaign Stupidity: The past 12 months offered a monumental display of political idiocy. There was VoteForEddie.com, a guy who legally changed his name to his campaign website. Mitt Romney fumbled the ball by letting a convicted cocaine dealer host an event for him in Miami, and Connie Mack IV called a heckler a "jackass."
The winner is: Rep. David Rivera. Novelists couldn't come up with a more bizarre political thriller than Rivera's run for re-election. His reputation for shady behavior was already threatening his chances of winning, so what did he do? He tried to pull off his shadiest stunt yet. At his urging, a "good friend" named Ana Sol Alliegro allegedly ran the campaign of newcomer Justin Lamar Sternad in the Democratic primary, solely to attack eventual nominee Joe Garcia. Sternad has now told the FBI that Rivera was behind the whole affair, which involved race-baiting fliers paid for by envelopes full of cash. Oh yeah, and since the probe opened, Alliegro has gone missing. It suffices to say Rivera did not win.
Sex Scandal of the Year: No one does sex scandals quite like Florida, where we saw allegations of GOP operatives driving golf carts full of hookers around the Bahamas, state Rep. Richard Steinberg sexually harassing a married prosecutor, and Congressman Mike Horner getting caught with his name on a client list at an infamous escort service.
The winner is: Rep. Allen West. We still have no idea if an extremely sexually explicit letter West allegedly sent to his wife is authentic. (Gossip Extra, which published it, says it is; West has declined to comment.) If it's a fake, it's one of the most insane bits of political satire this year. Supposedly sent while West was serving in Afghanistan, it makes bizarre demands of his wife to be his "personal porn star" and have her "hot mouth" do all kinds of things too explicit for a newspaper to print. That's just the tip of this particularly raunchy iceberg.
Outstanding Achievement in Bizarre Political Moments: Sometimes political stories in Florida are simply too weird to categorize. How about Romney appearing in "brownface" after getting an overly vigorous spray tan before his University of Miami appearance? Strippers Skrawberry and Tip Drill gaining national fame on a political TV show? Or what about when state Rep. Rachel Burgin got caught trying to pass a law copied directly from a nonprofit's mission statement?
The winner is: Clint Eastwood. Really, how could this award not go to Eastwood's infamous, nationally televised speech to an empty chair during the Republican National Convention in Tampa? The whole RNC was a mess, but nothing else came close to this moment's sheer craziness.
Political Feud of the Year: This was the year Gov. Rick Scott fought Elton John over AIDS funding, Marco Rubio cast doubts on the age of Earth, and West picked fights with Muslims, liberals, journalists, and pretty much everyone else.
The winner is: Jennifer Carroll. Nobody really paid attention to Rick Scott's second-in-command until bizarre allegations surfaced from a disgruntled ex-employee that Carroll had carried on a lesbian affair with a top aide. Without much evidence to back them up, the accusations probably would have faded if Carroll hadn't opened her mouth and retorted, "Usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that." That, of course, enraged the many black women who do look like Carroll and do engage in relationships "like that," and the lieutenant governor eventually had to issue an official apology.
Disgusting Achievement in Public Sex: Attention, Florida sex-havers: Get a room. No, seriously. One couple got caught screwing in a car behind a pool hall in Tampa while a crowd ogled them. Another pair was nabbed doing the nasty in full view of boaters along the Intracoastal in Pompano Beach.
The winners are: Jeremie Calo and Tiffani Lynn Barganier. These lovebirds were arrested after humping on a table at an Orlando restaurant called Paddy Murphy's, which sounds like one of the least sexy places in existence. That didn't stop these two from fornicating in view of everyone, including children. The two wouldn't stop even when a manager asked. To make matters worse, Calo ended up threatening to run out on his tab and vomited all over the floor.
Adult Entertainers of the Year: Some porn stars are actually upstanding members of the community. Others, well, are not. The latter category includes Jessica and Monica Sexxxton, the Tampa mother and daughter who earned fame by appearing on film together, or Sunny Dae for orchestrating the murder of a man at a sex party, or Dallas Reeves, who helped a friend in a Speedo bump coke on a Wilton Manors gay pride float.