Welcome to the first annual WTF Florida Awards ceremony. It's the only award show celebrating the special brand of bizarre depravity we excel at down here in the Sunshine State. Black tie isn't required. In fact, jorts and a NASCAR cap are preferred.
We'll be giving away awards in four categories all week, and today we start with politics.
Outstanding Achievement in Campaign Stupidity
This past twelve months was truly a staggering display of stupidity on the campaign trail by Florida politicos. From a guy who changed his name to his campaign website to bogus ringer candidates paid in envelopes of cash to cocaine smugglers holding campaign rallies, here are your nominees:
- Independent House candidate VoteForEddie.Com for legally changing his name to VoteForEddie.Com
- Rep. David Rivera for allegedly running the campaign of a ringer candidate in his opponent's primary.
- Mitt Romney for holding a campaign event at a restaurant owned by a convicted cocaine smuggler
- Rep. Connie Mack IV for calling a heckler a jackass at a gas station campaign stop
And the winner is: Rep. David Rivera
Novelists couldn't come up with a more bizarre political thriller than this. Rivera's reputation for shady behavior was threatening his reelection chances, so what does he do? Allegedly try to pull off his shadiest stunt yet. His "good friend" Ana Sol Alliegro allegedly ran the campaign of Justin "Lamar" Sternad in the Democratic primary apparently solely to attack eventual Dem nominee Joe Garcia. Sternad has now told the FBI that Rivera was behind the whole affair that involved race-baiting flyers paid for by envelopes full of cash, and went by the codename of "The Gangster." Oh, yeah, and Alliegro turned up missing and still hasn't been found. Suffice it to say, Rivera did not win.
Sex Scandal of the Year:
No one does sex scandals like the Sunshine State. This year saw allegations of GOP operatives carting golf carts full of hookers around the Bahamas, lesbian flings by top Republicans and porn-y sex letters. The nominees:
- Rep. Allen West for the letter her may or may not have written asking his wife to be his own personal porn star.
- The Republican Party of Florida for allegations they held a men's only fundraiser in the Bahamas with a golf cart full of hookers.
- State Rep. Richard Steinberg for resigning after sending harassing sexts to a married state prosecutor.
- State Rep. Mike Horner for resigning after his name came up on the client list of an escort service.
- Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll for allegations she had a lesbian fling with a top aide.
- State Rep. Peter Nehr for his leaked underwear pics
And the winner is: Allen West
Listen, we still have no idea if the letter West allegedly sent his wife is actually authentic, but if not, it read as one of the most bizarre bits of political satire this year. While serving in Afghanistan, West made bizarre demands of his wife to be his "personal porn star," get a "pussy ring," and have her "hot mouth suck my dick and have warm cum fill your mouth and drip down your chin." That's just the tip of the particularly explicit iceberg.
Outstanding Achievement in Bizarre Political Moments
Sometimes political stories in Florida are simply too weird to categorize. Spray tan gate? Skrawberry and Tip Drill's prognostications? The nominees:
- Mitt Romney for his alleged spray tan at the University of Miami
- Strippers Tip Drill and Skrawberry for Crashing the set of MSNBS's Morning Joe
- Clint Eastwood for talking to an empty chair at the RNC in Tampa
- State Rep. Rachel Burgin busted for trying to turn a lobbyist group's mission statement into law
And the winner is: Clint Eastwood
Really, how could this award not go to Clint's empty chair speech up in Tampa? While the whole Republican National Convention may have been a bit of a mess, nothing really equaled this moment.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Political Feud of the Year:
2012 was the year Florida's governor fought Elton John, Marco Rubio cast doubts on the age of the Earth and Allen West picked fights with pretty much everyone in sight. The nominees:
- Gov. Rick Scott vs Elton John
- Sen. Marco Rubio vs Science and Pitbull
- Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll vs Lesbians of Color
- Rep. Allen West vs 80 Imaginary Communists in the Congress
- Tampa Strippers vs RNC Delegates
And 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 she was a carrying on a lesbian affair with a top aide. Without much evidence, the accusations probably would have faded if Carroll didn't open her mouth and claim that "Usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that." That of course enraged black woman that look like Carroll that do engage in relationships like that, and the Lt. Governor eventually had to issue an official apology.