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Five Scumbags Florida Was Glad to See Leave in 2017

Former Florida Sen. Jack LatvalaEXPAND
Former Florida Sen. Jack Latvala
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This year was, thankfully, a year in which America's most sexually rapacious scumbags finally began to get their comeuppances. And guess what? Florida is filled with scumbags. You're not surprised? Literally everyone has known this fact since Florida was incorporated? OK, fine.

But, hey, at least we got to watch the following list of garbage people get their just desserts this year. Here's to a 2018 free of these jerks:

1. Jack "The Sexually Deviant Bowl of Congealed Duck Fat" Latvala. What's worse than getting repeatedly sexually assaulted by a man who looks like Fat Bastard's divorce lawyer? Allegedly getting extorted for sexual favors by a massive, wheezing monster and then having him use his pull as one of the most powerful men in the Florida Senate to spread lies about you and convince some members of the Florida media world that you're making the accusations up for political gain. Thank God six women this year found the bravery to tell Politico that Latvala was habitually assaulting them. That story sparked a state investigation, which said that Latvala was likely groping lobbyists and staffers regularly and even texted one woman to extort her for sex in exchange for legislative support. Enjoy crawling back to whatever toadstool you live under in Tampa, Handsy Jack.

2. Frank "I Swear They Were Real Interns" Artiles. Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles was forced to resign this year, partly, for saying the N-word in front of black colleagues. But during that scandal, he was also caught hiring unqualified Hooters waitresses and Playboy models as "campaign consultants" and taking them on fishing trips and other vacations. Terrifyingly, it's believed that Artiles is one of many entitled white dudes using Tallahassee as his personal, "skintern"-filled getaway. Perhaps the currently unemployed Artiles can take some time to name a few names in 2018.

3. Stephen "A Lot of Boob Stuff" Bittel. Billionaire Miami Beach real-estate investor and political megadonor Stephen Bittel was known for being such an unbearable asshole that his name turned up in the Democratic National Committee's leaked emails this year — because DNC staffers were forced to apologize to people who sat next to Bittel at party functions and galas. That should have been a huge red flag, but the perpetually inept Florida Democratic Party named Bittel its chairperson this year anyway despite complaints from every progressive in the party. Bittel responded by saying a bunch of racist stuff, nearly losing his job, and then finally stepping down after women told Politico that he constantly leered at them, made inappropriate and belittling comments, creeped them out so much they refused to be alone with him, and filled his party office with "a lot of boob stuff," including a boob-shaped stress ball — you know, the sort of thing a mature adult puts in his office.

4. Ritch "Being a Power-Company Lackey Wasn't Enough" Workman. There's not much to say about Ritch Workman besides this: He was a former lawmaker and known water-carrier for the state's carbon-spewing private utility monopolies who was magically appointed this year to the Florida Public Service Commission, the state body that oversees power companies. His tenure didn't last long: State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said that Workman "pushed his body up against [hers] and made vulgar and inappropriate gestures" during a 2016 charity event, of all places, and Workman bowed out from public "service" once more.

5. Rafael "I Definitely Did Not Do It" Velasquez. Rafael Velasquez maintains he definitely did not whip out his penis while riding in the passenger seat of Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez's car. He also denies he groped a woman who provided the Miami Herald with text messages showing he flirted with her. He said the accusations wouldn't affect his run for Miami Beach Commission. He lost and now works as a cab driver.

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