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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Florida the rules are different here Chapter XLI

Our latest Florida political controversy involves ice trucks. State Representative and State Senate hopeful Irv Slosberg has a fleet of such vehicles all ready in case of a hurricane. His political opponent Ted Deutsch calls it a crass political ploy and worries if seniors will call the State Representative's office instead of 911 in case of emergency.

Both Deutsch and Slosberg are taking their potential constituents for fools.(I'm a resident of this State Senate district) Slosberg is a political maverick and publicity seeker who looks for any way to get his name in the papers or on television. Thinking this will garner him votes. Deutsch on the other hand thinks seniors are too dumb to know what to do in the event of an emergency. This is the choice I have this fall? No wonder I'm a masochist.

This ice truck story reminds me of a Groucho Marx line in the movie Cocoanuts.(A movie set in Florida) Someone calls room service and Groucho says

"Ice water? Eat an onion that'll make your eyes[ice] water"
You got to love Florida.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Basil's Blog,

State Rep. Irv Slosberg on Tuesday unveiled his own amateur hurricane recovery system dubbed "Slosberg Emergency Management Aid," complete with a fleet of trucks filled with ice, as he stumps for votes in an increasingly bitter state Senate race.

His primary opponent, Ted Deutch, bashed the move as a "crass political ploy" that will hinder the response from emergency management professionals.

In the latest twist in his lavish self-financed campaign, Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, has leased 10 trucks with mounds of ice stashed in each. The total: 470,000 pounds of ice, idling in the refrigerated trucks stationed in communities such as Century Village.

The trucks' refrigeration system will keep running, chugging about 6 gallons of gas a day, until the end of hurricane season, Slosberg said. He's also got thousands of kosher and non-kosher meals ready to be distributed.

The trucks are plastered with Slosberg's campaign logo.

Slosberg's latest attempt to brand himself as hurricane hero drew a strong rebuke from the county's top emergency planner -- and has county lawyers looking into his activities -- but Slosberg was undaunted. He said he's setting up his own Emergency Operations Center to counter the one run by government.

"You depend on government and you can wake up one day and be like New Orleans," he said.

Also Tuesday, Deutch held a news conference at his campaign headquarters west of Boca Raton attacking a Slosberg campaign flier that urges seniors to call his staffers' cell phones in emergencies. "Our offices are open especially in emergencies 24/7!" Slosberg's flier reads.

Flanked by firefighters and paramedics, Deutch said the ad is irresponsible and dangerous.

"It is a delay in time," said Matthew A. Willhite, a vice president at the county firefighters union that endorsed Deutch. "If it is a true emergency, [Slosberg] will have to tell the person to hang up and call 911."

Deutch, a Boca Raton attorney, said Slosberg is trying to go it alone when it comes to hurricane recovery, rather than working with experts such as those at the Red Cross.

"As an elected official, his responsibility is to work with others who provide services, to make sure the needs of the communities are met," he said. "Not to ignore everyone else and do things for his own political gain. ... It is so insulting to the people who do good work for this community all year."

Countered Slosberg: "He's a crybaby."

County lawyers are looking into whether Slosberg's fliers violate Florida law, because the 911 law designates a single number be used for emergencies, said Assistant County Administrator Vince Bonvento.

As for Slosberg's fleet of trucks, Bonvento said they would butt heads with county crews, because officials seek to avoid duplication of services.

"I've been involved in emergency management for 30 years, and I have never seen anything like this," Bonvento said. "I think in [Slosberg's] deal to be reelected, he's kind of crossing a line."

Slosberg already has staked $1.3 million of his own money trying to win the open District 30 Senate seat, which is based in southwestern Palm Beach County but stretches from portions of Wellington to northern Broward County. Term-limited Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, now holds the seat. The primary is Sept. 5.

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