The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Allen West’s Enemy: Mike Haridopolos?

Posted on | February 3, 2012 | 47 Comments

“America is threatened by many crises, ranging from economic recession to international terrorism, but none of these threats are quite so immediate or so fundamentally hostile to our democratic form of government as the existential menace of Florida.”
Robert Stacy McCain, Sept. 30, 2011

Florida Republican politics is a Byzantine web of intrigue and treachery, a terrain of secret alliances and hidden rivalries involving not only elected officials, but also a vast imperial court of staffers, consultants, campaign operatives and money men who constantly aspire to advance their own narrow personal ambitions without any regard for the commonweal. The only reason honest people in Florida vote for Republicans is because the state’s Democrats are so much worse.

If the FBI were to target Florida politicians for a sting operation, they might conceivably arrest nearly every member of the state legislature, and all but a few of the county commissioners, city council members, mayors, and other minor office-holders who infest the state like so many cockroaches.

We should have left the damned mess to the Spanish, the Seminoles and the alligators, but it’s too late. We’re stuck with Florida now. The Spanish can’t afford to buy it back and the Seminoles are content to wreak their revenge on the White Man through lucrative casino operations like the one in Immokalee where a visiting journalist recently spent a few unfortunate hours at the blackjack table, but I digress . . .

The attempt to make Florida state Rep. Will Weatherford the fall guy for an alleged plot — supposedly orchestrated by allies of Mitt Romney — to redistrict Rep. Allen West out of Congress came flying into my face this afternoon, when I got a phone call from Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank. It was Javier’s interview last week with Weatherford which got the whole uproar started, and Javier assured me this afternoon that he’s privy to all kinds of stuff about the conspiracy against West, stuff he can’t talk about because people would lose their jobs over it. The need to protect sources is certainly understandable, but it unfortunately puts Javier in a position of being unable to prove what he alleges, and I have neither the time nor resources to go chasing after the details myself.

The reason Javier called me is because he is at odds with my Florida friend Sarah Rumpf for her defense of Weatherford, and I had linked her blog in quoting a letter she published from Florida state Rep. Scott Plakon, who likewise defended Weatherford from what Plakon called “cheap shots” by Rush Limbaugh.

My phone conversation with Javier got interrupted by a disturbance at my house involving my son’s dog, and I was unable to reach Javier when I called back. Nevertheless, this conversation piqued my curiosity about exactly what the hell is going on in Florida, so I did some further investigation and stumbled onto some related intrigue that, to my knowledge, has not been reported in connection to this story.

Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos may be the unseen force behind the redistricting uproar, for which Weatherford is being unfairly demonized. And if there is a Romney connection to the whole thing, it may not surprise you to learn who Haridopolos endorsed for president.

With no extensive direct knowledge of Florida politics myself, I do know that Haridopolos was a candidate in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate (to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson) until his campaign self-destructed last summer. With $2.8 million reportedly left in his campaign coffers, however, there were obvious questions about Haridopolos’s future plans:

Speculation has swirled over a possible Hardipolos bid for U.S. House next year. With Florida gaining two congressional seats in 2012 — and one of those likely targeted for Central Florida — the Brevard County-based lawmaker could be geographically and financially well-positioned for a run.

The plot thickens, you see, and there’s also this angle: Haridopolos blamed those pesky Tea Party people for his failed Senate campaign (they called him out on various issues, including immigration), and one of the Tea Party people Haridopolos hates the most is — did you guess? — Allen West.

There is gossip to the effect that one heated conversation between West and Haridopolos ended with West suggesting that Haridopolos perform an anatomically impossible act. And the fingerprints of Haridopolos are said to be all over that Florida congressional re-districting map that seemed to be designed specifically to screw over West.

But the story is still more complicated than that. If Haridopolos had planned to carve himself out a congressional district, his plans were thwarted in part because of his friends with the Romney campaign. Both U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV and his father, the former U.S. senator, campaigned with Romney in Florida, which had consequences that Haridopolos failed to anticipate:

The leading Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race, Mack earned national media exposure stumping across the state for Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor went so far as to anoint the 44-year-old Mack in campaign stops as “the next senator from Florida.”
That endorsement helped drive Mack’s opponent, Adam Hasner, out of the race this week and into a congressional race in South Florida. Another GOP challenger, Craig Miller, exited to run for a congressional seat, too, leaving only former Sen. George LeMieux as a serious challenger.

Hasner was the Tea Party favorite in the Senate race, and his decision to switch to a congressional campaign was part of a complex deal that my buddy Dan Riehl reported this week:

In a deal with several moving parts, Conservative favorite Rep. Allen West will move over and run in Rep. Tom Rooney’s old district, as Rooney moves on to run in a newly created district. Additionally, Adam Hasner will drop his Senate bid, leaving a somewhat clearer path for Rep. Connie Mack to run for the Senate nomination.

So guess who ends up the odd man out in this game of musical chairs? Haridopolos, with $2.8 million in the bank and no district to run in.

Now, I don’t know Haridopolos and I don’t know Weatherford, either of whom may be more honest than an Immokalee blackjack dealer, or maybe not. However, I do know Scott Plakon, who is by all accounts a Christian man of unquestioned integrity, and Plakon says Weatherford is innocent of any intent to screw over Allen West.

If anyone wishes to vouch for the bona fides of Haridopolos, let him stand forth and speak up. But Plakon, Hasner and West are all allied with the Tea Party, whereas Haridopolos reputedly depises the Tea Party, and so if there were someone looking to make trouble for West and his Tea Party friends . . .

Well, distracting everybody by putting the blame on Weatherford — a popular politician whose own ambitions might make him a future rival of Haridopolos in a statewide campaign — would be just the kind of sneaky thing you might expect in such a situation involving Florida Republicans.

Too bad Spain can’t afford to buy back that damned state.


47 Responses to “Allen West’s Enemy: Mike Haridopolos?”

  1. ThePaganTemple
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    I might want to cover this. But if I do, I want to be accurate. So this anatomically impossible thing West told the guy to do to himself. If it were technically possible, would it require-

    A. A dildo
    B. The removal of the two lower ribs.

    In all seriousness though, this is good work. Adjoran will be on here before to express his approval as well, I’m quite sure.

  2. nomoillegals
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    Well Mr. Hariassadopolos, the TEA Party hasn’t even begun to rain on your political parade! After what you did with the immigration bill last year, you don’t deserve to be dog catcher!

  3. tranquil.night
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Damn fine job, sir. Very fascinating. Thank you.

  4. Finrod Felagund
    February 4th, 2012 @ 12:37 am

    With a chainsaw.

  5. Conan The King of Aquilonia
    February 4th, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    “America is threatened by many crises, ranging from economic recession to international terrorism”

    No, the threats are from all of the Bubbas in the South. Just ask the SPLC .

  6. Adjoran
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:07 am

    I think you are overlooking the possibility that Javier is the one trying to damage whoever he can.   I don’t know Haridopolos from Adam, but Javier has a history.

    What is the evidence besides Javier’s unsupported suggestions?  If Haridopolos didn’t have the juice to get himself a district to run in, how did he have enough influence to affect West?  It makes no sense at all.

    And while Hasner is a good strong young conservative, the idea he might beat Connie Mack VIII for Senate is the stuff of Erickson fantasy.  That’s why he jumped on the chance to run for the House in the shuffle.  Romney was trying to trade on Mack’s popularity for his own benefit, not trying to “boost” Mack.  He needed to win Florida – why would he risk trying to influence the Senate primary IF it were in doubt?

    All the strings lead back to Javier.  Occam’s Razor – while I know some around here love the Grand Conspiracy Theory which explains everything as part of it, I’d be looking hard at the one common denominator before I invested in the foil helmet (seen the price of tin these days?).

  7. Adjoran
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:12 am

     Your wish, sir, is my command!

    So West and Haridopolos had an argument – according to “gossip” since Stacy won’t reveal his actual source.  And that proves Haridopolos rigged the whole thing, even though he wasn’t powerful enough to clear a district for himself, just out of spite, and killed JFK.

    You are welcome to believe whatever fantasy you wish.  Personally I never regarded either Javier or “gossip” as a credible source.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:16 am

    If Spain were to take Florida back, where would all the old Jews, Italians, and Irish go?

  9. Adjoran
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:31 am

     The way things look right now, it is more likely The Villages could buy Spain with the concession revenue from Mah-Jong tournaments than Spain could take Florida.

  10. Adjoran
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:36 am

    Furthermore (you knew it was coming), I suggest the very speed with which the shuffle of seats  was settled argues against any conspiracy against West.  Unless you believe people spent the better part of two years plotting to get rid of him – starting before he was elected, with the reform amendments – and folded at the first sign of resistance.

    Of course, the conspiracy theorists will claim this proves the conspiracy, that it collapsed when discovered.  But to them, everything proves the conspiracy, doesn’t it?  The very lack of evidence proves somebody covered it up.

  11. ThePaganTemple
    February 4th, 2012 @ 6:42 am

     Stacy’s journalistic code of ethics wouldn’t allow him, in my opinion, to make up a story like that and pass it along as coming from an unnamed source. I know there are some journalists that do that, but until Stacy is outed as following a similar pattern, I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Bear in mind, that doesn’t necessarily prove the story is correct. The source could be wrong, or even lying. We’ll just have to wait and see. Or maybe not.

  12. Sven
    February 4th, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    Allen West’s Enemy: Mike Haridopolos?

    To publish this—without even trying to interview Haridopolos  or determine whether your unsourced “fingerprints” allegation is true–is the antithesis of journalism. No pursuit of the truth. No fairness. No balls.

  13. David Folsom
    February 4th, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Wow! so much intrigue. When I saw the new map, with West’s district destroyed and corrine brown’s carefully preserved, I thought the crackers in the Florida Legislature just wanted to ensure that the face and mind of lack Floridians was represented by brown rather than West, fortifying their unspoken belief that blacks are well, lesser beings.

  14. elaine
    February 4th, 2012 @ 9:25 am

     Just one question: why would the Florida GOP redraw any district that’s currently a safe pick up for the republicans, instead making it majority democrat?  Rationally speaking, they wouldn’t, unless they’re TRYING to screw over the republican currently holding that seat.

  15. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    Mister, look at the 3 groups you mentioned — none of them would have a problem: looks and religion have it covered.
    Now the Protestant whitey whitebreads, they might have a problem….although at the rate it’s going the Germans might own Spain here pretty soon, so maybe it would be the other way around after all.

  16. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Sounds like IL — but FL is less further along the path and thus has some kinks to work out.  
    Here even the canidates for dogcatcher are part of the machine.

  17. Leslie Eastman
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I believe this version more than the fable the FL GOP told after the rain of emails came in complaining around redistricting.  Stacy — If you ever want to visit another warm weather state that has a GOP that is an amalgam of deeply corrupt and wildly incompetent, I invite you to tour California.  I will even buy you a beer at one of our fabulous local microbreweries.

  18. The Good Old Boys – Out to Get West? | Daily Pundit
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    […] Good Old Boys – Out to Get West? Posted on February 4, 2012 7:39 am by Bill Quick Allen West’s Enemy: Mike Haridopolos? : The Other McCain Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos may be the unseen force behind the redistricting […]

  19. Mike Rogers
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    “…would be just the kind of sneaky thing you might expect in such a situation involving Florida Republicans”
    Or, might I add, Romney operatives. In every race where Mitt is involved, his rivals hate him with white hot intensity, until the next time, when they mysteriously endorse him. Why, because his money is against them, until it is for their endorsement. 2008, mittens slimed McCain (the one from AZ), and Huck, and they hated him: this year, they have slimed Newt, both Ricks, and probably Cain. Now we hear rumors o an alliance with the other guy running some ads, that would be Ron Paul.
    Stacy, you called Perry he phantom menace, but I think mittens is the dark force!

  20. Sven
    February 4th, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Thus is the race card played. Meh. 

    The big problem with redistricting fights is that *everybody* approaches it from one of two perspectives: 1) Keep our party’s incumbent safe from the voters; or, 2) Find a configuration that will let our party take the seat. Both of which spit on the Constitution. The point of redistricting is to keep representation aligned with population shifts. One man, one vote.

  21. Sven
    February 4th, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    LOL. You have just described what Stacy did — publishing unsourced, unverified gossip that “could be wrong, or even lying” — as a “journalistic code of ethics.”

  22. DaveO
    February 4th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Simple test: did Haridopolous support Charlie Crist? Was Haridopolous a Crist supporter after he went independent?

    If yes, and yes, then Haridopolous bears closer scrutiny, as does his one-time mentor, Jeb Bush.

  23. DaveO
    February 4th, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    From the comments: the GOP machine in most states is deeply corrupt, mostly incompetent, and don’t offer a true choice between themselves and the Progressives.

    They won’t go gently into that good night, ladies and gents.

  24. EBL
    February 4th, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    Very Interesting!  I updated this post to reflect your post.  Good good stuff.  

    BTW:  Rasmussen just showed Santorum tied with Obama in a head to head match up.  FYI. I see a new TOM post on this one…

  25. Gatordennis
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    They are now expecting to pass HB 7087 which includes HB 371 . They are partly about enterprise zones. This is an Agenda 21 plot to take awy our rights & to ruin the US. This is more of a threat then illegals but shows the corruption of our elected state officials.

  26. Edward
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    I say nuke’em from orbit.  It’s the only way to be sure.

    Personally I’m a huge believer in negative reinforcement.  I figure if you inflict a massive amount of pain on everyone even remotely associated with that nonsense then they’ll stop engaging in nonsense -or- they’ll take care of the issue internally.

  27. Edward
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

     The only thing that would get me to California is missing the left turn at Denver when visiting my father who lives in Montrose.

    Every time I think California has hit rock bottom, they amazingly enough find a way to dig even deeper.  At some point Gov Jerry Brown’s head is going to pop out of the ground in Beijing.

    That ought to give those Chinese a real surprise.

  28. Operation Counterweight and Operation Counteract: Two solid options for Tea Party Peeps! « Temple of Mut
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    […] only is the Florida Republican Party filled with cronyism, corruption, and incompetence, it seems that the Florida Democratic Party follows mystic primary rules. From what I am able to […]

  29. Bob Belvedere
    February 4th, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    First of all, my dear madam: I am not a mere ‘Mister’; people on the Interwebs refer to me as ‘Sir Robert’ or ‘Sir Bob’ [or ‘Mistress Shirley’ on certain weekends – but that’s another story for a different time on membership-only sites].

    Second: I think it more likely the Red Chinese will demand Florida as debt payback.  The Germans will be too busy taking over France again.

  30. Tennwriter
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    Like dealing with a camp full of rascally boys.  You know two or three of them broke into your camp director’s office, and stole the likker bottle, and flipped your desk upside down during the night, so you deny everyone the right to swim in the lake.

  31. richard mcenroe
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    You do not know that it is unsourced.  You do know that Stacy won’t burn a source.

  32. richard mcenroe
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    Stacy also said he did his own digging and was reporting on a parallel story.

  33. richard mcenroe
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    Florida rule; “We don’t want nobody what nobody sent… for two weeks every winter, nu?”

  34. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Well I didn’t want to call you “Dude” because that’s a bit too cheeky.  I’m digging “madam” though — gives me an air of distinctiveness and breeding that is perhaps not deserved.

    If the Chinese are the ones taking over, then only the Irish might have a problem (Chinese, Jews, and Italians usually play well together — at least they did in my dad’s old neighborhood).

    Heh, and the Germans are going to wind up like they always do: with a bad case of morning after headache, a looming sense of regret, and a case of the clap that’ll be hard to get rid of…metaphorically of course.

  35. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Rank amatuers though — because people are talking about it.

    In IL (as in space) nobody can hear you (private, law abiding citizen) scream.

  36. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    Yep, you pretty much have it.

    I found out some really lovely things during my last job — truly the sort of thing that the Occupy idiots would love to get ahold of, and which the Tea Party folks should pay attention to.

    And it was at that point that I decided I would never again belong to, nor join, any political party or movement.
    The “I Hate Them All Independent” faction: it’s what’s for dinner.

  37. Pathfinder's wife
    February 4th, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    Oh, don’t think for one second that “illegals” and how to deal with them isn’t all tied up in some of their BS…there are some people in this country who give quite generously to campaigns (of all stripes) that have a vested interest in seeing some sort of visiting worker legislation passed.
    And it will go quite beyond that — because they are wanting workplace regulations (of all kinds) to be taken down as well.

    Everybody has a right to work, right? (it’ll all be bundled together, so folks will swallow the whole thing)
    The unions and one pack of wolves got you at one end of the tunnel and these bastiges and the other pack of wolves are sitting at the other end — either way you go you’re going to get eaten if you’re an average person.

  38. Bob Belvedere
    February 4th, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    That would be good for the old folks because they could ten sell the Germans their extra Clappers.

  39. Anonymous
    February 4th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    Exactly right.  In PA, Republicans win office “despite” the machine.  I have seen firsthand how incompetent and clueless they really are.  Toomey, who was 5-8 points ahead in the polls, barely won in 2010, b/c the “R” ground game here is severely lacking in comparison to the Rendell machine.

  40. bb
    February 4th, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

    sadly you are spot on in Florida politicsI live here and have never liked the liberal self indulgent democrats nor the elitist conservatives posing as republicansReal republicans like Lincoln and MLK aren’t anywhere close to Florida – except just maybe in the embodiment of Lt Col Allen West. All I really know is “we the people” seemed to stop existing long ago. I have and will support Allen West AND now Adam Hasner because I do believe they still understand what that means. Pray for us down here….our nation might just depend on it.

  41. richard mcenroe
    February 4th, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    In case anyone wondered, Bob Belvedere is the guy who keeps replying to those “What is thy bidding, my lord?” game ads.

  42. ThePaganTemple
    February 4th, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

     But-but-but-the Chicoms have already got us to stop the pipeline so THEY could get that good Canadian oil INSTEAD of us, and-

    Oh, wait, you said debt PAYBACK, not so they would agree to finance even MORE DEBT. My mistake.

  43. ThePaganTemple
    February 4th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

     Newt Gingrich 2012.

    Cos no one does revenge like the Newtster.

  44. Sven
    February 4th, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    Stacy said the guy “is said to be” involved in the re-drawing of the district map. A red flag should go up in your mind whenever you see a journalist use the passive voice to introduce information. Suggesting that the information comes from someone else while avoiding attributing it to anyone is your clue to  the fact that it’s nothing more than the journalist’s opinion, assumption, or imagination.

    Teddy Roosevelt called this sort of thing “weasel words.” Other examples of this particular journalistic species: 

    “has been linked to” 

    “mentioned as a possible candidate”

    “believed to be” 

    “widely regarded as”

    Journalists don’t employ these phrases because their sources are too highly placed to even be acknowledged as existing. They use these phrases to make it look like they’ve gathered information they haven’t, and to make it look like they know things they don’t.

  45. Studnprince
    February 4th, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    Haridopolos, has a ton of bagage. Go run Mikey and let it all come out ($150,000 to write a 20 page book)

  46. ThePaganTemple
    February 5th, 2012 @ 7:14 am

     Errr, wouldn’t the speed with which it was settled actually be an argument FOR the conspiracy aspects? I mean, if this was rushed through without giving West any input? And yes, I know the redistricting was being planned statewide on an on-going basis beginning from the time before West was elected, but that’s almost an irrelevant point.

    What you are forgetting (or maybe just ignoring) is the fact that West also ran for the office two years before, in 2008, and was defeated, though it was a fairly close election.

    The two years between West’s defeat, and then ultimate victory, didn’t happen in a vacuum. He spent those two years building up his support, something that would not have gone unnoticed among the professional politicians and bureaucrats that infest any state like so many ticks on a mangy coon dog.

    Oh, and practically from the beginning of this two year cycle, something else happened that was very interesting, something that would not have gone unnoticed, something that may have been very worrisome, and something which West very early on became a part of.

    A little something called The Tea Party happened.

    Florida politics is a swamp infested with alligators and mosquitoes. It doesn’t have a grassy knoll. It IS a fucking grass knoll. Don’t tell me you seriously expect us to buy they are above this kind of skullduggery.

  47. 'etsyBay Aka-Betsy
    February 5th, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    Aw come on! Florida *CANNOT* be worse than Chicago!!!