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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Argenziano, now an independent, aims and shoots -- at GOP

23

September

Argenziano Tiger Bay She’s back.

Former state senator and former Public Service Commissioner Nancy Argenziano spoke to a full crowd a the Capital Tiger Bay on Friday, reviving her war stories of the legislature – including the time she sent  a box of manure to a lobbyist – and continued her no-holds-barred criticism of her former party, the GOP. She also lobbed a few shots at government – in Tallahassee and D.C. – which she believes is “for sale to corporate interests.”

“I see our government being sold and if you don’t believe that I can provide you with example after example,’’ she told the mostly Democratic crowd on Friday. She offered no examples but said: “There’s a difference between having lobbyists who come to you and say this is who I represent and have them come to you pointing a finger and say this is what you’re going to do.”

Argenziano, who lives in Tallahassee, is now a candidate for the congressional seat held by Republican Steve Southerland of Panama City. She will run as an independent because, as a registered member of the Independent Party, she failed to switch to the Democratic Party before the new 365-day deadline.

She urged the audience to “follow the money,” lamented the weakness of the state and federal campaign finance laws and noted that in the Florida legislature “for a $30,000 a year job, they’re spending millions of dollars to put a candidate in place.”

She said she left the Republican Party when it succumbed to extremism and became a tool of the corporate America. She rattled off a list of Democrats and Republicans who preached values and morality only to be snared by ethical breaches, corruption or allegations of impropriety.

“Hypocrisy…that’s the kind of stuff that’s going on,’’ she said. “These are the same people who tell you who you should be in love with, who you should marry, who shouldn’t have an abortion. The Anthony Weiners, the John Ensign’s…Elliot Spitzner, Mark Sanford, Mark Foley, Charlies Rangel…”

And, in classic Argenziano fashion, she was salty and crude. She offered a top 15 list of "concerns" she has about the emergence of “neo-Republicans” and the "conservative extreme." The crowd loved it. Here is a sampling:

* "When you drop your keys, you should not have to duck because gravity is only a theory. (What are we coming to – heck with science.)"
* "I question that Paris Hilton is entitled to tax breaks because she is wealthy – which means she is a job creator."
* "I do not believe that the wealthiest top 2 percent of Americans need an entire Congress to protect their status – their lobbying corps should be sufficient."
* "From the perspective of a “guido” American, perhaps our political problems have more to do with boners and wieners."
* "If you want to laugh, try the Steve Southerland debt avoidance strategy: tell your creditor that you’re not paying him on principle, see what happens."
*  "There are those who would change the name of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the 'Really White House.'”
* "The definition of vitamin would be expanded to cover whatever the Koch brothers dump into the water or the air."

The Tiger Bay club gave Argenziano a speaking gift: a large, emptied, bag of manure.

[Last modified: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:03pm]

    

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