Winners & Losers: Angela Corey, Jennifer Carroll and Wayne McLeod
WINNERS: Angela Corey, for sticking around to do the job that voters elected her to do, and former McCollum supporter State Representative Jennifer Carroll of District 3, for bridging some gaps. The new State Attorney recently got an offer from the Rick Scott campaign to be considered for a shot at being the Republican candidate's running mate – certainly an attractive offer, considering that it would give her a very good chance to become governor later on. Corey quickly and unhesitatingly turned down the offer, stating that she was exactly in the job she wanted to be in, and had no desire to use it as a stepping stone. Scott eventually picked Carroll, who will hopefully serve to mend the rift between Florida's Republicans, and will also bring a First Coast voice to the Executive Branch.
LOSERS: Gary Ray McGinley and Darren Keith Brown, a couple of low-voltage JEA employees who decided to pad their pockets by stealing diesel fuel from the Northside Generating Plant. Police caught them during a stakeout on Thursday with about $2000 worth of fuel. Now here's the stupid part...McGinley makes nearly $70,000 a year, along with a little over $38,000 for 2009 in overtime. That's $108,000 per year. Assuming they were splitting the take 50/50, McGinley was making $1k per theft, but he made twice that in a week at his legitimate job. Now he has no legitimate job, no diesel-stealing job, and lots of attorneys' fees. Then again, it's a unionized position...
WINNER: St. Joseph, for apparently helping out the local residential real estate market. According to a recent article in the Times-Union, Queen of Angels Catholic Store in Mandarin has begun selling a “Home Sellers Kit” consisting of a statue of the saint and instructions for burying him (presumably in the yard to be sold) along with other parts of a ritual, including a prayer. Similar types of practices by other faiths are also highlighted in the article. At $10 each, St. Joseph is a lot more cost effective than anything you'll see on the DIY channel. Whatever works, I guess!
LOSERS: Dove Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida, which plans to emphasize its severe case of arrested development by burning a pile of Qu'rans on September 11. The word “Dove” in the name sounds peaceful – but if you thought sending a message of peace was the right idea, you were clearly wrong. It's a far more productive strategy to send a message of “we're going to light your religious scriptures on fire.” Now that's the way to show Christian values and overcome fear, uncertainty and doubt – with your own dose of it! Thanks a lot, folks. Why not just buy a full-page ad in USA Today that says “Hey, world! Look at us in North Florida, we're ignorant yokels!”
WINNERS: SHARKS! Sharks off the coast! Oh no, everyone run, panic, scream! A dead six-foot reef shark washed up on shore on Friday, freaking out beachgoers who took it as a bad omen about going into the water. Sharks are an extremely efficient, highly adapted apex ocean predator critical to maintaining balance in fish populations. I can't remember the last time a shark walked up into my yard... if it did, I might shoot it. Otherwise, I can't complain. Listen people, if you don't want to run the risk of getting bitten, don't go where sharks live! It's as simple as that.
THE ULTIMATE LOSER: Wayne McLeod, local scam artist and Ponzi schemer, for stealing money, giving the First Coast a bad name and then not sticking around to be held responsible. It seems the only thing he did authentically was kill himself. McLeod bilked investors in law enforcement and government out of $34 million, methodically shredding their finances through his firm Federal Employee Benefits Group Inc, which sounds ominously legitimate. In the end, the total assets of FEBG amounted to $92,000, which would add up to actual pocket change if divided among the investors. On June 22, McLeod drove to a secluded area of Mandarin in his ugly Hummer (it was probably an H2) and Glocked himself in the head around 10:30 AM, minutes before police officers arrived to attempt to stop him.
In addition to offering up his weekly winners and losers in The Jacksonville Observer, Graham Wellington enjoys bacon, fancy hats and prank calling apartment complexes on Park Street.