Florida Press Association Finally Explains ‘Fangate’

Charlie CristHere’s the press release to end the week: The Florida Press Association and Leadership Florida have attempted to explain Governor Rick Scott‘s “Fangate,” and they succeeded in making it sound as confusing as it looked.

A letter provided to both Scott and Charlie Crist read that “candidates may not bring electronic devices (including fans), visual aids or notes to the debate, but will be provided with a pad and pen.”

Crist agreed “but with the added hand-written note ‘*with understanding that the debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary.'”

And that’s where everything went wrong.

A key passage:

“At 6 p.m. Wednesday night, the temperature was checked on the stage under the lights, and was determined to be 67 degrees. Ridings then informed the Crist Campaign that there was no temperature issue, and no fan would be needed, or permitted.”

Someone put the fan there anyway, and while the release describes the scene as “chaotic,” Scott never told anyone that he wouldn’t debate Crist (or his fan):

“…the Scott campaign was waiting on resolution of the rules issue before Scott took the stage. The debate partners appreciate Governor Scott’s willingness to participate in the Debate.”

OK. Yet some local journalists blame the Press Association for messing up the event!

We hope it was all a brilliant plan by Crist to sabotage his opponent. We’re skeptical, but Crist is nothing if not a typical politician. In 2009 he said that President Obama would never win a second term because “America is awake and we’re coming back”…before endorsing him enthusiastically less than three years later.