Arguing firefighters have taken advantage of 9/11, Janet Long says the stupidest thing since Todd Akin talked about rape

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You just knew it would turn out this way for former Democratic State Representative Janet Long, who is currently running for the County Commission against incumbent Republican Neil Brickfield.

You just knew Janet would not be able to go an entire campaign without saying something ridiculous?

What you didn’t know was that when she did step in it, it would be this bad.

On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Long criticized fire unions, accusing them of using the tragedy for their own gain.

“The firefighters have really taken advantage of 9/11 and what happened then and capitalized on it and the emotion,” Janet Long said during a meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board.

Jesus Christ, Janet, how could you say something that stupid?

Criticizing firefighters on a normal day is political malpractice. Doing it near 9/11 is about as politically insensitive and stupid as when Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin talked about “legitimate rape.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Long’s comments become one of those oddball national stories. The Tampa Bay Times story about Long’s comments is already the most shared and most commented article on its website.

The rich irony of this entire episode is that Long’s husband is a retired firefighter. You would think she would know better.

Actually, that’s the problem with Janet — she always thinks she knows better.

She is constantly rolling her eyes. She can’t help but tsk-tsk. She drips with condescension. Knowing better is Janet’s modus operandi.

This latest display of arrogance from Janet is not surprising.

If you ask Janet, she will tell you she lost her last election for any number of reasons, none of which have to do with the cruddy campaign she ran.

It was a “wave” election, she’ll tell you.  There was no way she could win in a Republican year, she will protest.  The Republicans had all the money, she will insist.

All of that may be true, but that’s not why Janet lost.  It’s her attitude.

During a conversation I had earlier this year with Janet, she talked about her race in 2010 and how she lost to “that pool guy.”  She was, of course, referring to Rep. Larry Ahern, who owns a swimming pool remodeling and commercial fountain business.

Janet did not see Larry as a small business owner, who owned Tyrone Discount Pool Supplies for twenty years before selling it.

Janet did not see Larry as a jobs creator.

Janet did not see Larry as a concerned husband and father.

No, she saw her opponent and dismissed him as just a “pool guy.”

This is not a defense of Ahern, but it’s no wonder she lost.

You could just see Janet’s condescension towards Ahern in her atrocious-looking television ads.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Janet is at it again. Read her latest comments about her current opponent and you can easily ascertain how little respect Long has for him.

Well, Janet could be running against a tomato can at this point and the tomato can would probably win — her comments are that offensive.

Shame on you, Janet.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.