Best Of 2007

MOST OSTENTATIOUS USE OF POLITICAL CASH: Ralph Hughes’ $1 million committee

Hillsborough County’s conservative power broker Ralph Hughes formed his own political committee — with the impossibly long name, “Let’s Make the World a Better Place Because We Have Been Here” — and endowed it with $1-million from the fortune he has made selling building products in a development-happy Florida. He used a good chunk of the committee’s funds then to secure Ronda Storms’ election to the Florida Senate by paying for vicious attack ads against military veteran and genuinely nice guy Stephen Gorham. All perfectly legal under Florida’s sieve-like elections laws. Which stinks. On ice.