Monday, October 30, 2006

Miami Comics: The Incredible Meshugena

You really gotta love this place. A day doesn't go by when elected officials or city or county bureaucrats don't do or say something really, really stupid. Case in point: The Miami Herald reported today that although most of the contributions to the strong mayor campaign came from within the county, Dade County Commissioner Javier Souto wondered out loud if some of the donations might have come from "international left-wing agitators" who might want to see voters usurp his and the commission's power.

For the past few months, seven of the commissioners have done all they can to embarrass our county by trying to stop the referendum calling for a vote by the county's citizens on Mayor Carlos Alverez's proposal. Using every legal tactic it can to block the referendum-- and getting smacked aside the head by every court the matter has been taken to-- including the Florida Supreme Court-- they had the temerity a few weeks ago to hire an outside attorney-- at the public's expense-- to battle the issue one more time in the courts. That earned "the seven" the first MVB Poopy Head hat awards.

According to Matthew L. Pinzur of the Herald, at the October 17th meeting, Souto "wondered aloud whether international left-wing agitators could be gaining influence in South Florida." Despite our admitted group therapy sessions with a shrink, what follows is something even we couldn't have come up with if we tried, Commissioner Souto's own words:

"When you many left-wing governments in Latin America at the moment, so much money-- are you talking about Venezuelan money? Are you talking about Castro? There's no money in Cuba for soap, but there's money for spying.

"There's some things happening in Miami-Dade County-- I've been saying it over and over and over again.

"I'm watching. I'm watching everything and everybody, and let me tell you I don't like what I'm seeing."

The next day he added this at another meeting:

"When our guys-- not the left-wing people, but the people who are in favor of democracy and who Reagan was supporting-- when those people get on the offensive and kick the hell out of the other people, where do you think they went?

"You think they went to Alaska? You think they went to Russia? No, my friends. They came here.

"They're in Texas, they're here. They came across the border."

Commissioner Souto, we don't know what the hell you're trying to say, or how in God's Good Name you got elected, but in appreciation of your efforts in keeping an eye on those godless left-wing bastards who are trying to infiltrate our way of life, we salute you with your second Poopy Head hat award. You and Commissioner Natacha Seijas now have two Poopy Head hats each-- more than any other commissioner. Congratulations and thanks for the laughs!


Frank Abignale Jr. said...

Comments like that are common fair for Senator, I mean, Commissioner Souto . . .

Click on my name so we can stop the ARMY of the THIRTEEN MONKEYS governing Miami-Dade County.

Verticus said...

I deleted an earlier comment I made because it poked fun at people I don't want to malign-- the unfortunate and my readers (who may be one and the same depending on whom you're talking to). Please forgive me.

Frank Abignale Jr. said...

Posted on Thu, Nov. 02, 2006

Alvarez's plan for strong mayor clears a roadblock
A judge has refused to block the Miami-Dade mayor's attempt to strengthen his position through a referendum.

Yet another attempt to derail Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez's plan to strengthen his post failed Wednesday when a judge ruled that Citizens for Open Government should have made its most recent legal challenge when it filed its original lawsuit against the plan in June 2005.

Last month, at the urging of a majority of county commissioners, the political action committee tried to stop Alvarez's strong-mayor referendum by claiming that the full text of a proposed county charter change, instead of a summary, should have been on each signed citizen petition calling for the referendum.

But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Genden ruled that Citizens for Open Government should have made that argument as part of its original lawsuit to stop a strong-mayor vote.

In August 2005, Genden rejected the group's claim that defects in the ballot summary and notarization of citizen petition signatures violated state law. An appeals court agreed, and the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case earlier this year, setting in motion the certification of more than 123,000 petition signatures calling for the referendum. That certification placed the measure on the ballot.

Commissioners must schedule a referendum by Jan. 24.

Stephen Cody, attorney for Citizens for Open Government, said Genden's ruling can be appealed and that he will discuss that option with his client -- or see if the group would prefer to commit resources to campaigning against the mayor's plan.

Alvarez has argued for a strong-mayor form of government since he took office in 2004, saying it would make him more accountable to the public and rein in corruption. The proposal would give the county mayor the authority to hire and fire department heads and the county manager, and more control over the awarding of substantial county contracts.

His opponents, including the entire County Commission, see it as little more than a power grab and claim that it would put too much power into the hands of one person, setting the stage for potential abuses.

''Although an election date has not yet been set, the deadline is nearing,'' Alvarez said in a statement released by his staff Wednesday. ``I am optimistic that the people's right to vote will prevail.''