Yep, it's that time again....election season.
Campaign signs are popping up like mushrooms.
Pretty soon candidates for every office imaginable will be showing up in your living room on your TV screen.
Under normal circumstances, these are people who, if you saw them in public, you'd walk across the street to avoid them. But during campaign season, there's no escape. Get used to it.
Some of those running couldn't get elected dog catcher anywhere else.
But Miami ain't like anywhere else.
Let's look at few of the candidates.
First, we have no-talent Luther Campbell who - with the apparent backing of Miami New Times - has filed to run for Miami-Dade mayor.
Campbell is a guy who has more baggage than the arrivals carousel at MIA, and who, if elected, could make Carlos Alvarez's term in office look like Franklin Roosevelt's by comparison.
Can Campbell get elected?
This is Miami. If a guy who once raised money for a convicted terrorist can get elected, anything is possible.
Across the bay in Miami Beach, Steve Berke, a comedian no one has ever heard of, is running for mayor. No joke!
One of Berke's advisers is a notorious Republican dirty trickster.
Berke showed up in the news today after he was dis-invited from a Miami Beach comedy fest on Friday for reasons that aren't entirely clear.
And up in North Miami, incumbent mayor Andre Pierre is running for re-election.
This guy is a piece of work.
Let's take a closer look at Mayor Pierre.
Last year Pierre thought it would be a nifty idea to invite 55,000 destitute Haitian earthquake survivors - all of them - to settle in North Miami. He apparently never gave any thought to where they would live or who would clothe and feed them. That idea went away quickly.
And last October the mayor made news when the Miami Herald discovered he was driving a $100,000 Porsche.
Unlike county officials, who rely on the generosity of the taxpayers for their wheels - North Miami officials apparently turn to their "friends" for their transportation needs.
Herald reporter Nadege Charles asked Pierre where the Porsche came from but the mayor said he couldn't remember.
Asked by The Miami Herald who lent him the car, Pierre gave conflicting stories.Pierre eventually returned the car when a resident told him, ``It didn't look good," Evidently he couldn't figure that out by himself.
The mayor said he borrowed the car in June from a ``close'' friend, David Kidd, so he could take his family to Orlando and Key West. He then canceled the trips and began driving the car to City Hall and around town.
But Kidd, a Miami Gardens chiropractor, said he is ``not the mayor's close friend,'' he didn't lend the car to the mayor, and he doesn't own the Porsche. He said the car belongs to his business partner, Renal Roberty, president of Soleil Lakay Corp. of Miami Gardens. Soleil Lakay is registered with the state as a nonprofit corporation.
Roberty, a client of Pierre's law firm, agrees he is the one who lent the car.
But the mayor contends he got the car from Kidd. ``I know I have a very good memory,'' Pierre said. ``I'm very sharp.''
``No way,'' Roberty said. ``He can't say the car was given to him by David Kidd. That can't be true.''
Then this past January, the Herald's Nedege Charles learned that Pierre instructed the city's police chief to order "dozens of police-style badges for the mayor's ``staff,'' even though only three people work for him."
Pierre eventually apologized for ordering the badges -which cost more than $4,000 - but wouldn't explain why he ordered them or who got them.
In early February, the city destroyed the badges.
A few days ago, the Herald's Charles reported this bit of shocking news:
When North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre apologized publicly last month for ordering 43 police-like badges, he also cut a personal check to reimburse the city for the cost of the gold-colored shields.Over the weekend while passing through North Miami, I noticed that Pierre has his campaign signs in place.
But the $4,151 check bounced.
Earlier this week, the city was notified there were insufficient funds in Pierre’s account.
The election is May 10 and Pierre has two challengers.
As I shot a photograph of Pierre's sign, I was struck by how bland and boring it was.
There was nothing to set it apart from the rest of the campaign clutter.
And that slogan? "Let's continue the progress." C'mon mayor! You can do better than that.
Pierre, is an interesting and offbeat character for sure. But there's no reason a few minor slip-ups and miscues have to drag down this dedicated public servant.
So Random Pixels - as a public service - set about this afternoon to help Pierre turn those negatives into a visually appealing campaign sign.
I added a little more flash ... and some bling....designed to make the voters forget about those unpleasant things in the mayor's past - things that as far as we're concerned - are ancient history.
Herewith, my re-designed campaign sign for North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre.
You can thank me later Mr. Mayor!