|Hat tip to the legendary Don Wright for the inspiration|
In a bizarre twist to the Miami mayoral race, Commissioner Joe Carollo on Thursday turned an expected endorsement of Mayor Maurice Ferre into a bitter denunciation of what he called Ferre's "racist campaign of hate."
"I will not vote for Maurice Ferre," Carollo told a stunned audience at a press conference called by Ferre to announce he had obtained Carollo's support.
The mayor, having just finished a warm introduction of his former ally, sat ashen-faced and silent while Carollo condemned his campaign as pitting Miami's black and Cuban communities against each other.
-Miami Herald, November 11, 1983
The Miami mayoral race is like that famous circus act where a midget car speeds into the tent and clowns start piling out.
This year, 10 candidates have emerged from the city's metaphorical midget car to amuse us before next week's election.
The most colorful of the pack is incumbent Joe Carollo , fondly known as Crazy Joe.
He's ruthless, paranoid, demagogic, divisive and unabashedly bankrupt of conscience.
-Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald, October 31, 2001
And now, Luther Campbell joins that list of crazies.
Miami-Dade became a stage for political theater Thursday, when Luther Campbell endorsed Julio Robaina for county mayor.
A day earlier, Campbell, a former mayoral candidate, had been expected to throw his support behind Robaina’s opponent, Carlos Gimenez. But Gimenez’s news conference announcing the endorsement was scuttled at the last minute, supposedly over scheduling conflicts.
Thursday morning, Robaina’s campaign set a press event of its own, at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City at 12:30 p.m. Yet there was no sign of Campbell an hour later.
That forced Robaina to face the news cameras on his own, flanked by a gaggle of supportive black officials. Robaina showed off a signed endorsement from Campbell, signed Wednesday night when the former rivals had dinner at Shula’s restaurant in Miami Lakes.
Robaina said Campbell was running late.
Campbell said he had been in talks with Gimenez, but that Gimenez’s campaign scheduled Wednesday’s endorsement event without consulting him.
“That was a total misunderstanding. I didn’t set that up,” Campbell said. Of picking a candidate to endorse, he added: “It’s been really, really tight. Both guys are good guys.”
When asked why he was late to Robaina’s conference, Campbell laughed and said, “I like to make people sweat.”
-Miami Herald, June 9, 2011