|Why is Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine smiling?|
Because he just succeeded in conning a tiny fraction of Beach voters
into believing that he just wants to make Miami Beach a better place.
(Miami Herald photo by Charles Trainor)
Yesterday, retired Miami Herald reporter and long-time Miami Beach resident, Edna Buchanan, posted the following on Facebook. (I've added the button with the Thomas Jefferson quote.)
Edna H Buchanan
Voter Alert! Being wined, dined and courted by the Mayor DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR HIM! He provided free transportation, t-shirts, parties etc for registered voters, many of them senior citizens, in exchange for their applause, support, and cheers at campaign events. I'm hope you enjoyed his attention. I received his invite to a campaign event at a favorite restaurant. It offered free food and "Free Wine!" No contributions necessary. Okay. You did your part and showed up. But we have been around long enough to know it's wrong and unhealthy for our city to permit a super-rich politician with his own personal agenda to buy the mayor's office. Sure, you took what he offered. Who wouldn't? But it doesn't mean you're dumb enough to vote for him. We still have a secret ballot! Please vote your conscience today! It's clear he does not want us living here. His goal is to shape our city into an exclusive, high-priced private playground for his fat cat friends: developers, celebrities, and superstars. Protect what's left of this city. Protect Rebecca Towers, already targeted by developers. Protect our neighborhoods. Don't allow him to turn North Beach into another concrete canyon! Allow NB's coming renovation to be done right, thoughtfully, and according to a common sense master plan. Otherwise, 11 historic buildings will be demolished. You know what happens next. Be smart. Please vote. You know right from wrong. Just saying.
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In case it's not clear, the "Mayor" she's referring to is Philip Levine.
Too bad no one took her advice.
Miami Beach has about 80,000 residents with about 44,000 registered voters. But just slightly more than 10,000 voters took the time to vote for mayor.
Levine won with 6,839 votes to challenger David Wieder's 3,308. (Levine's total campaign expenditures according to his latest filing, amounted to almost $802,000...which means he spent $117 per vote. )
Total votes cast in the mayor's race was 10,477.
Which means that more than 33,000, or about 3/4ths of Beach voters apparently had better things to do yesterday.
Paraphrasing one of my Facebook friends, "it isn't government officials, or flooding, or traffic, or parking that is the main issue on Miami Beach," it's voter apathy.
So now, for the next two years, Beach residents are stuck with one of the most pompous, narcissistic, and morally bankrupt politicians to ever hold office in South Florida.
"The mayor is someone who needs to be watched," Wieder told the Herald last night.
Indeed, in the past two elections, Levine - a millionaire many times over - has poured almost $3 million of his own money to win an office that comes with almost no power and a relatively tiny salary of $10,000 a year....a sum he refuses to take. But he's never fully answered the question why he spends his personal fortune on a piss-ant job.
A majority of Miami Beach voters remained silent yesterday. And now, sadly, they'll learn first-hand what it's like to be governed by a tyrant.
|Click here to enlarge.|