Monday, March 14, 2011

Recall backer gets his own

Miami Lakes Mayor Michael "Muscle" Pizzi, attorney for the Miami Voice PAC mounting the recall effort against his arch nemesis Miami-Dade Commissioner Natasha Seijas, might face a recall drive of his own.

Longtime Pizzi critic David Bennett, resident and dentist, has formed a political action committee to start the recall process against Pizzi, who by now is an expert (this is his second attempt against Seijas). Supporters have been collecting names at the polls during early voting to create a data base of emails to later use to get petitions signed. Bennett said that the PAC wanted to gain momentum and access to thousands of voters at sites for the March 15 recall election on Seijas and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez but did not yet have a petition with approved language. The petition is limited to a certain number of words and the PAC members have to choose which of the alleged violations to the mayor's office they want to cite as their reasons.

But, when asked, Bennett admitted to Ladra that this also keeps Pizzi's prying eyes, and those of the professional political spin doctors surrounding him, from the lists. (The Miami Voice people stalked the elections department in Doral looking at the mayoral recall petitions to find sales leads, er, potential petition signers for their submovements). But email lists compiled by a PAC are not public documents that must be filed with the elections department, like signed petitions. And Bennett is also afraid the mayor would retaliate against anybody who signs.

Pizzi told Ladra he knew nothing about the recall effort -- he said this standing in front of a car at the Miami Lakes library that had a big "recall Pizzi" message on the back window (look over his shoulder in the photo here). Maybe he's not too observant. He was also seen talking to and being very friendly to the grandmotherly lady who was collecting emails from interested parties. We also think he's heard something about it because he and/or his supporters have been seen handing out flyers telling voters what a great guy he is (which, by the way, has no paid political ad disclaimer). And Miami Voice PAC Vanessa Brito has been shooting emails to Miami Lakes residents that at least acknowledge the claim of a recall drive. (an email in which she says "we the people of Miami Lakes," a few times so maybe she's establishing residency there to run for Seijas' seat). In any case, we are sure she may have mentioned it to him at some point.

Of course, Pizzi and his PAC (ooh, sounds like the name of a band) have already said that this is just an offshoot of the Seijas recall and that Bennett is on the commissioner's payroll. The alleged proof: Seijas' attorney Stephen Cody is also attorney for the Bennett PAC. Well, if that was all one needs for a connection then Seijas and Brito are buddies: Cody also represents Brito in a lawsuit against her filed by Miami Gardens Councilman Andre Williams (, case number 2009-2=68379-CA-01) to recover $11,000 for campaign work and costs that Williams argues were never done or incurred.

Or, rather, was Brito's attorney. Cody withdrew earlier this month after Brito called him corrupt in one of her rambling, smoke and mirrors emails. I guess she forgot he was her attorney, too.

Maybe Pizzi can take over representation. Especially if he is going to have more free time.


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