Ladra just returned from a walk in lovely Miami Lakes where we strolled by the library to ask organizers behind the Miami-Dade Commissioner Natacha Seijas recall drive why they have still not filed legally required campaign financial reports due eight days ago, before voting started.
More on that later. There was no answer, of course, except to call the police (read: intimidation) on what I suspect is a false report, but I will go get that report Monday and let you know).
First, I have to just say how creepy it was to stand in Miami Lakes cow country and be mentally transported to the streets of Havana, where people are afraid to talk about politics. So, while it seems a bit extreme, I see shades of Fidel Castro in the Miami Voice PAC.
But I bet even Castro would love to have Ivette Lisa Taylor on his staff.
Taylor, a member of the Miami Vice team (no, that is not a typo), interrupted right after I asked a young, tall man who spoke no English his reasons for being there and urging votes against Seijas.
"I don't know her. I was brought here to help her out," he said, pointing to the PAC group. We tried to get the young man's name and asked if he was being paid for his time, but before he could answer, Taylor hurriedly ran up and told him not to talk to me and she took him by the arm and physically led him away.
Then she went one by one to the people with a pro recall sign and told them also not to answer any questions from me. And they didn't. One woman, pictured below before she could hide her face behind the sign, said it was because she didn't know who I was. But after I identified myself, she wouldn't talk to me still. At least she spoke. Nobody else apparently even felt free enough.
It wasn't like I was going to ask them about financial disclosure. I asked PAC attorney and Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, who ignored my questions, and PAC treasurer Heidy Medina, who shouted four letter words to me and was physically held back by the crowd. (Wish I had gotten that on candid camera).
Oh, but nowhere among the f--k and bi--h, did she say why she hasn't filed the report.'
But the volunteers might not know that. I just wanted to ask them what motivated them to take that side and get involved (and, yes, okay, if they were being paid and knew who was behind it). Not one person who had anti recall signs was told not to speak to me. Many did. Some had good reasons to vote no. For others it was obviously more personal. Some were county employees. Some were non-county union members. Some were "concerned citizens" that didn't want to give their name. (Maybe they fear the repressive nature of Miami Vice).
But the point is that none of them were told not to talk to me.
Now, Miami Vice leaders are constantly whining about them being victims of intimidation. But I don't believe it. They tried to intimidate me and their own "volunteers" are intimidated by them. What the sign holders should do is ask questions themselves.
Unless, of course, they are just there to "help her out" -- whatever that means.