Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Win/win/lose and some predictions

Just because a group of people get seemingly majority support, doesn't mean they are right. Remember slavery, Nazi Germany or, closer to home, Havana 1959?

But while I strongly opposed the recall efforts for both Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas, now that the political committees and special interest groups behind both efforts were successful (win), Ladra is wagging her tail, too. We realized on Election Eve that we would be happy either way because we could have a lot of fun blogging (win) in the next two months or so leading up to the special election to replace them. Campaigning had already started even before the votes were counted. And all the front running candidates are doing their best to capitalize on the recall fever. Ladra doesn't think the commission will dare appoint anyone, so there will be another chance to make changes as early as May 16.

Or not. Seijas' people had already said they were going to focus on the campaign for the office, since the recall was pretty much hijacked and out of control already. And Alvarez can also run again, but he might not. But I challenge anyone to tell me how the candidates that have jumped at the chance to ride the voter wave of outrage are any different. What really changes? Nothing (lose). Because the new people can do the same things that Alvarez did to earn the voters' wrath.

Nine people have filed to take the mayor's seat, including rap pioneer/music mogul Luther Campbell. While Marcelo Llorente may have started his campaign first, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez are considered the frontrunners. State Rep. Esteban Bovo (Rep. District 110 and an old friend of Miami Voice PAC chair Vanessa Brito) has been reported to be fundraising and some people think he would be a shoe-in for Seijas' seat. But Ladra will watch for a few others to jump in and bets at least one has ties to the secretly funded PAC that drove the Yes vote with outright lies, attacks on Seijas' weight issues and unsubstantiated claims of personal attacks.

A few more predictions to watch for:

Miami Voice will continue to play a role in this election, supporting one of the candidates or candidates in both seats, because PACs can take larger contributions than candidates (and from unknown sources the candidate would not want to be connected to) and spend it on a slew of things like dirty campaigns without the candidate actually being the bad guy.

A bunch of candidates, five or six at least, will run in District 13, some even placed there intentionally to split votes among certain blocs. Seijas wins.

More commissioners will be seen as ripe for recall by thisPAC or other PACs funded by these special interests or new special interests. Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz might be the weakest of the herd, after reports that the firm he consults for benefited from his votes on the dais. But nobody is immune. Commissioners may start voting to avoid recalls, not to do what's right.

Recalls pop up in municipalities, too, whether the electeds deserve it or not, because professional political consultants and business people (now "recall experts") whose livelihoods depend on campaigns will identify these opportunities and take them to well-funded palanca people who can't win on their own in a general election.

Norman Braman loses interest and does not pour the same resources and stamina into the campaign for "Step 2", the real reform that should have come before the cart. That was just something thrown in at the end to appease smart voters. Like dressing on salad. Ladra doubts he ever intended to follow up on those measures for term limits and countywide seats.

Now, Ladra is no Walter Mercado. But if this were a game in Vegas (which it should be), that's how I would bet.

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