1. Write a blog about a Miami-Dade County Commission race; and
2. Take a Miami Herald recommendation mostly seriously.
Since the race for Commission District 2 affects most of North Miami and a portion of North Miami Beach, I figured now is as good a time as any for me to put my two cents in.
The Miami Herald recommended Jean Monestime “based on the incumbent’s good record” over former Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, who lost his seat to Monestime in 2010. Rolle obviously misses the job because he’s trying to take his seat back from Commissioner Monestime in the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. (Click here: Official Sample Ballot.)
Even if Mr. Monestime’s list of accomplishments (such as the Herald’s reminder that he won “backing to set aside $126 million to extend sewer pipes into underserved business areas like those in his district”) weren’t enough to give him your vote, Mr. Rolle’s ethically challenged history as an elected official should make this a no-brainer decision. Rolle has a long list of strikes against him that overshadows anything he might have achieved in the sixteen years he sat on the dais.
After being unseated by Monestime in 2010, the Biscayne Times’ Mark Sell scathingly point out that “[e]thical violations and investigations dogged Rolle throughout his tenure, while much of his District 2 remained mired in poverty and blight. He was criticized for making nearly $200,000 a year as head of the James E. Scott Community Association (JESCA) as it spiraled into insolvency. Driving a $125,000 Mercedes through his poverty-stricken district likely did not help.”
It also didn’t help that during the runoff in the 2010 race, Rolle chose the wrong forum in which to play the Race Card against his opponent. As reported by the Miami New Times on October 27, 2010, at an NAACP Political Forum at a Liberty City Church, Monestime accused Rolle of “trying to divide African-Americans in Liberty City from Haitian-Americans in North Miami.” Considering that about half of the black voters in District 2 are Haitian-Americans, and considering that Haitians are more likely to get out the vote than probably any other demographic in this district, accusing his Haitian opponent of being a “transplant” and ignoring the “inner city” was not exactly the smartest thing for Rolle to say.
Then again, in addition to suffering from Foot-In-Mouth Disease, Dorrin Rolle was dealing with plenty of other problems at the time. Eye On Miami blog covered the 2010 election extensively, and heavily criticized Rolle for everything from his outrageous campaign expenditures, his cozy relationship with lobbyist donors, more race card antics by his supporters, and having a long list of donors that the Eye accused of “giving to the ethically challenged.” That last list included Biscayne Landing’s Michael Swerdlow (’nuff said) and Homestead developer Wayne Rosen, who is also known to be connected with ethically challenged politicians.
When Rolle filed to challenge Monestime again in this year’s election, Eye On Miami simply posted, “Dorrin Rolle??? Really??? I couldn’t make this stuff up. I thought we saw the last of him. Barf Meter alert.”
In April of this year, Political Cortadito gave Commissioner Monestime a shout out for his amazing fundraising capabilities, which is usually a litmus test of how much support a candidate has among his constituents. Monestime raised $77,000.00 in March, compared to Rolle, who “raised $250.00” during that same time period. If that doesn’t send a message to Dorrin Rolle to give it up, I don’t know what will.
I do not live in District 2, so I can’t cast a vote in this race. But, if I could, there’s no question that I’d vote for Monestime.
If you want to consider an endorsement by a blogger, who also heartily endorses Publix apple fritters and pretty much anything made by Victoria’s Secret, I guess it’s official then.
Jean Monestime gets Stephanie Kienzle’s Endorsement!
I’m sure he’s thrilled beyond words.
Even if absolutely none of the things I’ve mentioned above impress you enough to re-elect Jean Monestime, I’m not above resorting to playing the Girl Card.
Which one of these two men would you rather look at during a Commission meeting?
VOTE FOR THE HOTTIE!
“Spreading the Wealth”