Prostitution is commonly referred to as the World’s Oldest Profession. Politics is mostly likely the second oldest. Based on the sleaze factor alone, it’s a toss up between lawyers and lobbyists as to which profession comes in third. Most likely it’s a tie.
As far as sleazy lobbyists go, the first one who comes to mind is Mitch Edelstein, President of Strategic Campaign Consultants, Inc. Mitch was the “genius” behind North Miami Beach EX-Mayor/FELONY defendant Myron Rosner’s failed 2011 re-election campaign. According to his Campaign Treasurers Report, Myron shelled out $4,000.00 to Mitch for “consulting.”
That same year, Mitch also worked for L’il Frantzie P, a/k/a Councilcritter Frantz Pierre, who paid Mitch a total of $1,354.86 for “handling large signs” and “flyer editing & concept,” according to Frantzie’s CTR. As we all know, Myron lost his mayoral seat to George Vallejo, and Frantzie beat his opponent by only 323 votes. Knowing Frantzie, his win was most likely had something to do with absentee-ballots.
In addition to being a campaign consultant for candidates in North Miami Beach, Mitch is also a registered lobbyist for the City of North Miami Beach.
In 2013, he represented both Dean’s Gold and SMG Entertainment (first Swinging Richards, now Black Diamonds).
According to the city’s website, Mitch represented Black Diamonds when it filed a Business Tax Application originally dated August 6, 2013. When Black Diamonds came before the Council later that year to request extended hours, Ringo Cayard was the lobbyist representing the strip club.
In 2014, Mitch registered in North Miami Beach as a lobbyist for SMG and one “Jacob Elhar, Moore 77, LLC.”
Mitch’s client, Jacob Elhar, Moore 77, LLC, is located at 15780 West Dixie Highway, which is the “Peoples Gas” property. Interestingly, there is no limited liability company known as “Moore 77, LLC” listed on the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations website, Sunbiz.org. (Hopefully, the City of North Miami Beach will now review its Business Tax Receipt to verify proper ownership.)
In any event, Mitch Edelstein, Lobbyist Extraordinaire, is one busy dude. If representing strip clubs (and gas companies?) in North Miami Beach isn’t enough, he’s now stuck his nose into the North Bay Village mayoral race.
Word has it that Mitch Edelstein is currently working for the North Bay Village Mayor, Connie Leon-Kreps, in her campaign for re-election.
This would not be Mitch’s first foray into NBV politics. In 2010, Edelstein was the registered lobbyist for one Scott Greenwald, who hoped to build a strip club on a piece of prime property adjacent to the WSVN building.
For a timeline of that epically failed project, check out the blog by Kevin Vericker on his North Bay Village Reality Based Community website entitled, History of the Strip Club.
Now that the election is less than a month away, I’ve heard that Mitch is also polishing his lobby boots and getting ready to press the issue yet again. Word has it that he’s pinning his strip club hopes (in the form of re-zoning – more on that in a future blog) on the incumbent winning the race. If that’s true, it would be in Mitch’s best interest to crush the opposition by any means necessary, including, but not limited to, the engineering of a smear campaign.
While wearing his “campaign consultant” hat, Mitch’s goal would be to make sure his candidate is re-elected.
In order to put on his “lobbyist” hat, it would be in Mitch’s best interest achieve that goal.
(And, somehow, to my knowledge no governmental agency in Florida has determined that the wearing of both hats constitutes a conflict of interest. Imagine that!)
Connie Leon-Kreps’ opponent in the race for North Bay Village mayor is one Jorge Brito, whose resume includes “a 30 year career with the Miami-Dade Police Department,” which included “numerous units of assignment such as the Organized Crime, Criminal Intelligence, Economic Crimes and Public Corruption Bureaus.”
One should assume it would be rather difficult to smear someone with Jorge Brito’s stellar character and reputation.
It would be damn near impossible, except for the fact that Connie Leon-Kreps has hired one Randall Hilliard, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Darkness,” as her campaign consultant. Randy, in turn, hired Mitch Edelstein. According to a Miami New Times article about the Miami Beach mayoral race last year, Hilliard is the king of smear campaigns. Fortunately, (or unfortunately – depending on your opinion of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine), Hilliard’s dirty campaign tricks failed during that election. However, do not count him out this time around.
As the North Bay Village blogger posted yesterday in Jorge Brito, the Kennedy House and My Endorsement, while serving as president of the Kennedy House Condominium, Inc., Brito investigated and eventually uncovered criminal activity allegedly perpetrated by the management company handling the finances of the association. His investigation led to the arrest of the building manager.
In the real world, Jorge Brito would be called a hero.
In the world of politics, no good turn goes unpunished.
It would not surprise me in the least if I learned that Randy and Mitch have been cooking up some sort of smear campaign, designed to strategically (and psychologically) link the name “Jorge Brito” with the words “criminal activity,” and then disseminating that misinformation by sending mailers to unsuspecting North Bay Village voters.
I have absolutely no idea if that’s what they’re planning to do. But, heck, if I were the Princess of Darkness, that’s exactly what I would do.
But, I don’t make my living as a campaign strategist.
Or a lobbyist.
And I’m certainly not the Princess of Darkness.
I’m just a mild-mannered secretary-slash-former baseball mom-slash-blogger.
(Unless, of course, you ask my ex-husband, who refers to me as Satan’s Bitch.)
As is the case with most local municipalities, campaign season brings out the worst in people (even if it brings out the best in bloggers). North Bay Village’s election is proving to become one of the dirtiest in South Florida. And, that’s saying a lot!
Truthfully, if it weren’t for Mitch Edelstein’s involvement, the North Bay Village election probably wouldn’t even be on my radar. But, since I’ve heard the North Miami Beach lobbyist’s name in connection with this mayoral campaign, I couldn’t ignore it.
The residents of North Bay Village seriously need to pay attention to this election, the outcome of which has the potential for some disastrous consequences.
For those of us who don’t live in North Bay Village, it should provide us with some much needed entertainment.
If you doubt that, you must read a 2007 article about Randall Hilliard, Convicted on FBI Tapes @ Nudist Bar, which included this quote from Key West CITIZEN’S VOICE: “The Prince of Darkness has ruined Atlantic Shores for us. Now we will never be able to go there again without wondering what the guys are stuffing into their Speedos.”
Yeah. This is gonna be fun.
“Spreading the Wealth”