Little J̶o̶h̶n̶n̶y̶ Mitch wants a strip club

Little JohnnyProstitution 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).

NMB REGISTERED LOBBYISTS 2013 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.”

NMB REGISTERED LOBBYISTS 2014 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.

Proposed NBV strip club property

Site of 2010 proposed strip club

 

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.

Just saying.

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.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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12 Comments

  1. Jose Lopez says:

    The citizens of North Bay Village are faced with the task of selecting incumbent mayor Connie Leon-Kreps or candidate Jorge Brito as their next mayor. As the old saying goes, you are judged by the company you keep. Leon-Kreps’ association to Mitch Edelstein and Randy Hilliard makes her suspect based on the past history of Edelstein and Hilliard. The citizens of North Bay Village should stand against Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and prevent the JFK Causeway to be turned into a nude bar haven complete with the criminal element brought on by that sort of business. The JFK Causeway is a jewel in the rough and based on its geographical location could be turned into a magnificent environmentally and business friendly area that would protect property values and ensure crime free and clean living for the citizens in that city. Based on the qualifications of Jorge Brito posted here, I would vote for him as mayor. Every community benefits by electing individuals willing to fight corruption and standing up to the likes of Edelstein, Hilliard and associates.

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  2. Confused Fan says:

    Stephanie,

    This Mitch guy sure seems to be sleazy. He appears to be exactly the kind of low life that I want staying out of North Miami Beach. What I don’t understand is how you can write an article about him, but not write one about Keith Donner and Ringo Cayard. Almost every single fact you have stated in this article about this guy Mitch is true about Donner and Cayard.

    1. Both Donner and Cayard have represented strip clubs in North Miami Beach.
    2. Donner is known throughout South Florida as a political hit man. Look at what he did to Carlos Gimenez, or in Coral Gables, or Miami Beach or anywhere else he has worked. How about what he did in North Miami Beach? He makes the “Prince of Darkness” Randy Hilliard look like the pope. He lies about people and then threatens lawsuits if they tell the truth about him.
    3. Cayard was charged with more than 20 felonies. He only escaped prison by going through a pretrial intervention program since he had never been convicted of a crime before. Just last year, here scammed North Miami for over $90,000 for a Mardi Gras parade that he never put on.
    4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, these are the guys that our mayor, George Vallejo not only relies on as his closest advisors, but has made sure continue to get hired by anyone looking to do business with our city. He helps them make money, votes for the things that they lobby for and runs his “soft” political money through Donner’s shady PAC’s.

    I wouldn’t vote for Connie Leon-Kreps based on what I am reading here. But I think if you are going to attack her over her association with Mitch and Randy, it is only fair that you do the same with George and his association with Donner and Cayard. As smarmy as Mitch and Randy appear to be, they are mid-level sleezebags compared to the company that George Vallejo’s keeps. Why do you keep ignoring his questionable ethics?

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I have written about Ringo Cayard and the things he’s done in both North Miami Beach and North Miami (see: Playing the Race card re Black Diamonds and the $100K “consulting fee” re the aborted Mardi Gras festival). His felonies are a public record. Your point?

      I happen to personally know the lies that Mitch Edelstein has told about people in North Miami Beach, including myself, which is why I believe he’s sleazy. I never accused him of doing something illegal. I have no proof of that.

      You may not like Keith Donner, or approve of his hit piece mailers, but what is your proof that he has committed a crime?

      How did he hurt Carlos Gimenez? Gimenez won the election, didn’t he? (Oh, and by the way, how did that work out for the county?)

      I have looked into the financial records of Keith’s PACs, and I cannot find anything “shady” about them. These are a matter of public records. If there is something amiss, then I’d have to say that Keith’s done a great job of burying it. Can you find something I missed?

      Who has Keith lied about and what did he say? Do you have proof that he has threatened lawsuits? Are there witnesses willing to verify this?

      You may believe that Keith Donner is sleazy, but in the State of Florida, being sleazy is not illegal.

      Yes, I am aware that Keith and George are good friends. While their relationship has been the topic of conversation among certain individuals, where is your proof that George makes sure that Keith is “hired by anyone looking to do business” with NMB. Something in writing, perhaps? An email? A post it note? Scribblings on a cocktail napkin? Something…anything? Other than innuendo, that is.

      If Keith Donner is the “Prince of Darkness,” as you say, give me some proof and I’ll be more than happy to go after him.

      I have absolutely no reason to protect either George Vallejo or Keith Donner. If anyone can come up with indisputable evidence of wrongdoing committed by either one of them, I will be the first person to file a complaint with the appropriate agency. So far, all I have heard from anyone are accusations based on speculation and wishful thinking.

      When I suspect wrongdoing, I dig until I find something legitimate to go after (see: Myron bus bench/campaign finance fraud). Unless and until I find actual proof that someone is dirty, I always find it best to avoid committing libel or slander. Just saying.

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  3. Neighbor in North Bay Village says:

    As a North Bay Village Resident and condo owner in the Kennedy House I am personally familiar with Jorge Brito’s CLEAN REPUTATION and his tireless efforts to serve the community and his neighbors. I have has the opportunity to observe his actions when under the stress of a corrupt Community Association Manager trying to smear him with baseless slurs in homeowners meetings. No matter how personal the attacks on his character, he has always maintained a calm and respectful demeanor. The level of professionalism he must have displayed in his thirty year career as an investigator is still apparent in his day to day dealings. He addresses me and my husband always in a friendly and approachable manner. And speaking of manners, I have always found him to have impeccable manners, a rare trait in Today’s society and particularly in Miami. I am proud to have him as my neighbor and I will be happy to give him my vote in the mayoral election. I urge everyone to research Jorge Brito and compare his stellar record with that of questionable incumbent Connie Keeps. Then ask yourself which candidate truly has the best interests of North Bay Village at heart.

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  4. Homeowner-Kennedy House says:

    Kudos to you!!! Well done indeed. Hiring the likes of Randall Hillard and Mitch Edelstein is a sign of sheer desperation on the part of Connie Leon Kreps. Let’s keep it clean fellas Your strategy is getting old, your dirty campaigning/politics is the last thing we need in NBV. But thank you for getting it out there that due to the efforts of Jorge Brito, who chose not to cease and desist and the many homeowners at the Kennedy House whose hard work resulted in the arrest of the Building Manager. It will be my honor to give you my vote on the upcoming mayoral elections in NBV.

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  5. North Bay Village resident says:

    I must agree with Stephanie Vienzle.
    Mr Brito has, over the years, shown integrity and determination in fighting corruption. Corruption that has taken ahold of the building where I live.
    His resolve to get to the bottom of our financial woes has resulted in the arrest of our unscrupulous property manager. His leadership and constant direct contact with the homeowners while he was on the Board of Directors, stands in stark contrast with the other Board Members.
    I know that if he becomes Mayor he will show the same integrity and strength of character he has shown my neighbors and me at the Kennedy House.

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  6. Julio Robaina says:

    For those of us that know and have had the privilege of personally working with Jorge Brito, understand that this gentleman is a person of integrity and involved in his community in more ways than one. As a former State Representative that worked on condominium legislation for Florida and fought to clean up corruption in Associations, Jorge Brito has been a valuable asset to not only myself but the hundreds of people that work with him and I in exposing corruption in CONDOMINIUMS and HOA’S. It’s a shame that small town politics would like to tarnish the name of a man who has dedicated his whole life to public service and continues to work to clean up this very common situation called corruption in associations. I personally don’t place comments in blogs but this is one individual that I think can bring ethics and integrity to a city hat needs good leadership at this time.

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    1. Neighbor in North Bay Village says:

      Dear Mr. Robaina,

      THANK YOU, SIR! Thank you for taking the time to share your firsthand knowledge of Jorge Brito character. Yes, it truly is a shame that such common, small town and dirty politics are being used as tactics to tarnish the reputation of such a dedicated public servant and resident of North Bay Village.

      The letter which has been mass mailed to residents of NBV containing libelous statements regarding Mr. Brito actually reprints a private correspondence to him and to the Kennedy House Condominium Manager. In this one page mailer, slanderous and outrageous comments are printed in a red box off to the side. “Even Jorge Brito Neighbors don’t like him,” it boldly states, later calling him a “nightmare neighbor.”.

      Anyone who knows this man personally as a neighbor has benefitted from his consistent and self sacrificing devotion to helping individual members of the community. I am personally familiar with his countless deeds of kindness and innumerable man hours spent doing everything from attending community meetings to picking up garbage on the causeway as part of an organized effort to clean up our neighborhood.

      Regardless of politics, his efforts have benefitted members of the community on a large scale, touching the lives and improving living conditions for persons who in some cases are not even aware of the source. To call this man a nightmare neighbor is so far OPPOSITE FROM THE REALITY as to be almost comical. That is, if trying to slander a persons reputation with lies were not such a serious matter.

      It is clear from his record and from the mailer that the only persons who consider Jorge Brito a “nightmare” are the corrupt members of the Homeowners Association and Community Association Management company. Why? Because when he smells something fishy, he acts in the best interests of the neighbors he has sworn to serve, and takes a closer look. One thing is clear, Jorge Brito doesn’t back down.

      It is shocking to me that the Community Association Manager and the law firm at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lamer, De La Torre, Mars and Siebel would allow and endorse the use of a legal and private correspondence in the use of a smear campaign.

      The persons responsible for this mailer should also realize that this is America, and Americans do not feel threatened and intimidated by members of law enforcement as in banana republic countries which many of our residents have fled. To anyone who knows his reputation, the only threat Jorge Brito poses to anyone is his refusal to let criminal activities in his own community go without making sure the proper agencies are performing a thorough investigation.

      This is the man I want serving my community and my interests! Because he always has, and he always will. What can you expect from Jorge Brito? – Integrity, because that’s who he is!

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  7. Neighbor in North Bay Village says:

    Please follow the further comments being posted regarding Jorge Britos reputation and involvement in bringing justice to the community by ridding it of corruption here as well:

    http://www.nbvreality.com/2014/10/jorge-brito-kennedy-house-and-my.html?showComment=1412816878725

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  8. […] reason I ventured so far from home is that I was following the Mitch Edelstein money trail, which led me to the Campaign to re-elect Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps.  Mitch Edelstein, you may […]

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  9. […] his mentor Myron Rosner, Frantzie hired Strip Club King Mitch Edelstein to run his campaign.  Before he actually filed to run for office on February [Illegible], […]

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  10. […] As posted on the North Miami Beach city website, Political Action Committees must be registered if they are involved in city council elections.  The Electioneering Communications Organization (ECO) “Common Sense” registered in this last election.  That name rang a bell, and I quickly realized that this is the same ECO that engineered the North Bay Village election last November, and which is the ECO utilized by none other than Randall “Prince of Darkness” Hilliard and “Strip Club” Mitch Edelstein. […]

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