In his most recent column, Derek Hunter wrote in Truth Is For Suckers, “What’s the point in telling the truth? Moreover, what’s the point in not lying? In many cases a lie will get you much further, much more attention, more money or power, so why bother telling the truth? Is the truth for suckers?”
After relating the recent Rolling Stone “exposé” about the fraternity “rape” scandal that never happened, Hunter wrote:
So what’s the point in not lying?
Lying will get you stuff. It can get you attention. It can get you dates. It can get you just about anything you want if you’re good enough at it and willing to live the lie as long as you have to.
It’s even better if the lie is “the truth” someone else is desperate to hear. Tell people a lie they wish were true, and you’ll have a clear path to whatever you want.
Politicians deal in lies the way Picasso worked in paint. It’s their currency.
Even amateur politicians like North Miami Beach Council members Frantz Pierre and Phyllis Smith have learned that lying can be their best weapons against their opponents.
In her book, The Truth Advantage, author and television personality Lis Weihl describes two types of liars – the pathological liar and the compulsive liar.
According to Weilh, “A pathological liar “exaggerates and concocts stories with little regard or concern for other people’s feelings. A pathological liar actually believes the lies he’s dishing out or at least believes them the moment he’s saying them . His stories are grandiose and dramatic, and he often describes how he’s smarter, better looking, braver, and more interesting than he really is. If you even ask an innocent question in regard to a pathological liar’s story, the person will feel threatened or annoyed by the question.”
The author describes a compulsive liar as one who “lies out of habit. Lying is a normal way of life for him. His lying begins in early childhood. His lies are not necessarily manipulative or cunning; he’s simply been lying about everything for so long that he doesn’t know anything but. Lying is second nature. Compulsive liars often have low-self esteem. They frequently lie to get noticed, and they create stories in order to be the center of attention. Like any behavior that provides comfort, compulsive lying can be hard to stop.”
From these descriptions, it’s easy to see that Frantzie falls into the first category. Is there any doubt that Phyllis falls into the second?
Phyllis was in rare form at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Two very relevant topics were brought up, especially as they relate to the upcoming election. The first was the issue of “lifetime health insurance,” which has been a sticking point with residents ever since 1986, when the then sitting mayor and council voted themselves this freebie, courtesy of North Miami Beach taxpayers. Elected officials were initially entitled to receive this benefit after eight years of service, but at a later time it was changed to “after serving four terms.”
According to a 24 page legal opinion by the law firm of Bryant, Miller and Olive dated April 2, 2015, entitled Post-Service Insurance Benefits For Certain Elected Officials and Senior Management Employees, the administration at the time voted for themselves the “right” to receive not only paid health insurance policies for the rest of their lives, but they also received 100% reimbursement for all co-pays, co-insurance and out-of-pocket expenses.
Attorney David C. Miller, who wrote the opinion, gave a brief presentation at the meeting.
In 2009, the council passed Resolution R2009-57, which eliminated all lifetime benefits for sitting and future members. Phyllis and Frantz, who were first elected in 2007, made sure that anyone elected prior to October 1, 2008 was still eligible to receive this benefit. According to Mr. Miller, this resolution was “validly and legally done with all due process.”
Resolution R2010-41, however, effectively did away with that loophole. This new resolution only offered all council members the same health insurance that employees were entitled to, and only while they were in still office. Mr. Miller stated that this resolution did “not address post service benefits.”
You can watch Mr. Miller’s presentation in its entirety for yourself. But the bottom line is that Councilwoman Phyllis Smith and her little buddy Frantz Pierre, who were counting on grabbing “free” lifetime healthcare insurance on taxpayer dime, are not eligible to receive this benefit even if they are re-elected.
From the beginning, Frantzie has been swearing up and down that he has never taken a dime of taxpayer money for his health insurance, and that he never intends to do so. At hour 1:32:35 of the council meeting, he dramatically and emphatically stated that lifetime benefits “was absurd.” He continued, “I pledge and it is still my promise not to take it. There are a lot of abuses in the system … about reimbursement for out-of-pockets. I don’t want it. I have better coverage from the School Board, I believe that’s abuse, so I could go either way. I didn’t take it then, I didn’t take it now, and I do not intend to take it in the future. Even after I get re-elected.”
Unless you count the taxpayer funded health insurance he already receives from his other employer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Or the executive “allowance of nearly $24,000,” as reported by the Miami Herald, of taxpayer money each council member receives to spend how they wish, including their own health insurance, if necessary.
And yet, Pathological Liar Frantz has actually convinced himself that he’s never taken even one dime of your money for health insurance.
During Mr. Miller’s presentation, however, Phyllis was the most restrained anyone has ever seen her behaving. It’s common knowledge that on several occasions Phyllis has publicly claimed she’s “entitled” to the “lifetime health insurance” if she is elected for a fourth term.
In fact, through an intermediary, Phyllis’ opponent Bruce Lamberto advised Phyllis that he would not file to run against her if she agreed in writing not to take this benefit should she be re-elected. Phyllis obviously refused because Bruce is now challenging her seat.
After Mr. Miller’s presentation, Phyllis was asked to speak on the topic. A very subdued Phyllis said, “I just wanted to address that when I was elected when I ran for office I didn’t know you got a salary let alone insurance and when the new council people came in and their spouses had issues and they didn’t want to change insurance we now pay for our own insurance even though I’m Medicare I kept the group insurance because the more healthy people are in your group insurance the less it costs for everyone so costs should be twice as much per month for the last five years and I’m happy to do that and I hear what you say it’s a non-issue. It’s a non-issue.”
That last “It’s a non-issue” came out as a whimper. She actually appeared to be crestfallen!
No one spoke for several seconds because no one could believe she actually stopped talking.
It was eerie.
But, once the topic changed, Phyllis recovered and reverted to her usual obnoxious self as soon as the council began discussion about the election.
Councilman Tony DeFillipo was emphatic about the city’s proactively getting out the message to voters about absentee ballot fraud. Anyone who’s been paying attention to North Miami Beach elections for the last eight years knows without a doubt that absentee ballot fraud is a huge problem. Tony wanted the city to prepare a voters guide to alert voters about absentee ballot fraud in North Miami Beach, which is a major concern. He wanted the voters to become familiar with the laws.
“The city has a history of absentee ballot fraud and something needs to be done,” Tony demanded.
He then made a motion for an all out media blitz in an effort to halt absentee ballot fraud. He wants to instruct voters how to file a complaint and to alert them to “the penalties that can be assessed for engaging in this type of activity.”
Although this message was clearly directed at Frantz Pierre, who has been known to play fast and loose with absentee ballots, it apparently struck a nerve with Phyllis, who has been actively campaigning on one of Frantzie’s “slates.”
Pathological Liar Frantz Pierre, the actual perpetrator of some of the worst absentee ballot fraud in NMB history, comically denied any culpability.
Frantzie mumbled, “Once again we’re trying to clean up our city, which is a good thing. But there’s a fine line between fixing and infringing people rights.”
That’s Frantzie-speak for, “If you try and stop me from stealing absentee ballots, you’re a racist.”
As expected, Phyllis went into full bloviation mode with a campaign-like speech.
Campaigning from the dais, of course, is an ethics violation. And yes, a complaint was already initiated.
From her first invented word (“honorability,” Phyllis? REALLY?), she expounded. She kept on expounding until her diatribe hit an ear splitting crescendo from which I imagine even dogs cower in fear.
“Honorability goes in a lot of directions. You know, we have people who just want to be mean spirited and nasty. And I want to tell you, if nasty’s your game, don’t look at me. ‘Cuz I’m not a nasty person. And let me tell you that I sit up here to take care of the people, my vote is for the people. When I keep hearing all this stuff, I’d like to say something stronger but I don’t talk like that. About those signs. Every time you see a Phyllis Smith sign, I personally knocked on that door. I knocked on the door in the heat and one day in the rain. And so you know what? I hear now how we’re talking about this is bad, this is bad, this is bad. You know what everybody tells me? It’s election time. Well, you know what? Welcome to class 101 when all this stuff… We’re not voting on the garbage because it’s election time. We are bringing up about the insurance because it’s election time. Now this is another subject. Whether it’s right or whether it’s wrong, whatever this council wants to do let’s do it. I wanna have a fair, run for your seat, take care of the people election. That’s it! You want to take care of the public and you think you could do a good job at it, please put your papers in and run. But then run an honorable campaign. And then at the end of the day, the public will decide whoever they vote for and I don’t know if you could control somebody that wants to be dishonorable. I don’t know if you could do that Councilwoman. If they’re going to be dishonorable, they’re going to be dishonorable.
“You know, I have to tell you. I see a lot of stuff going on around here and you don’t always get caught. The bottom line is, everybody has to answer to themselves, to their families and to their higher power. In my seat all’s I can say is I want the public to vote for who they want to take care of them after the election’s over. That’s what they should be doing. And that’s what an election is about. We live in America. You can vote for who you want to take care of you from now for the next four years and two years from now for that four years to take care of you and how your tax dollars are spent and how decisions are made. That’s what an election is. And I just tell you I see a lot of things to bring each and everything up let’s just try to have a good clean election, run for your office, take care of the public, and then the public will go in and they will vote to take care of you. Thank you very much.”
OMG, where to begin?
For one thing, after all these years in office, Mama Phyllis STILL doesn’t get that an elected official’s job is not to “take care of the people,” but to serve them.
It’s not Phyllis’ job to tell people how to behave (“My Civility resolution was for your benefit, not mine!”), how to dress (“Pull up your pants!”), or where to sit (“I demand to sit next to the Mayor!”).
For another, Phyllis unwittingly shot herself in the foot by bringing up campaign signs, and said, “Every time you see a Phyllis Smith sign, I personally knocked on that door.”
THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT AND OUTRAGEOUS LIE!
Along NE 171 Street, where one of the biggest proliferation of Phyllis Smith signs magically appeared (and somehow “magically” disappeared shortly thereafter), I personally know that she did not personally knock on the door of at least one resident who was “gifted” with a screaming yellow Phyllis Smith campaign sign.
My best friend, Trish Miller, told me that she absolutely DID NOT give permission to Phyllis Smith to put a sign on her lawn. And yet, when Trish came home from work one day, there it was!
Did Compulsive Liar Phyllis really think that absolutely no one would call her out on her bullshit?
WELL SURPRISE! THERE YA GO, PHYLLIS!
Speaking of campaign sign offenders, candidate Paule Villard (who, not surprisingly, is campaigning with Phyllis and Frantzie!), also placed one of her signs on Trish’s lawn one day last week. A Villard campaign sign appeared sometime during the night after Trish walked her dog, and before 6:00 a.m. when she left for work. Paule Villard also did not ask for permission to place her sign on Trish’s lawn. And, yet, there it was!
Trish, of course, took both of them down and replaced them with the campaign signs of Marlen Martell and Bruce Lamberto, who did ask for, and receive, permission.
Frantzie, on the other hand, knows better than to go near Trish’s house, much less plant a sign on her lawn.
(And unlike Frantzie, who ridiculously claimed he had video footage of someone stealing his signs, Trish actually has a security camera!)
For the record, unlike Phyllis and Paule, I asked for, and received, permission from Trish to use her name.
In her pseudo campaign speech on the dais, Phyllis also had the audacity to say, “We are bringing up about the insurance because it’s election time.”
Sorry, Phyllis. The insurance issue has been a topic of conversation since 1986! It is not being brought up specifically “because it’s election time.”
But the fact that Phyllis and Frantzie believed they were eligible to receive this taxpayer funded “free” benefit if they were re-elected this time around, it most definitely was a topic relevant to the election.
Thanks to the conclusive legal opinion by Bryant, Miller and Olive, North Miami Beach can finally put this matter to bed.
Phyllis did, however, hit the nail on the head when she said, “I see a lot of stuff going on around here and you don’t always get caught.”
Obviously, she and her two BFFs, Frantz Pierre and Paule Villard, were hoping to get away with the “stuff going on around here” and not “get caught.”
Good luck with that!
This time around, the White Hats are ready for y’all!
Just this morning, I was advised that at least three of Phyllis’ commercial signs were removed by the owners in the past 24 hours, as were at least four of Paule Villard’s. Villard also took down the commercial size campaign sign from her residential property.
Well, what do ya know? Guess who just got “caught?”
Phyllis stated that she wants to have a “good clean election.”
By all means, let’s.
Phyllis should start by cleaning up her act.
She could also STOP LYING ALREADY!
Then again, with people like Phyllis, “compulsive lying can be hard to stop.”
“Spreading the Wealth”