In the race to oust incumbent North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith, two of her opponents have bent over backward to be cordial to each other. They’ve been equally as cordial to Phyllis, even though she doesn’t deserve any niceties whatsoever.
I have spoken with both Michael Joseph and Bruce Lamberto quite often since each of them filed to run for office. Margie Love has not contacted me.
Supporters of both Joseph and Lamberto are quick to tell you what each of these candidates bring to the table and how they will serve the residents of North Miami Beach if elected. I have no reason to doubt that either one will make an an excellent councilman. Both of these gentlemen are in the race for all the right reasons, both want to work hard for the progress of North Miami Beach, and I believe that neither one of them would abuse their power.
The same can’t be said for the person currently occupying the seat that’s up for grabs.
Phyllis Smith is a loud, brash, insufferable and self-aggrandizing megalomaniac, who has tried to paint the town the aptly named Minion Yellow for the last eight years.
Is there anyone in North Miami Beach who doesn’t know that Phyllis Smith is beyond desperate to get re-elected?
Phyllis is so contemptible, even the Uleta Loon and his Contrary Sidekick are seeking to replace her.
(How scary is that to find yourself on the same side as the Bat Shit Crazy Duo? Pretty scary.)
Phyllis Smith has squeezed every resident, city vendor and lobbyist for a donation, knocked on every door, campaigned from the dais at every meeting, crashed every party and placed one of her ugly yellow signs on pretty much every lawn in the city. With or without permission.
This is a political windbag who will do and say anything, for the sole purpose of political pandering. She dons a new persona for every audience. No matter what she did or did not vote for until now, she will change her tune depending on where you stand on any issue.
If you’re unsure of your opinion, she’ll make one up for you.
And those are her good qualities.
This time, however, she has sunk to new depths.
As in Mitch Edelstein.
On March 20, 2015, “Floridians for a Strong Future: paid Edelstein’s company, Strategic Campaign Consultants, Inc., the sum of $1,100.00 from this ECO for “consulting.”
What is really interesting is where the contributions to this ECO came from.
The were two recent contributions to this PAC – $1,000.00 from IPIC Gold Class Entertainment, Inc., the Boca Raton company building the new iPic Theater in Eastern Shores, and $1,000.00 from Moore 77, LLC, a Delaware corporation.
Interestingly, Mitch Edelstein is a 2015 Registered Lobbyist for Moore 77, LLC for North Miami Beach.
I would think it’s a conflict of interest for a registered lobbyist, representing clients who want to do business in the City of North Miami Beach, to also have a hand in negative campaign advertising. (If that’s the case, the usual and customary complaint will be filed.)
“Floridians for a Strong Future,” apparently acting as a proxy on behalf of Phyllis Smith, commissioned a mailer that viciously attacked one of her opponents, Bruce Lamberto. I’ve seen plenty of hit pieces in my time, but this one is not only utterly despicable, but it’s also largely untrue.
No, I will not reprint it here!
Yes, Lamberto has baggage. Most people do. Especially when they’re involved in a contentious divorce.
In Lamberto’s case, he was arrested.
So was Ron Book, Ben Kuehne and Kendall Coffey. (If you don’t know who they are, Google them.)
The pro-Phyllis hit piece said he is a “wife beater” and depicts a STOCK PHOTO of a battered woman, implicating that the picture is of Lamberto’s ex-wife.
If you ask Lamberto’s ex-wife, she will tell you that this is absolutely not true.
The Phyllis Proxy ECO also called Lamberto a “deadbeat dad.”
Considering that Mr. Lamberto has had full custody of his minor son since he and his ex-wife’s divorce, and he was not required to pay child support, he can’t possibly be considered a “deadbeat dad.”
In fact, when I was on the board of directors of the North Miami Beach Little League, Mr. Lamberto’s son played baseball with us. He personally brought his son to every game and every practice the entire season. I never met or saw the child’s mother. That is not the usual behavior of a deadbeat dad.
The mailer sent by the Phyllis Proxy ECO also claimed that Lamberto was charged with criminal battery and contempt of court. It is my understanding that all charges were dropped. Therefore any claims that he was “charged” with anything is patently false.
I am not writing this to defend Mr. Lamberto or whatever matters he has dealt with in his past. He knew full well coming in that if he ran for public office he would be subjected to public scrutiny. Most people who have skeletons in their closet choose not to put themselves through the aggravation that is sure to come.
But this particular hit piece is beyond the pale. I have already received emails and phone calls from residents who are disgusted by this latest piece of negative advertising. Some of the individuals lambasting Phyllis Smith’s campaign for this possibly libelous mailer have been on the opposing political side of Mr. Lamberto in previous election cycles. It’s been suggested that Mr. Lamberto contact an attorney to file a possible defamation lawsuit. I hope he does just that.
Former Councilman David Templer, who himself was once the target of negative campaign advertising, was so incensed by this hateful mailer, he promptly distributed a letter to his extensive mailing list and gave me permission to reprint it here:
Despite the beautiful weather we just over the last couple of days the weekend was marred by a despicable and disgusting political mailer. One of the candidates for our municipal election was viciously attacked by a “527 group”, and was accused of being a convicted thug. The photograph used on the mailer was incendiary but was not related to any case involving the candidate (this alone speaks volumes about the inaccuracy of the mailer). This mailer that used vile photographs unconnected with the candidate and accused him of being a convicted thug is far and away the most offensive piece of political mail this area has ever been subjected to.
Ironically, the person or persons who are primarily responsible for this mailer are shameful COWARDS!!. They are completely lacking in any moral fiber. In fact, the 527 organization “Floridians for a Strong Future” is not even registered with the State of Florida as required by law. It is merely another “hit and run” shell organization organized for the purpose of hiding the identities of those who are really behind a smear campaign. I challenge whomever was responsible, by way of funding or otherwise, to step forward into the light, to have some REAL courage and accept responsibility for this vitriolic mailer.
Within just hours after receiving the mailer I was provided an Affidavit from the candidates former wife. I’ve attached it. Read it for yourself.
This candidate and I were opponents when I ran for office. I have had my differences with this candidate but no grudges were ever held. Nonetheless, I could never endorse or support the use of such a vicious and cowardly attack on a person. Though I have not supported or endorsed this candidate, or any other, I cannot stay quiet under these circumstances.
David Templer, lifelong resident
3260 Northeast 164th St.
North Miami Beach, FL 33160
Neither candidate Michael Joseph nor candidate Margie Love would deign to sully their respective reputations by commissioning this piece of garbage. That leaves the only person in this race who could possibly stand to benefit by knocking an opponent out of the race, and that is the Queen of Incivility herself, Phyllis Smith.
None of that compares to the most horrifying part of all.
Bruce Lamberto’s minor son, who lives with him, most likely saw this mailer. His friends probably saw it as well. Just imagine the embarrassment a teenage boy might feel wondering what all of his high school peers might be thinking about his own parents! HORRIFYING!
Did Phyllis ever stop to think about the damage she might have caused to Mr. Lamberto’s family?
Even in a hotly contested city council election, this goes way beyond the boundaries of civility. Neighbors do not do this to their neighbors!
Phyllis Smith’s palpable desperation is even more unbecoming on her than Minion Yellow.
Anyone who still supports Phyllis Smith will be complicit in this barbaric act against her own neighbor and fellow resident of North Miami Beach.
If you vote for her, you should be ashamed of yourself.
“Spreading the Wealth”