“Support your local political bloggers!” So says the reigning Miami New Times #1 blogger, who was once escorted to solitary confinement for “having a bad attitude.” Al’s blog, The Crespogram Report, covers fraud and corruption mainly in the City of Miami, and frequently extends his “bad attitude” to outlying communities when warranted. On occasion he has been known to give kudos to other bloggers, and especially to the other nine of the top ten named by the New Times, of which I was honored to be included.
In one of his three columns just published, The Power of the Pen, Al mentions five of us who have been able to make a difference in Miami-Dade County politics by bringing attention to the scandals that are either brushed aside by local media or who have forced the media to take up the sword by embarrassing them out of their silence. He wrote:
“While they might describe their feelings differently, I know that Elaine de Valle of Political Cortadito , Mike Hatami of The Straw Buyer, Stephanie Kienzle of Voters Opinion, and Gimileteye and Geniusofdespair at Eye On Miami, who’s efforts also focus on public corruption in various parts of Miami-Dade County all share in the daily wonder of being able to reach all the people, and expose the corruption and abuse of power that they do, thanks to the internet.”
He goes on to say:
“Collectively, I believe that the 6 of us have made a difference, and have demonstrated that contrary to what the politicians would like you to believe, you can fight City Hall, and you can win.
Of course, none of our efforts mean that the corrupt and duplicitous politicians that we write about are either willing to change their behavior, or even do anything other than try to find new ways to screw the taxpayers, so that this is a fight that has its share of set-backs along with the victories.”
Don’t I know about set-backs! It took over a year and a half of filing complaints, many of them dropped, and dogging North Miami Beach EX-mayor Myron Rosner before he was finally arrested for his corrupt ways. The outcome of his four felony charges are now in the court system, but as Al Crespo also knows, the fact that he’s being tried here in Miami-Dade County instead of moving the case to Broward leaves us little hope that a conviction is in Myron’s future. As Al noted in his column:
“Fighting City Hall seldom results in anything like a clear-cut knockout, and we in Miami-Dade County face the additional obstacle that State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, is arguably more corrupt and willing to provide cover to many of these same politicians.
Miami-Dade County has always been corrupt, and the State Attorney’s office has always operated in ways to provide cover and protection to those politicians on the Family and Friends Plan.”
Politicians like the uber-corrupt North Miami mayor Andre Pierre, who has yet to be charged with any of the many crimes he’s allegedly committed since he was re-elected in May, 2011, keep on politicking – it’s business as usual. Those of us who are following Pierre’s “criminal career” are continuously stunned that he’s still in office, much less still not in jail. Myron’s arrest, for almost the identical campaign finance fraud violations that Pierre has allegedly committed, has given Pierre Watchers hope that the handcuffs will soon be on his slippery wrists. But, alas, that remains to be seen.
Another North Miami Beach politician, Frantz “No Relation To Andre” Pierre, has been investigated by the NMB Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division five, count ‘em five, times, four of which I’ve already written about, with the fifth one pending as soon as I get around to it. On top of those there are a slew of other complaints in the pipeline against him, including accusations of voter fraud, that are hopefully being investigated as we speak. Watching him being carted off to the hoosegow would be great fun!
Speaking of voter fraud, there are also the various local rag tag ballot brokers who somehow have so far gotten away with their duplicitous ways, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually be brought down. As Al Crespo said:
“I believe that both Eye On Miami and Political Cortadito have been invaluable to the Absentee Ballot issue, both because of their reporting, and because Eye On Miami’s reporting led on the one hand to the County Commission making changes to the Ordinance which led to the recent arrest of folks in Hialeah, and on the other because Political Cortadito’s reporting forced the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald to spend more time and resources than they would have to expose this story to a wider audience.”
The boleteras don’t realize how determined bloggers can be. Do not underestimate “The Power of the Pen.”
I wish to humbly thank Al for mentioning my blog in the same breath as those bloggers of Miami-Dade County who I have long admired and, hopefully, emulated. As they say at the Academy Awards, “It’s just an honor to be nominated.”
“Spreading the Wealth”