It felt a little bit like the low country of South Carolina on Wednesday night, when supporters of Ken Russell were invited to shuck oysters, talk politics and raise money for his campaign at a little party in the North Grove. It was quite a turnout along the water's edge in one of the neighborhood right on the bay. Russell is running against the wife of term-limited Marc Sarnoff for District 2 commission seat, who many feel is ill qualified for the job of city commissioner and really only being a puppet so Sarnoff can remain in office. It's quite distasteful and embarrassing. And allegedly a money grab, so that they can still stay married to the developers and builders, who have overtaken the city.
It's interesting to note that every one of the major developers have given money to Teresa's campaign and have not given a dime to any of the many challengers. I've asked a few why and they have oystered, er, clammed up. Is it out of obligation? Fear? Or do they just have such a cozy relationship with Sarnoff, and getting their own way, by paying for it?
The host committee for the fundraiser included former Senator and Speaker of the House Dick Pettigrew whose recent editorial in the Miami Herald pulled the curtain back on corruption in Miami politics. There were eight other co-hosts including entrepreneur Jeff Hicks, County Intergovernmental Liaison Frank Balzebre, Josh D'Alemberte, Bob and Lyn Parks, Kathy Parks, Lolly Anderson, and Teresa Sarnoff's ex-husband(?!) Bill Whiddon, who has endorsed Ken Russell's campaign. The event took place at the home of Shell Lumber's former owner, Paul Naron.
After the crowd enjoyed cocktails and fresh oysters, Ken (left) spoke about traffic, homelessness, over-development, ironically with Grove Isle as his backdrop; and Miami's need for ethical reform. Ken is the first candidate to take a strong position against lifetime pensions for part time elected officials. Most of our city leaders do nothing after they are elected, sit around for a few years, and then collect a pension for life, as it stands now.
Many at the party whispered about Teresa Sarnoff's candidacy allegedly being a placeholder between Marc Sarnoff's current office and the one he would like to hold that doesn't go to vote until November 2016, that would be the county commission seat, as opposed to the city commission seat. "Any gap of time when he or his wife do not hold office would eliminate his ability to leverage his elected position for developer contributions. For that reason, it is crucial for Sarnoff that Teresa fill that gap as Commissioner," said Ken.
According to Ken, a recent poll commissioned by his own campaign team using a research firm out of Tallahassee showed that Ken is tied for second closely behind Teresa with 60% of voters undecided. Russell responded to the good news by loaning an additional $15,000 to his campaign and planning an aggressive next few months.
Ken left the crowd with a request for support and the suggestion that "It's time to turn the page… Miami can do Better."
YOU MAY NOT LIFT THE PHOTOS & TEXT. IT'S COPYRIGHTED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. YOU CAN HOWEVER SHARE A STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY USING THE LINKS HERE.
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.