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The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Is our democracy for sale?

Is anyone going to talk about how much money and from whom these candidates are collecting it from?
When we have over $1,200,000 and counting collected from the usual suspects for the establishment candidates, does that mean that people are OK that our Democracy is for sale?
I promote good government. I do research for lawsuits to tear down election fraud rings. And I lead discussions on how policy decisions affect socio-economic outcomes. I know the difference between good and bad government and the factors that influence both.
In Miami, we have the perfect trifecta for bad government:

1) big corporate interests (i.e. developers and their contractor network)

2) big lobbyists (i.e. specialty law firms and independent operators)

3) big political families (i.e. nepotism at its worse).
These 3 groups fight to maintain the status quo. And they will expend any amount of money to stay at the top. At this point, I've been told as much to my face from these people. They'll do whatever it takes, no matter the cost.
So how does the regular Joe compete with unlimited funds and resources? Will we require a candidate to always compromise our interests to get money before we consider them important? Is our Democracy beyond hope? Should we just sit back and sip a cocktail waiting for sea level rise to bury our city before we expect good government in Miami?
I think things can change. Every election is an opportunity. And your readers deserve to know they have a choice.
My number is (305) 985-0050. I welcome anyone who wants to talk about how we can create good government.

Thank you for reading. Please vote this November 3rd.

Your neighbor,

Rosy Palomino
Common Sense Candidate
for City of Miami District 2 Commissioner

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.


Blogger alcrespo said...

This is the argument that repeatedly gets articulated by unpopular candidates who can't raise money, can't generate community support and the irony in Rosy's case is that if you go to the link that she included in this self-serving letter, you'll see that the story she wrote is a story complaining about the antics going on in the City of Miami Beach.

At the candidate's debate hosted by the Coconut Grove Village Council, nobody cared enough about what Rosy had to say that she went all night without anybody asking her a question.

Money is a problem in campaigns, but unpopular candidates are the least qualified to lead any kind of a charge to change the system.

September 22, 2015 9:07 AM  
Blogger alcrespo said...

My bad. The candidate's debate was sponsored by the Center Grove Homeowners Association. The fact that it was held at the Sailing Club made me think that it was hosted by the Village Council. I've been told that they will be hosting a debate next week.

September 22, 2015 9:33 AM  
Blogger Rosa Maria Palomino said...

For decades, Miami Beach has had campaign finance reform that prevents special interest money from hijacking their Democracy. There was enormous public outcry against the Miami Beach mayor and commissioner who worked together to raise over $1.5 million to a PAC from special interests in an attempt to circumvent their campaign finance reform rules. Now, that PAC was closed, money returned and the mayor there is facing an election challenger who is making this PAC an issue.

Campaign finance reform in Miami Beach can be copied and pasted to the city of Miami with the same effect!! Copy and paste! It's that simple to do but takes courage and work to implement.


September 22, 2015 10:48 AM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

Al Crespo for many years now has run a great blog with a lot of material about the political happenings of the city of Miami. However, he lives in Miami Shores, not Miami and definitely not Coconut Grove so if he says Rosy Palomino is unpopular, take that with a grain of salt.

As to Al, with all due respect, if Rosy Palomino was so unpopular why would you bother to attack her?

That sailing club forum you refer to was a sham with the Solares and Russell campaign supporters allowed to ask questions to attack each other's candidates. The Grove Isle forum was the best so far. Most of these forums failed to address the most important issues my city and my district faces. What about traffic, jobs, crime, public corruption and money in politics... can't we talk about those topics!?

This is why Rosy Palomino created "Miami After Dark radio" with myself and Bob Powers as host because there is no dialog anywhere about these important matters.

In fact, Dr. Sean Foreman, professor of Political Science for Barry University has concluded an interview series with ALL the candidates that is being broadcast on "Miami After Dark radio" every Thursday night at 10pm for the next 4 weeks and available online at

The radio show is reaching out to all voters so they can have an equal opportunity to listen to issues that really matter, not the safe questions that we hear at candidate forums - but from the candidates themselves who are expert in the reasons why they are running and why the current commissioner's wife shouldn't be elected to HIS 4th term.


Hector Roos

September 22, 2015 11:04 AM  
Blogger alcrespo said...

I don't want to go on about Rosy, but there are several items that Hector Roos raised that require a response.

First, politics is considered a contact sport, so when Hector makes the claim that "the Solares and Russell campaign supporters allowed to ask questions to attack each other's candidates," he points out the obvious fact that he and Rosy showed up empty-handed for a knife fight. The words to focus on are "the Solares and Russell campaign supporters."

Were were Rosy's campaign supporters?

You only show up for one of these events without supporters when you don't have supporters, or worse, when you don't have any sort of campaign team capable of rounding up supporters or coming up with questions for any of the other candidates.

At 1:06 in the videotape of that meeting - which can be found on the Community Video page of my website - Hector Roos finally realized that if he didn't ask a question of Rosy, then the meeting would end without anyone asking her a question, so he served her up a softball. You can watch the clip of that question and answer here:

Lastly, Rosy makes a point at every event of pointing out that she is the creator and producer of the radio show "Miami After Dark." My question is, now that Rosy has become a "certified" candidate will she remove herself completely as an on-air presence as a co-host -something that folks usually do when they announce that they're running for office - and will the show comply with the Federal Communications Commission's rules on candidate running for office and being on-air personalities. You can read those requirements here:

The claim that the show will broadcast interviews with the other candidates will not fulfill the requirement that EVERY candidate is entitled to the same amount of time that a radio or TV host or personality appears on the air.

Here's a prediction that I feel very comfortable making 6 weeks or so from the election. Rosy Palomino will come in at best 5th in the field of 9, and more likely will come in 6th or 7th. I could live on the Moon and still make that prediction.

September 22, 2015 12:53 PM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

Al, why attack Rosy Palomino, the only candidate talking about issues like campaign finance reform and good government?

Why are you investing so much time into this?

Nobody else has complained about the radio program so why do you? Since when did you care? You've been on the radio program yourself.

Again, what do you get out of attacking Rosy Palomino? If she doesn't have a chance like you say then why bother?

Why don't you focus your attention instead on the candidates that are getting the dirty, special interests money? We all know that political promises come with that kind of money. Why don't you find out what those promises are? You haven't written much about this election at all. Strange.

My prediction is that you will write an article attacking Rosy Palomino (and probably this exchange) and ignore the other candidates completely.

You have my number when you're ready to talk about something serious. But you hurt your credibility when you attack credible community activists.


Hector Roos

September 22, 2015 1:09 PM  
Blogger Michael Simpson said...

We the voters still need to remember that money just ensures the QUANTITY of a candidate’s message out there, not the quality. The trashcan in the lobby of my condo is constantly filled with the flyers of the “big money” candidates, and even a couple PAC ads that my friends in the building couldn’t tell whether they were for or against the candidate being named.

I was approached last weekend at the restaurant where I work by a young man who asked to shake my hand. He explained that he recognized me from the campaign—he had worked for the last few months as a volunteer for one of the “big money” candidates (“it’ll look good on my resumé”), but he wanted me to know that he thought it was a great thing that someone like me was running. If funding doesn’t even ensure that their own STAFF are voting for them, then it can't be the end-all be-all of politics.

Sure there are people who routinely donate the max to protect their interests, but they still get the same amount of votes that you and I do: one per person. The key to this election will be getting the 90% of the populace who usually sit out the odd-year elections to realize that these candidates are the people who will affect their daily life the MOST, and it’s in their best interests to show up on the first Tuesday in November and be counted. An increase of only 500 voters over the last District 2 election turnout should be enough to force a runoff election this cycle. Five hundred out of forty-eight thousand voters doesn’t require $1.2M, it requires a little inspiration and the belief that a small group of dedicated individuals can change the world—and so far, it IS the only thing that has.

Don’t get me wrong—I’d love to see t-shirts and yard signs out there with my name on them too (and I’m happy to accept any help in that regard that’s offered), but in the meantime I keep on doing what I can with my $750 because I know that my message is getting out there and you never know what fruit will come from the seeds that get planted now.

To the undecideds, the apathetic and the cynical, I encourage you to attend one of the “Meet the Candidate” events next week: Monday, September 28th at the Frankie Rolle Center (3750 S Dixie Hwy) from 6p-9p, or check the contact information in last week’s Grapevine article about the event on September 29th, RSVPs and space may still be available. There will be more events in October as well.

Don’t let the idea that “big money” is the end of democracy cause you to not participate. The easiest way to get big money out is to make it unprofitable—they’ll stop spending $1.2M in elections when their candidate(s) still don’t get elected.

Show up. Be heard. Bring friends.

Mike Simpson
Candidate, Miami City Commission, District 2

September 22, 2015 4:41 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

All candidates should tell where their campaign money came from.

Especially the leading ones, Ken, Solares and Sarnoff2.

Those who dream those "contributions" are left unrewarded, and have no effect of future policies, contracts and decisions at City Hall must inhabit some other Planet.

September 23, 2015 8:25 AM  
Blogger Michael Simpson said...

You are correct, Sledge. The voters should know who is giving and receiving campaign monies. You can find that info for the Miami Commission races here:

September 23, 2015 8:51 AM  
Blogger Brant Hadaway said...

What, precisely, does Ms. Palomino propose for the City of Miami to do about sea level rise? Even if you cherry-pick the most alarmist reports from the IPCC, they clearly say that no one nation alone can affect climate change, let alone a single municipality.

September 23, 2015 10:48 AM  
Blogger Rosy Palomino said...

Mike, the question about campaign finance reform is not about just who gives and how much but what they are getting in return that opposed the public interest!

Brant, the city of Miami (forget the county) hasn't begun to look at Dutch engineering firms that have offered their services to us. The Dutch have spent 400 years holding back the ocean. Our planning and building depts still do not require developers to mitigate their designs for even hurricane storm surge let alone sea level rise. In fact, our public officials are so shortsighted the only thing they think about ahead of time is the next election. We need new people in government that represent us not special interest.

September 23, 2015 2:44 PM  

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