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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Miami Herald rediscovers FL-17 race it's largely ignored; FL-17 candidate forum at FIU's Biscayne Bay campus Thurday at 5 p.m.

Not that they bear ALL the responsibility for this, per se, but why is the Miami Herald once again doing something that's so counter-intuitive by posting this story about a congressional race that they have largely ignored the past year, FL-17, that includes info about a Thursday afternoon candidate's forum, at 11:22 p.m. Wednesday night, instead of showing some sense and doing so Tuesday night for Wednesday's print edition, so more readers and voters would have a chance to attend?

Isn't the candidate forum information time-sensitive?

Seems like it to me!

The Herald's longstanding and almost spiteful refusal over the years to run items like that early when they can actually be of practical use to readers, the final consumers of their product, is really something that gives frequent critics of the newspaper like me, even more ammunition than we need.

Frankly, it makes the reporters and editors seem EVEN MORE distant and removed from the concerns of readers.

In most major newspapers, that particular info would've run in the paper on Sunday, so that concerned readers could make plans to attend.


Yet curiously, events that the
Herald or owner McClatchy or previously, Knight-Ridder, was sponsors or co-sponsors of, no matter how parochial or picayune, were/are always given lots of play in advance.
We all know that to be true, so why the disparity?

By the way, I'm NOT a big fan of FIU Prof.
Dario Moreno, who is quoted below in the story, as I've almost always found his appearances on local TV newscasts or public policy shows -usually Michael Putney's excellent This Week in South Florida (TWISF)- to be the worst kind of sycophantic conventional wisdom, with him offering no original take on anything.

Almost as if he was at pains to criticize anyone, which, perhaps he is.

When I see Prof. Moreno on the tube, I tune-out and change the channel.

There are a number of holes in this story but it's so damn blah, why shoot a fish in a barrel?

Well, because I can.

U.S.-1/Biscayne Blvd./Federal Highway is the dividing line between Kendrick Meek's current 17th CD and the dreaded Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's 20th CD. (DWS)


It might interest the reporters -and those of you living far from here- to know that contrary to what they wrote, ALL of Aventura is in DWS territory.

Is it really too much trouble to expect news reporters to actually know what is and is NOT in the 17th CD when they write about it?

I mean there are maps of it after all, right?


Yes, I even posted one here for you to examine, and there's one anchored on the blog.
Here's the link:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=FL

The east side of West Dixie Highway is the dividing line for the City of Aventura, so the people who live in Miami-Dade County north of North Miami Beach -where I grew-up- and west of Aventura, are, technically in unincorporated M-D County, NOT Aventura, despite what the businesses there may call themselves or what they put on their signs or business cards.
Just ask the Post Office or any Aventura cop -they know.


See this handy map: http://skyhighhomes.com/picture/northeastdademac.pdf

And as discussed here previously, it's why the well-regarded Aventura Waterways Charter K-8 school, which I'd love to see replicated in Hallandale Beach, is NOT really in Aventura proper.


Not that the residents living on the other side of Dixie Highway don't want to be in it, but the City of Aventura powers-that-be don't want 'em because in their minds, pure and simple, the area isn't affluent enough.


I know all about this border not just from living so close to it, but because every time I see my barber in the M-D neighborhood of Ojus, which is in that no-man's land, we discuss it, just like we did yesterday for the umpteenth time.

See the
Skylake-Highland Lakes Homeowners Assocation website for backstory at
http://skyhighhomes.com/outside_home.asp, in particular, here:
http://skyhighhomes.com/item_list.asp?subcat=44&subtitle=Annexation%2FIncorporation

As has been previously mentioned here in previous discussions of Meek, DWS and the South Florida CDs, the
grand bargain the FL legislature made many years in carving-out the CDs, knowing that Carrie Meek was going to run, was to put as many African-Americans as possible in 17 and as many Jewish voters as possible in the 20th.

That's why the 20th CD has the strange shape it does and why Hallandale Beach, where I live, and not listed in the story, a city that's only 4.2 square miles, is actually divided in two, when its small size ought to make it even more important for the it to entirely be in the same district.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=FL&district=17
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=FL&district=20

The Broward County Commission districts also divide the city, albeit on a much smaller scale, since a sliver of NW HB is in District 8, formerly repped by the indicted
Diana Wasserman-Rubin, and currently unrepresented at the Commission until November, while 95% of the city is currently repped by Sue Gunzburger in District 6.

http://gis.broward.org/maps/webPDFs/CommissionDistricts/comdist8.pdf

http://gis.broward.org/maps/webPDFs/CommissionDistricts/comdist6.pdf


And you thought that electoral districts were actually supposed to be "compact" for the benefit of residents like the law says?
Nope!


As for the dopey comments of self-serving
Broward Democratic Party poobah
Mitch Ceasar about possible low-turnout in the Broward part of the district, well, they're typical.

Explain how on the one hand that you'd imagine that people will turn out to vote in the
Sue Gunzburger vs. Steve Geller fight for Broward County Commission District 6, but counter-intuitively, not cast a ballot in a primary for Congress?

If anything, it's very likely that the Broward part of FL-17 will have a higher voting-rate than the part located in Miami-Dade County.

I believe I wrote that many months ago in a few posts criticizing the FL-17 candidates who were refusing to come to Broward and campaign in cities like, yes, home sweet Hallandale Beach.

Now THERE'S your real story!


------

Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/11/1772338/1-open-seat-10-candidates-an-unpredictable.html

Florida International University and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host

a candidate forum for Congressional District 17 at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Wolfe University

Center Theater, FIU Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St. in North Miami.

The forum, co-sponsored by The Miami Herald and Univisión/Channel 23, will be moderated

by WPLG-ABC 10 political reporter Michael Putney.

Marleine Bastien, Phillip Brutus, Scott Galvin, Shirley Gibson, Rudy Moise, André Williams

and Frederica Wilson have confirmed their attendance.


1 open seat + 10 candidates = an unpredictable election

By Patricia Mazzei and Carrie Wells

August 12, 2010


For nearly two decades, nobody has had to figure out how to win Florida's 17th Congressional District.

Neither U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek nor his mother, Carrie -- the first person elected to the seat when it was redrawn in 1992 -- faced more than token opposition, if any.

But now Meek is running for U.S. Senate, and the nine other Democrats vying for his seat are working without a road map to model their races. Forced to devise their own strategies, the campaigns have not focused on capturing votes in the entire district, a safe Democratic seat that stretches from Overtown to Pembroke Pines.

Instead, they are carving out niches, trying to muster just enough votes to eke out a victory in the Aug. 24 primary. The winner will face attorney Roderick Vereen, running without party affiliation, in November.

With so many candidates splintering the vote, one candidate would win the primary with as little as 15 percent of the ballots cast, said Kevin A. Hill, an associate professor of political science at Florida International University.

"Anything could happen in that election,'' he said. "It's a total crapshoot.''

The race is also unpredictable because the district's more than 600,000 residents are as diverse as they come. A majority of voters are black -- mostly African American, though the district has the largest concentration of Haitian Americans in the country -- and there are pockets of whites and Hispanics.

"This election may answer whether it's an African-American seat, a Haitian seat or probably a bit of everything,'' said Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward Democratic Party.

With Meek opting not to endorse anyone in the primary, the candidates have worked to shore up their natural bases as they crunch numbers to determine which is the district's biggest voting bloc.

Frederica Wilson has relied on an existing network in her Florida Senate district, which overlaps with much of the congressional district. The same is true for state Reps. James Bush III and Yolly Roberson and former state Rep. Phillip Brutus. To complicate allegiances further: Brutus and Roberson used to be married to each other.

None of those districts encompass all of Miami Gardens, home to two other candidates: Mayor Shirley Gibson and Councilman André Williams. As the third-largest city in Miami-Dade and the state's largest predominantly African-American city, a well-known official could amass enough votes to win with little need of support from elsewhere.

The same is not true for smaller cities like North Miami, where candidate Scott Galvin is a councilman. As the only white candidate in the race, he could collect votes in Miami Shores, North Miami Beach and Aventura.

Haitian Americans -- who depending on varying estimates make up between an eighth and a quarter of the vote in the district -- could swing the election.

Yet it is unlikely for Haitian Americans to vote as a unified bloc, with four Haitian-born candidates in the running: Brutus, Roberson, activist Marleine Bastien and entrepreneur Rudolph "Rudy'' Moise.

Looking elsewhere for support, Bastien, founder of Haitian Women of Miami, has tried to rally like-minded activists and the female vote. Moise, running with deep pockets after putting more than $1 million of his own money into the race, has gone on TV and sent campaign mailers to become better known.

His media campaign could reach some voters in Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood, which together comprise about a third of the district. Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober recently endorsed Moise, citing his "real-world experience.''

"The key for the candidates is to somehow make sure Broward does not believe itself to be a stepchild of the district,'' Ceasar said. "If that occurs, then the risk becomes greater that the turnout in the Broward portion is exceedingly low.''

Turnout is expected to be low everywhere. In 2006, the last time Meek drew a primary opponent, about 36,000 people -- or 16 percent -- of the district's 220,000 registered Democrats voted.

This time around the seat is more competitive, but some campaigns and political observers say a candidate could still win with as few as 10,000 votes.

That makes relying on one group for support particularly risky.

And, of course, whoever is elected will have to represent everyone in the diverse district. That tall order could mean a streak of competitive elections among Democrats battling for the seat in the future.

"It is difficult,'' said Dario Moreno, an associate professor of political science at FIU. "That's why the Meeks were so successful.''

1 comment:

  1. It should be noted that Aventura's rejection of annexation with unincorporated Sky Lakes and Highland Lakes was greeted with relief by unincorporated residents of single family homes, parks and lakes. Annexation was never approved by Sky Lakes and Highland Lakes residents who saw little benefit in becoming an appendage of an Aventura made of condos, parking lots and shopping malls. Aventura's relentless development that encompasses every square inch of that traffic congested ode to concrete stands in stark contrast to the homes and parks that distinguish Sky Lakes and Highland Lakes. And residents want to keep it that way.

    ReplyDelete

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