Above, the poster boy for public corruption in south Broward County -the most corrupt county in Florida: the City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex. October 3, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante is no Paul Revere! Caught in the act: Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's son's Midnight Ride of campaign sign-stealing -on Election Day!; Anything goes now in HB -even political intimidation- as Broward IG & Broward SAO sleepwalk while laws & ethics are repeatedly laughed at by pols in power; @MayorCooper, #FDLE, @myfloridalegal, @fbi.gov
"Good always prevails," Cooper said. "Didn't your mom tell you that?"
-from Cooper re-elected in Hallandale Beach
Hmm-m... I suppose it all depends on whom your mother is, doesn't it?
What sort of ethical role model SHE is.
Is she conscientious and does she instill a proper, grounded sense of perspective, or does she teach by example that you can always get away with what you want because of who she is, and if that doesn't work, you can just ignore the rules that everyone else in society has to follow?
Is your mother the sort of person who, when she's the mayor of a small town, a propos of nothing in particular, when she thinks she can't be overheard, tells a City Commissioner that she thinks that one of their town's citizens, someone sitting in a chair patiently waiting for a Commission meeting to start -and the only citizen in the room- is a "Nazi"?
Does she follow that up by saying that she thinks that one of the other city commissioners, who isn't present yet, "is a Hitler"?
Yes, I guess it really all depends upon whom your mother is.
For years, whether we wanted to hear them or not, nearly everyone who pays close attention to civic affairs in Hallandale Beach heard the same familiar fact-filled stories, with lots of specifics, about the dysfunctional Cooper family and their myriad anti-social behavior problems: excessive drinking, physical altercations, and most alarmingly, FREQUENT and excessive phone calls to the 911 service asking for a police response.
Correct, because it's someone using their office to gain a benefit not legally available to other Florida citizens.
The problem, of course, is that we all know from personal experience in living in Hallandale Beach that this sort of thing happens here fairly routinely, because we've seen for ourselves that there are, in fact, some people in this community who can, quite literally, do whatever they want to do, no matter that it's illegal under state, county or city law, and they never have to face the public and legal consequences.
In fact, 2,700 people read this one post of October 15th:
Ethics? Not for us! Follow-up to my post re Hallandale Beach's unethical "business as usual" attitude, with "special rules for special people" if they are named Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders; What ethics? What rules? @MayorCooper, @SandersHBhttp://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/ethics-not-for-us-follow-up-to-my-post.html
No doubt many Hallandale Beach residents were nodding in silent agreement as they read it because they've frequently observed public signs of this sense of entitlement, too, and now feel somewhat relieved at least that they're not alone in having seen the same despicable behavior, too. Misery lives company, and here, it's the whole town that is being made miserable by Joy Cooper and her actions, words and attitude towards regular citizens, with some of us receiving extra dollops of her attitude.
Perhaps the most-famous recent incident of Cooper family members being treated differently involves Mayor Cooper herself, after she crashed her moving car into another moving vehicle, which as it happened, turned out to be a City of Hallandale Beach emergency response vehicle -responding
There were plenty of witnesses to that incident, of course, including members of the the public who witnessed it, and the city employees in the vehicle that Mayor Cooper actually hit.
Yes, good luck trying to find out what exactly were the legal and financial consequences to Mayor Cooper for that careless and reckless behavior of hers.
So, all that said, now on to the story of Hallandale Beach's Midnight Vigilante... and his true identity
The source said that earlier that morning, at approximately 12:05 a.m., just under seven hours before the polls opened for voting, he spotted an individual removing political campaign signs over near the inters
An individual who clearly has a real problem with the concept of Freedom of Speech.
This reliable source told me that after witnessing this activity take place, he drove his vehicle up close to this other person's vehicle so that he could get its license plate number and later report what he'd seen to the proper law enforcement authorities.
The creep who then jumped inside his car and hit the gas to get out of the area?
Who was it?
but is also none other than Mayor Joy Cooper's adult son, Matt.
Talk about apples not falling far from the tree...
Yes, the son who was discovered to have had almost as many Driver's Licenses and ID's as Jason Bourne.
Except that rather than merely pretending that he's a fictional spy in a Robert Ludlum novel, the evidence suggests that perhaps Matt Cooper has been busy playing the role of Midnight Vigilante, driving around Hallandale Beach under the cover of night and removing campaign signs of people who disagree politically with his mother's reckless and wasteful policies that both insult common sense and punish taxpayer's wallets.
Yes, it's not too creepy, is it?
One can safely surmise that it was Matt Cooper's last Midnight Run of such creepy and anti-democratic behavior, if only because of the political calendar.
But it does publicly raise the question of whether or not Matt Cooper is perhaps the answer or one of the answers to another simple question that's been puzzling residents of this city for weeks.
That question is who or what group of people were responsible for taking/ruining so many campaign signs of candidates opposed to Joy Cooper, Bill Julian and Anthony A. Sanders?
Signs which, oh, mysteriously, went missing in this small city, esp. during Early Voting, often within hours of them going up in the evening in places where they were legally allowed to be.
I mean such anti-social behavior doesn't just come out of nowhere, does it? So I doubt that the night before Election day was Matt Cooper's first night of criminal mischief in Hallandale Beach.
So, Csaba's sign is fine at 6 p.m. when I drive by it one night on my way to Hollywood, but the next morning, with normal weather, it's leaning like the Tower of Pisa -times ten.
A city in an area where the area's professional law enforcement and prosecutors properly understand their obligation to residents to investigate all bona fide complaints.
Like the one that Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and his pals engaged in blatant political intimidation of African-American citizens in NW Hallandale Beach by placing Sanders campaign signs in the FRONT YARDS of residents -without their permission.
The reality here is that many African-American residents in NW who removed the unwanted Sanders campaign signs from their property, quickly found a new Sanders sign back up the next morning to replace it, in a not-so-subtle hint by Sanders & Company to area residents that they better 'get with the program.'
Is THAT the "experience" that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Editorial Board meant in their wrong-headed endorsement of this do-nothing man who actively avoids his own constituents?
The whole thing with the Sanders signs was both obvious and egregious, so what happened to Sanders?
In that hypothetical and more normal version of Hallandale Beach, after an investigation and interviews with the people who were directly affected and involved, and more than sufficient evidence to prove charges in state court -as there is- someone from the Broward SAO would've contacted the Miami offices of the FBI and the Dept. of Justice and had their agents and lawyers come up for a nice visit, and decide whether or not this reasonably constituted a Civil Rights violation under federal law, as I strongly suspect it does.
Instead, we got less-than-nothing, we got complete indifference from the people directly responsible for enforcing laws.
The reason for this is because we don't actually live in a city where citizen's rights are fully-respected and where laws and rules are equally enforced or even prevail.
Instead, we live in a city where law enforcement and prosecutors sleepwalk and go out of their way to ignore the mountain of facts and evidence.
To live in Hallandale Beach in the year 2012 is to inhabit a city where the sort of basic assumptions about civic life and who protects the public go right out the window, especially when it comes to the actions and behavior of the city's elected officials, their families and friends, plus city employees.
But what authorities?
Friends, sorry to remind you, but since Mike Satz's SAO evinced no interest whatsoever in doing their jobs here in the months before Tuesday's elections, when there was a mountain of evidence, facts and strange behavior aplenty to connect-the-dots -and God forbid that Satz's office would've had all the evidence they needed then to indict and begin proceedings against an African-American elected official like Sanders, while Satz himself was running for office countywide!- there's no reason to expect that they will now, suddenly, become both more curious and more professional now that Satz's own election is over.
It's my considered opinion that given all we've seen thus far from the Broward SAO to root out public corruption and its pernicious culture here, and especially what we haven't, seen -action- Hallandale Beach citizens should consider themselves on their own right now, a situation made worse by the fact that the vast majority of the South Florida news media could NOT be any less interested in our collective plight.
Yes, it's just another reminder of where we live in Florida and what happens when the city's leaders don't respect the laws that the rest of us are obliged to follow and respect, and their friends and cronies -and family members- do the same as well..