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Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Crass self-serving political hypocrisy in Hallandale Beach and California is right in front of your nose -open your eyes: Cooper, Sanders & Lewy in HB, Villaraigosa & Yaroslavsky in Calif.; Must-read LA Times article on angry Calif. pols upset with voters for not wanting to increase their own taxes -per failed Measure J transit tax- so pols want to change rules to make it easier to raise taxes in the future; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy


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Crass self-serving political hypocrisy in Hallandale Beach and California is right in front of your nose -open your eyes: Cooper, Sanders & Lewy in HB, Villaraigosa & Yaroslavsky in Calif.; Must-read LA Times article on angry Calif. pols upset with voters for not wanting to increase their own taxes -per failed Measure J transit tax- so pols want to change rules to make it easier to raise taxes in the future; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy
I know, I know.
When you read a news article that mentions that condescending lawmakers are bitching and belly-aching out loud, and are publicly admitting that they're so angry at voters who didn't do what they wanted them to do that they're willing to change the rules or push for a reduction of the threshold needed for passage of a proposition or state Amendment, when it's actually THEIR very own past behavior, actions or inaction that have resulted in the standard being what it is, it sounds exactly like someone trying to change the rules at halftime, doesn't it?

In fact, it sounds exactly like the sort of angry and vindictive idea that would come out of the small minds of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioners Anthony A. Sanders and Alexander Lewy in order to get their way, doesn't it?
And it does for a reason.

They actually DID try to change the rules last summer a few months before last November's City Commission election, in order to try to get the results they wanted by eliminating the prospective pool of candidates for that Special Election.

In their particular case, Cooper, Sanders and Lewy tried to change the rules for Hallandale Beach voters last summer to try to prevent Comm. Keith S. London from being able to legally run for the Special Election on January 14th that the Broward Supervisor of Elections had scheduled, in case he lost the mayoral election in November that he had to resign to run for, which he did and which he lost to Mayor Cooper.

They wanted to force candidates for that January 14th Special Election to publicly file before the November election, not in December, using the facile claim that it was necessary to move it up in order to give the prospective candidates enough time to meet with HB voters.

Yes, this was pathetic rationale this group of geniuses came up with despite the fact that Comm. Sanders has for years refused to meet with neighborhood groups after he was first elected. Has refused to even return emails or phone calls from residents of this city who DON'T live in Northwest HB, where he lives.

The very same Anthony A. Sanders who refused to participate in anything even remotely resembling an old-fashioned public candidate debate or forum where he had to defend himself from questions proffered by either the public, the news media or his opponents.
The irony of Sanders doing this was not lost on anyone who pays attention to what happens in this city.

Yes, revealing the true shallow depth of his own hypocrisy, this issue is the very same one that caused Comm. Lewy to verbally browbeat Hallandale Beach residents and malign people's character when they spoke publicly in opposition to what the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew was trying to do in so naked a fashion.

The very same Lewy the Liar who said that "it's not all about Keith London," even though everyone present knew that THAT was exactly what it was about.

What made it truly pathetic and even more contemptuous, to say nothing of politically self-serving, is that it is the very same thing that has repeatedly happened in lots of other South Florida cities over the past ten years when pols have run for another higher office, including with Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Angelo Castillo and in Ft. Lauderdale with Charlotte Rodstrom, as I wrote here on the blog at the time.

The Herald and Sun-Sentinel's sleepwalking beat reporters for HB were too clueless and ignorant to pick up on that fact and never publicly asked Lewy about that, though they clearly should have.

Those two reporters, Carli Teproff and Tonya Alanez, as well as the four local English-language TV stations, i.e the people who are supposed to ask these sorts of questions, completely failed to ask Lewy the very question that would've exposed his own personal animus towards Keith London and the pro-reform, pro-transparency Clean Government . element in this city that Lewy has continually opposed for many years, since even before his 2010 election:
Why are you NOW proposing this legislation when the city commissions in both Pembroke Pines and in Ft. Lauderdale, cities many times larger and more important in the general scheme of things than Hallandale Beach, have never felt the need to meddle in -and actually try to limit- the choice of prospective candidates for a city election? Why now?

Comm. Angelo Castillo was re-elected in early 2010, resigned to run for the District 8 Broward County Commission seat, and then after losing in the August Democratic primary to eventual winner Barbara Sharief, ran for the special election for his old City Commission seat and was elected.

Comm. Charlotte Rodstrom resigned to run for County Commission in last August's primary and was defeated by Tim Ryan in the Democratic primary in the race to succeed her husband John on the County Commission. This month, she lost the Special Election  to Dean Trantalis for the seat she resigned from last year that she was just re-elected to early last year.

(I mentioned both of these obvious examples to people in the audience at the City Commission meeting where this came up, and other examples were cited to me that I was unaware of.)

But as usual, Lewy never said anything about this political reality that is all around us in Broward County and South Florida and that is common knowledge. 
He had to pretend that he was doing something positive for HB residents when the reality is that he was merely trying to get his way.
That's what it's always about with Alexander Lewy.

Not actually providing genuine oversight and financial scrutiny over questionable policies and loans involving tax and CRA dollars, to make sure that they are not wasted and squandered, and not resolving longstanding problems within the city's chaotic and undisciplined workforce, but in Lewy getting his way.

Similarly, the quotes you see in the Los Angeles Times article below from this morning are exactly why despite all the glowing Beltway hype about the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, he is not really a viable national candidate in the future.
He, too, is much more interested in getting his own way, despite what the voters think, than accepting that a political defeat might just mean that he is actually wrong about something, as per this:.

Los Angeles Times
LA NOW blog
Measure J, L.A. County transportation tax extension, fails
November 7, 2012 |  8:00 am
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/measure-j-la-county-transit-tax-extension-fails.html

The take away, to quote Times reader Tom Allen: "It's high time that transportation spending proposals are proposed as very short term and with specific projects in mind instead of blank checks..."
Exactly.

Villaraigosa is not just the Left Coast face of corporate spin with a Hispanic surname, but someone that disappointed a sizable portion of his very own past supporters and actually accomplished little of note while in office, often because he squandered opportunities to the right thing almost always as a result of his own over-weaning ambition and ego. 
(Yes, very Lewy-like.)

It's also Villaraigosa's great misfortune in California right now to also be the face of a certain kind of patronizing, know-it-all Democratic politician who always wants to tell other Americans how to live their life.
And if HE finds it necessary to get his way, to tax them over-and-over in the process. 

His glibness and desire to be liked can't hide those central facts because that's his actual record.
His own comments about taxes in today's article just serve to remind us of that reality he can't escape

Antonio Villaraigosa is, in fact, one of the main reasons that SO many well-educated voters in LA County said NO on Measure J, the ostensible subject of the LA Times article I spotted early this morning a few minutes after it it was first posted online.

It certainly wasn't any accident that J failed to get the numbers he wanted it to get in affluent areas of LA County, as that was something that I expected on Election Day, since I already knew it here, thousands of miles away, based simply on the number of friends living in those affluent areas who told me that NO was the prevailing sentiment among their own pro-transit family members: that it was a bad plan.
Just because it was a transit plan, didn't mean it was a good transit plan.
Why lengthen by ANOTHER thirty years a thirty-year half-cent tax that was barely approved four years ago in 2008? Especially when you have no idea how well the money already committed will actually be spent?
Really, approving that tax until 2069 and essentially making it permanent is your plan? 

But you couldn't really expect the LA Times to say that in print, then or now, now could you?
Especially since they endorsed it and have a lot riding on Villaraigosa's political future. 

The newspaper desperately needs for California to have a viable candidate for national office in the near-future, and if it isn't Villaraigosa, they're really left with no winning cards to play, esp. as far as the Hispanic Voter gaining clout angle that they have aggressively been pushing and the identity politics they've been propagating for years.

Without him they'd have to admit that California is now currently so Democratic Blue, the reality is that it will likely play no role in the foreseeable presidential campaigns, except for fundraising purposes, and that is NOT something they want.

Though it may be hard for most well-informed people in South Florida to believe, at this point, the LA Times has even more riding on Villaraigosa than the Miami Herald has riding on their up-and-down love/hate relationship with Senator Marco Rubio.

-----
Los Angeles Times
Minority of L.A. County voters quashed transit tax extension
Measure J fell just 0.6% shy of the required two-thirds approval as support fell in upscale enclaves. Some politicians are pushing to cut the requirement.
By Ari Bloomekatz and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times
March 31, 2013, 5:00 a.m.

A minority of voters living in a daisy chain of small, suburban and relatively upscale enclaves around the county's outer rim were largely responsible for last fall's razor thin defeat of a $90-billion transit tax that received lopsided ballot box support, a Times analysis shows.
The review comes as several of Los Angeles' senior politicians have joined state lawmakers to push for a reduction of the threshold for passage of such measures, arguing that the current two-thirds requirement is undemocratic and hinders the region's growth.

Read the rest of the article at:

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.