Calling all Carpetbaggers! Repeat after me, "Requirements, what residency requirements?" Carpetbaggers in South Florida have it easy compared to their cousins in Calif., but in both places, carpetbagging and ethnic identity politics often go hand-in-hand; LA Times: "Does this man live in San Gabriel or not? A residency challenge prompts council members to hold their own hearing -with sworn witnesses- to decide if the No. 2 vote-getter should be seated"; Is that a preview of things to come in North Miami Beach, where a Miramar resident is running for NMB City Commission and thinks she'll win -largely because she's Haitian-American?If you ask me, it's too bad for South Florida's continually-beleaguered citizenry that FL state House Reps Frank Artiles, Joe Gibbons and Perry Thurston and FL state Senator Maria Sachs have never been forced by the powers-that-be in Tallahassee to publicly explain themselves and their very curious living situations.
Unlike Council candidate Chin Ho Liao in San Gabriel, CA, who was actually elected but not seated.
Speaking of carpetbaggers, if you haven't already been reading what straight-talking blogger Stephanie Kienzle has been saying with real vigor and much-deserved anger the past few weeks about North Miami Beach's faux City Commission candidate, Yvenoline “Yves” Dargenson -a woman who lives in Miramar, i.e. Broward County!- please do yourself a big favor and do so today via her blog, http://www.votersopinion.com/
You won't regret it because Stephanie gives you a very clear look at the corruption and illegality that passes for "normal" in South Florida politics and government these days, where far too many candidates and elected officials can seemingly break clear-cut rules about their prescribed conduct and behavior with relative impunity.
And the existing legal institutions that are supposed to keep people within the clearly-defined parameters of the law, instead, seem content to just shrug their shoulders and to let THEM dictate what the rules are to the public, putting everything upside-down.
Dargenson is the Broward County resident who running for a City Commission seat in a Miami-Dade city, and to both Stephanie and myself, she's someone who has a lot to to answer for publicly after the M-D Supervisor of Elections ruled that she lives in the City of Miramar.
But but based on what I'm hearing and reading, a Miami-Dade judge, Darrin P. Gayles, did
what M-D circuit court judges have been doing a lot of ever since my family first moved to Miami in 1968 -making bad decisions for the community and letting guilty parties walk.
Or, in this case with Dargenson, run for office in a county she does NOT live in.
No, it seems to have very little to do with upholding the state's laws or with getting justice for NMB's voters, to say nothing of actually adhering to Florida's Constitution.
Even more than usual, Stephanie has lots of great nuggets in her recent blog posts about the longstanding culture of corruption in NMB and North Miami, and actually makes the case that it's actually threatening to grow exponentially in NMB as a result of all the unethical goings-on in next-door North Miami that local and state law enforcement have been ignoring.
Ignoring it, it seems to me, in part at least, because so many of the people engaging in this
unethical political behavior in Northeast Dade are Haitian-Americans, a rapidly-growing voter bloc now compared to Non-Hispanic Whites in Miami-Dade County, and a demographic that is courted by candidates in ways that were not imaginable even thirty years ago, just a few years after I graduated from NMB High School, followed three years later bv my sister.
Perhaps nobody exemplified this cultural change as much as North Miami's oft-charged but never-convicted-thus-far incumbent mayor, Andre Pierre, though there are others on both sides of the border who are nearly as brazen.
Seriously, did you really expect the political crooks and their cronies in NMB not to notice the fact that nobody was being prosecuted in North Miami for what they do, no matter how self-evident?
Out in San Gabriel, California, you have the cancers of ethnic identity politics and carpetbagging at work, but with a Chinese-American patina, and a town that wants to go old-style New England and make the person accused of wrong-doing convince them that they have not broken the spirit and letter of the law.
Meanwhile in North Miami and North Miami Beach you just have... oh, right -the same things, just with Haitian-Americanss, instead.
San Gabriel Councilman-elect Chin Ho Liao was the second highest vote-getter in the city's March elections, but his first time on the council dais last week was as a witness under cross-examination.
The City Council voted not to seat Liao after resident Fred Paine filed a complaint alleging that Liao's true residence is outside of the city's borders. Though Liao has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to contest the council's vote, the city has also created its own hearing process to determine Liao's residency.
Well, it's not like local Miami TV stations have spent any real time covering what's been going on there, now is it?
No, today, two days before the May 7th election, CBS4, NBC6, 7News and Local10 are all guilty of NOT doing a single story on Yvenoline Dargenson.
Seriously, given what this woman is attempting to do by blowing a hole in even the most basic requirement for candidate eligibility, how can that be so?
How can every single English-language TV station news operation in Miami just ignore this?
That, my friends, is the low level to which South Florida journalism has sunk to -a complete lack of curiosity.
It's as if they're waiting for her to win before covering it, no?
For more on the very curious and perhaps even unethical living arrangements of FL House Reps Gibbons and Thurston and FL state Senator Sachs, please see an archive of Tom Lauder's recent pieces on residency requirements at Florida Media Trackers
It makes for interesting reading, and the fact that the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office has gotten involved so many times in these cases -esp. with Gibbbons, who clearly didn't comply with the law- only shows how egregious the lack of serious reporting on this subject has been in South Florida over the years.
These pols have positively dared reporters to say what is right in front of us.
I'm sorry to say it, but it also appears from the all the available evidence that some local African-American reporters, columnists and editors down here have been very easy on both Gibbons and Thurston for reasons that have nothing to do with journalism, but everything to do with either shared political ideology or friendship.
(Whatever happened to the proscribed arms-length relationship between reporters and subjects?)
I've commented on it here before, because otherwise, how do you reasonably explain the fact that the Sun-Sentinel's Douglas Lyons has scrupulously avoided mentioning this obvious residency issue for years, despite how often he has mentioned Thurston and Gibbons, quoted them and interviewed them?
What is his excuse, anyway?
Trust me, despite whatever it says on their resumes, Lyons and other reporters at the Sun-Sentinel and the Herald don't think they have to answer to readers, and I know about him because I've given him plenty of opportunities over the past few years and all he's done is nothing but sit there like a bump on a log.
That's who he is, you shouldn't count on suddenly getting any candor from him that you can have any faith in.
Lyons considers his refusal to ask reasonable questions, esp. of them, a dead issue.
Just another reason that I hope the Sun-Sentinel is sold very soon and that there's a great house-cleaning/bloodletting there to make that newspaper something it hasn't been in years -relevant and worth reading.