Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making Political History: Out-of-state Tea Party billionaire bankrolls stunning recall of Miami Mayor Carlos Alvarez

Yesterday City of Miami and Dade County voters handed a sitting mayor a record no-confidence and get-the-hell-out vote: 9 out of 10 residents who showed up at polls voted to recall current Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez. At the same time voters ousted what was widely considered to be the most powerful politician in Miami - County Commissioner Natacha Seijas.

Elected four years ago to clean up the colorful county government, Alvarez ran afoul of voters when he gave top county employees fat pay raises while raises taxes and building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins.

Before anyone dismisses this as Miami politics that does not impact us in Charlotte or Birmingham or Atlanta or Baton Rouge, I'll point out that this effort was almost singlehandedly funded and spearheaded by out of state Tea Party billionaire and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman. Yeah. Wrap your head around that - one old, conservative white guy who doesn't even live there just toppled the government of one of the most well-known U.S. cities. It's a new day in politics, folks.

Alvarez had previously fended off two recall efforts with lawsuits blocking the recall efforts. This time he failed, ushering in the largest local office political recall in U.S. political history.

While there was already a Miami mayoral race schedule for November of 2012, I believe, officials will now have to decide whether to hold a special election to replace Alvarez, or appoint an interim mayor. Just because it's Miami, and just to keep it interesting, you should know that former 2 Live Crew rapper Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell is in that race already.