Letters to the Editor

From the issue of October 19, 2000

 Off with Its Heads!
Miami corruption gives new meaning to the phrase Herculean effort: Thanks to Tristram Korten's dogged efforts, a spotlight has remained on the corruption that exists within the bail-bonds industry (“Justice, Bloody Justice,” October 5). Hopefully the State Attorney's Office will be taking action on the information it is allegedly being provided.

Like Hercules battling the multiheaded Hydra, the only way to destroy the widespread influence-peddling and corruption that permeates Miami-Dade County is to prosecute one corrupt official at a time. Thanks to the investigative reporters at New Times, the concept of honest government still has a pulse.

Alberto Batista
via the Internet

A Tadpole in a Raging Sea of Geezers
But for Baby Demetrio, it's smooth sailing: Robert Andrew Powell's article on Demetrio J. Perez (“Like Father, Like Son,” September 28), was filled with wonderful background details about Perez's father and the support-your-crooked-politician voting bloc. Much of it was new to me, but not surprising. My first reaction was anger, then resignation, and now I'm wondering just what I can do. This pudgy-faced jerk wants to represent my district on the school board. Yes, I voted in the September election. Fat lot of good it did. Yes, I will vote again in November, swimming through the geriatric tide like a lost tadpole. (I'm 23 years old.) But what can I do to help stop this creep?

Last time I voted, at an apartment complex on Sunset Drive and 107th Avenue, several Demetrio borgs had their signs planted and a ton of cards they were forcing on every voter. Does this require a permit? Can I perform the inverse of this trick? Will the cops arrest me if I spend my day at the polling center spreading the word about the runt's lies and deceptions?

I know this sounds like a rant, but I've grown up in this town always feeling like an outsider, and frankly I'm sick of it. Why should this putz just walk into public office? The last thing Miami-Dade County Public Schools needs is another corrupt, ethically vacant politician looking to start a career.

Pierre Cruz

The Perils of Perez
Your only hope is the ballot box: To pick up where letter-writer Michael Carlebach's observations about Demetrio J. Perez left off, hope for the future lies in a community demonstration of outrage at and refusal to condone the suspect ethics that young Demetrio promises to bring to the Miami-Dade County school board.

It's not just that young Demetrio has proven incapable of honestly telling his constituency something as simple as where he lives, or just who is financing his campaign, that causes concern. The voters of District 7 should also abhor the obvious anti-democratic consequences of having this 24-year-old student occupy a seat on the same small, nine-member school board as his father, who represents District 5 and who, we suspect, engineered and is financing his son's candidacy. Not only will these two “representatives” almost certainly decide school board business over the family dinner table in contravention of Florida's Sunshine Law, but the inevitable collusion will effectively disenfranchise the voters in District 7, as the two Perezes can be expected to vote in lock step, with father Perez calling the shots.

The electorate of District 7, however, has an effective arsenal of weapons to fight the dishonesty, collusion, and dilution -- if not elimination -- of its representation on the school board that young Demetrio's candidacy represents: Campaign for, contribute to, and vote for his opponent, Jacqueline V. Pepper, on November 7. Ms. Pepper is an extremely ethical and intelligent candidate, whose children, unlike those of the Perez clan, have gone through the public school system. She is motivated by a sincere desire to serve the community, and she owes no fealty to anyone except her constituents. She has many fresh ideas about how to improve our children's education and the school system in Miami-Dade County.

Mr. Carlebach's pessimism over the possibility of change (“Letters,” October 5), though understandable and shared by many, need not, by the people's judicious use of the ballot box, become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Bonnie Daniels

Scouts Dishonor
Gay men are not the problem: I rarely write to newspapers because the Miami Herald never prints my letters. But I felt I had to now. Someone must correct the anonymous guy who wrote about his Boy Scouts experience (“Letters,” October 12) in response to Jim DeFede's column “Hiking, Camping, and Gay Bashing” (September 28). For the record I was a Boy Scout 60 years ago and enjoyed it. No one tried anything of a sexual nature with me.

Also I am very straight, but I have served the homosexual population for dozens of years as a lawyer and as a psychologist. I never had a gay patient or client who molested young boys. I do notice that some older gays prefer younger men, generally over age eighteen. I did work with many pedophiles who were completely straight and often married but who had the need to molest very young boys or girls. It is usually straight men who are the problem.

The Boy Scouts are wrong. They need not keep out gays. Those who are in the Boy Scouts usually are there for the same reason the rest of us joined: camaraderie and learning.

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