The Political Dance

What do Hillary Clinton, Bob Graham, and Dorrin Rolle have in common? They're all wooing helpful partners


The best news money can buy? If local community groups -- gay or straight -- are hard up for cash, they may want to take a cue from Island Magazine TV, which would appear to offer an interesting lesson in gaming the system. The hour-long Haitian-American public affairs show, carried in many parts of Miami-Dade by cable provider AT&T, was cited by county Commissioner Dorrin Rolle as one of the chief reasons he was nearly forced into a runoff election last month by Haitian-American activist Lucie Tondreau. The African-American Rolle handily outspent his opponent -- $340,000 to her $39,000 -- but he griped to the Herald that local Haitian media, which he claimed told "Haitians to vote Haitian," effectively gave Tondreau $300,000 worth of free advertising.In what was apparently -- ahem -- a coincidence, barely 24 hours after his narrow re-election, Rolle wrangled a $110,000 grant for Island Magazine TV from a late-night county commission budget session. Why, reasonable people might ask, is a for-profit television enterprise receiving public tax dollars? Is Rolle attempting to buy off a potentially hostile media outlet before the next election cycle? And if this is all kosher, can Kulchur get a county grant too?

A curious Kulchur placed a call to Island Magazine TV owner Jean Philippeaux. Is receiving $110,000 from Dorrin Rolle going to affect your program's coverage of him?

Bait: Hillary Clinton packed the house, but she left many Republican VIP donors squirming
Tom Franks
Bait: Hillary Clinton packed the house, but she left many Republican VIP donors squirming

"I don't care for your tone at all," stammered an audibly rattled Philippeaux. Voice rising, he continued, "I refuse to answer such a leading question!"

Rolle, who in May pleaded no contest to two conflict-of-interest charges brought by the county's Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, seems to share Philippeaux's distaste for Kulchur's "tone." He declined to return calls on the matter.

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