The Fidel Factor

Carlos Alvarez wants voters to give him unprecedented power, but his foes are locked and loaded

On the campaign trail, Alvarez repeatedly said he would first try to parley with commissioners on procurement reform, and only if they resisted would he go to the voters. If he ignores that pledge now, count on his opponents to portray him as an aspiring tyrant who cynically used the contract issue as cover for achieving the goal he truly covets: becoming the county's first strong mayor, a position that would instantly make him one of the most powerful politicians in the entire state.

"I think it would be very, very dangerous to put all that power in one person's hands, no matter who it is," Martinez says. "This county has a lot of people who have fled oppressive regimes. I think a corollary could be made here."

Martinez's veiled threat resonates with other knowledgeable observers. "It's not a slam dunk in the Hispanic community," notes one political insider. "They left one dictator in Cuba, and the opposition is going to say, öLook, you got representation now [with thirteen commissioners]. What happens when the wrong guy gets in office?'"

FIU's Dario Moreno says Mayor Alvarez could be "accused of making a power grab"
Jonathan Postal
FIU's Dario Moreno says Mayor Alvarez could be "accused of making a power grab"
Mayor Alvarez
Jonathan Postal
Mayor Alvarez

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