Even in a year when Donald Trump vacuumed up all available political oxygen like a voracious orange Roomba, Miami's local politicos still made some unbelievable headlines. From (maybe joking) promises to invade Cuba to bold stands against Florida Power & Light to failed attempts to trick voters into torpedoing solar power in South Florida, it was a hell of a year in South Florida's halls of power.
New Times' full Best of Miami 2017 issue is now online. Here's a rundown of the grand political successes and epic failures that earned out recognition this year:
In Everglades National Park, Stoddard takes a moment to tell President Obama how Turkey Point is endangering the area.
Courtesy of Michelle McGovern
As mayor of a place most South Floridians could barely place on the map, Stoddard has taken on one of the state's most powerful institutions — Florida Power & Light — and, in his free time, become one of Florida's loudest voices on climate change.
courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation
FPL sank $8 million into trying to trick voters, but a think tank's president working with the monopoly was caught on tape boasting about their transparent plan to fool Floridians. The amendment was quashed at the ballot box, falling far short of the 60 percent it needed to pass. Sad!
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine
Photo by George Martinez
"Why aren't we discussing the invasion of the island?" Levine asked the crowd, to what some in attendance said were audible gasps. He then said a platoon of U.S. troops could likely take over within 24 hours.
Apropos of nothing, the school board randomly decided it ought to have the power to hire and fire WLRN reporters and wanted to immediately force the station's 19 journalists to "reapply" for their jobs.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr
He's not the kind of kid you'd have expected to help usher fascism into America. Yet there he is today, ever-present in the shadow of Donald Trump. As White House chief of staff, he has overseen the xenophobic Muslim ban, stood behind the Russian-aided election hacking, and silently cheered the catastrophic Trumpcare plan.
Photo by Stian Roenning
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The Nicaraguan-American grew up idolizing Ronald Reagan and worked for Jeb Bush and John McCain. But horrified by the rise of the Donald, she became an early queen of the #NeverTrump handle. Now she spends hours every day striking out at the party hypocrites still backing the Cheeto Jesus, and she never pulls punches