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Kathy Rundle Is No Janet Reno

C. Stiles

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke takes on the Miami-Dade state attorney.

Katherine Fernández Rundle is no Janet Reno. Miami-Dade's top prosecutor, who is a Democrat, was mentored by Reno, who was Bill Clinton's attorney general. But now Rundle should just switch parties and embrace her GOP supporters. In case you haven't heard, she's in a dogfight with African-American criminal defense attorney Rod Vereen to win the August 14 Democratic primary, which is closed to Republican and independent voters.

A pair of prominent Miami Republican lawyers, including an attorney who was on the team supporting George W. Bush during the 2000 recount, are going to bat for Rundle. Can you believe that?

Roberto Martinez, a former U.S. attorney for South Florida, is representing Armando Lacasa, a former Miami commissioner who sued the Miami-Dade elections office in federal court last week in an attempt to open the primary to Republican and independent voters. U.S. District Judge William Zloch dismissed the complaint because he said Lacasa had to sue the secretary of state, not the county's elections department, to challenge the law.

Rundle is afraid Vereen will beat her because she has lost support among Miami-Dade African-American voters, most of whom are Democrats. The reason: Rundle prosecuted popular black city commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, who was later cleared. And she failed to go after the Miami cops who fatally shot seven unarmed black men between 2010 and 2011.

In 2000 and 2004, despite facing Republican challengers, Rundle — who is Cuban-American — won a majority of Miami-Dade's Cuban-American Republican vote. She won re-election in 2008 with no opposition. Rundle, Martinez, and Lacasa are making a big stink because GOP voters can't participate in the upcoming primary. Basically, you have two Republican power brokers complaining that a Democrat doesn't have a fair shot in an election. Ain't that something?

But Rundle wouldn't need her GOP benefactors to bail her out if she had done her job right. Instead, she's always quick to brag to the media when she goes after a high-profile case. And I'm not just referring to Spence-Jones. Rundle made a big deal when she charged Tyler Weinman, the young man from Palmetto Bay who was wrongfully accused of killing 19 cats in 2009. But when the case fell apart, she didn't publicly apologize.

When Reno was state attorney, she never let the media dictate her prosecutions. Reno never played politics.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

Read "Luther Campbell Is Wrong; Kathy Rundle Is Doing Just Fine."


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