With a $417,000 campaign war chest, Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is the top rainmaker of the five candidates running in next week's November 1 election. The incumbent from Coconut Grove is also the guy who tells the biggest whoppers. To honor his preeminent status, Riptide has compiled Sarnoff's top five tall tales:
5. As chairman of the taxpayer-subsidized Downtown Development Authority, he was present for the July 11 meeting in which executive director Alyce Robertson explained the agency would mail out absentee ballot request forms to voters. Yet he told the Miami Herald October 20 that he was "unaware" of the mailers. Sure, Marc.
4. Last year, his aides David Karsh and Bert Gonzalez abruptly resigned after landing higher-paying gigs at the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, another city board that Sarnoff chairs. When we asked him about it, Sarnoff — who publicly admonishes anyone who uses ignorance as a defense — said, "It came as a surprise to me." Um, OK, Marc.
3. To obtain a lower interest rate, he claimed in 1998, 2000, and 2006 that three Coconut Grove properties listed on mortgage documents were his primary residences. In fact, he was living in only one of them. Tsk, tsk.
2. In 2006, shortly after he was elected, Sarnoff denied meeting with developer Jorge Perez before the city commission's vote on the builder's condo project next to Mercy Hospital. A year later, while being deposed by state prosecutors in an unrelated case, he admitted that was untrue. C'mon now, Marc.
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1. Nothing tops his claim that he was the grandson of a television pioneer who founded NBC in 1939. For the first two years he was in office, the biography page on his city commission website noted his granddaddy was "General" David Sarnoff. But in 2008, Paula Sarnoff, David's 81-year-old grandniece, told Riptide the commish "is certainly not David's grandson, nephew or otherwise. He is not related to us." Now hurry up and head for the polls, sucker!