Wayne Slaton may not unseat Michael Pizzi to win a second go-around as Miami Lakes mayor, but he sure is having some fun skewering his foe. Two weeks ago, Slaton uploaded a short campaign video listing the top 10 reasons why he is the better candidate. "It is the most despicable piece of character assasination I've ever seen," Pizzi grouses. "It has no place in Miami Lakes."
Slaton did not return a voicemail and two emails requesting comment about the video, in which he rattles off some truths, half-truths, and unsubstantiated claims he appears to be making about the incumbent.
Slaton never mentions Pizzi's name, but it's not that hard to figure out who he is talking about. For example, Slaton says Miami Lakes residents should vote for him because "I am not an attorney" (number 1) and "I don't repeat everything I say three times" (number 10). Pizzi is a lawyer who has a side gig working as town attorney for Medley. And Pizzi does admit having a nervous tick.
But Pizzi took issue with reasons 3,6, and 7 in which Slaton declares that he has never been pulled over drunk by his own police department, never refused a drug test, and never set his office on fire. Pizzi did have an office that burnt to the ground, but no one was ever criminally charged. And he denies ever being pulled over for a DUI or refusing drug tests.
"It is a shame Mr. Slaton is resorting to personal attacks and slander instead of talking about the issues residents care about," Pizzi says.
The video was made by David Graveline, the host and producer of an Internet radio and video program about consumer electronics called "Into Tomorrow." Last year, Graveline -- who also appears in Slaton's video -- moved his show and his production company into a studio at 6816 Main Street.
Shortly after Graveline's arrival, he and Pizzi discussed the possibility of his company producing pod casts for the town that would feature the mayor and the town council members. But on March 30, Miami Lakes Special Events & Commitees Coordinator Clarisell De Cardenas informed Graveline that the town did not have any money in the budget to fund the pod casts.
Pizzi claims Graveline -- who also did not respond to a voicemail and two emails seeking comment -- teamed up with Slaton to retaliate against him. Pizzi forwarded Banana Republican an October 3 email Graveline sent him that says: "Remember how I said that you should have kept me in YOUR corner? Just sayin' Good luck and have a GREAT day!"
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Seven days later, Slaton uploaded the video. "When the town refused to hire his radio station Mr. Graveline got very upset," Pizzi says. "This video with Mr. Slaton is part of his revenge."
Pizzi claims Slaton is violating campaign finance laws because he has not reported how he paid for the video's production. His campaign finance report does not list any payments to Graveline or his company. There is no in-kind contribution from Graveline either.