Without them, we'd have no one to curse at, ridicule, and make miserable. And for that we are thankful. Please continue reading for the top five political turkeys in Miami-Dade Politics:
Genius of Despair, Eye on Miami
: Lynda Bell, Miami-Dade County Commission Vice-Chairwoman
"Bell is the South Florida version of Sarah Palin. She raised my ire when she decided to run for county commissioner in 2010 to replace Katy Sorenson, a strong advocate for protecting the environment and the rights of gay people. I found out that Bell chaired a political action committtee called Florida Right to Life that believes any candidate who says abortion should be legal is disqualified from public service.
Her PAC lobbied a bill then Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed that would prohibit the state from funding abortions and ultrasounds before abortions. I wrote a blog that no one should vote for Bell because of her single issue mindedness.
Since winning her election two years ago, Bell has been on a jihad to destroy the the county department that protects the environment. The kicker came when she was promoting Miami-Dade's library week In June. She took a photo holding her allegedly favorite book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
Bell is like some Bizzarro alternate reality version of Sorenson. And now she's the county commission vice-chairwoman. Ick."
Orlando Martinez de Castro
Mike Hatami, the Strawbuyer: Orlando Martinez de Castro, South Miami Police Chief
"I don't have a turkey, but I do have a big ham. Martinez de Castro acts like a general running an army in a third-world dictatorship. He has abused his official position to pressure the state attorney's office into prosecuting three innocent women who worked at his wife's auto tag agency.
The Miami-Dade ethics commission recently found probable cause that Martinez de Castro also violated South Miami's prohibition on transacting business with relatives and the county's conflict of interest and ethics ordinance because he had the police department use his wife's tag agency to get tags and titles for forfeiture vehicles.
When several South Miami elected officials got wise to his shenanigans, Martinez de Castro used his officers to attack his political enemies. For instance, he had Warren Popove, a Canadian national who did odd jobs for Commissioner Bob Welsh, picked up by ICE. Now poor Papove is sitting in a jail cell at Krome Detention Center.
In June, Castro arrested Mayor Phillip Stoddard's friend Michael Davidson-Schmich for resisting arrest without violence. Castro was upset that Davidson-Schmich had the gumption to make a hand gesture to the chief for making an illegal turn.
These are tactics employed by secret police officers in Cuba. It's no coincidence Orlando shares the same last name as Fidel."
Stephanie Kienzle, Voters Opinion: Andre Pierre, North Miami Mayor
"Personally I can't believe the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office hasn't found a reason to arrest Pierre already. Between giving away police badges to his clique members to trying to give away the Biscayne Landing property to his former law partner and campaign manager who wanted to build a ludricrous indoor ski slope to cruising around the city with a borrowed $100,000 2010 Porsche without reporting it as a gift to helping steer $160,000 in city cash to two businessmen he represented as an attorney, Pierre is blatantly corrupt.
Now Pierre is the laughingstock of Miami-Dade County by giving a key to the city to the Kardashian sisters just because they are filming part of their reality show in North Miami. This girls have done nothing for North Miami. Pierre was just looking to drum up free positive press.
Instead, everyone is making fun of him. You know he's a loser when Big Lip Bandit, the irreverant host of Power 96's morning show, featured Pierre in his segment, 'You Should Have Died When You Was A Baby.' To get ragged on by Big Lip is the lowest of the low."
Elaine de Valle, Political Cortadito: Carlos Hernandez, Hialeah mayor
"Or as I like to call him Castro Hernandez because he acts like a total despot. He's been a horrible mayor. Hernandez has been caught up in the absentee ballot fraud scandals during his election last year and then during the county mayor's race in August when he supported Carlos Gimenez.
While he was kissing Gimenez's ring, he lobbied the county mayor and County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to rename a street and give $400,000 in tax breaks to a company owned by a convicted cocaine trafficker who is being sued left and right. Hernandez is also handing out no-bid contracts to people who gave money to his campaign.
But then he retaliates against good people like Hialeah fire union vice president Eric Johnson, who had the guts to expose the absentee ballot fraud tied to Hernandez. The mayor completely took posts on Johnson's Facebook page completely out of context as an excuse to suspend him for two days without pay."
Banana Republican: Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade Mayor
We all thought we dodged a bullet when Gimenez emerged victorious over former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina in a run-off last summer to replace Miami Marlins patsy Carlos Alvarez, who was booted out of office in an epic recall. After all, Gimenez was a shining white knight next to Robaina, who was dogged by allegations of helping finance a Hialeah jeweler's ponzi scheme, being involved in shadow banking and loan sharking, and not paying taxes on his commercial properties.
But Gimenez crawled over to the dark side when he decided to get in bed with Hialeah's Hernandez and the dirty politicos in La Ciudad Que Progresa to secure his reelection this past Aug. 14. Immediately after brokering his deal with los diablitos, Gimenez's campaign was tainted by allegations of absentee ballot fraud when a known Hialeah boletera was caught transporting absentee ballots in between visits to the mayor's campaign office.
He embarrassed himself by not running background checks on Alexander I. Perez, the ex-cocaine trafficker whose Hialeah company Banah Sugar got a street renaming and $400,000 in tax breaks thanks to Gimenez and the county commission, who showered Perez with the favors at the behest of Hernandez.
And then came the debacles at the polling precincts during the recent presidential election. Faced with lines of voters waiting between four to six hours during the eight days of early voting, Gimenez refused to pressure Gov. Rick Scott into extending it. His inaction resulted in a disaster on election day as dozens of precincts were overwhelmed by voters. Hundreds of them did not get to vote until close to midnight.
By then Barack Obama had won his reelection. Gimenez's and his administration's lackluster preparation disenfranchised Miami-Dade residents during one of the most important elections in recent history.