Election 2012: Just Vote No To These Catastrophes

When you head to the polls this week to cast a vote for the prez or to throw your weight behind Mittens, you might be surprised to find one of the longest ballots ever created. You'd never know it from the nightly news, but it turns out you'll have to decide on much more than just the presidential race.

Banana Republican will leave the endorsements to those ink-stained wretches at One Herald Plaza. We do, however, have a running list of the worst scumbags and dumbest ideas up for a vote that might come in handy. Consider these our anti-endorsements:

David Rivera: A small part of us relishes the idea of watching Rivera win reelection only to get cuffed by federal agents right before his re-swearing-in. But it's time Miami-Dade voters sent a message that we don't want congressmen governing like Tony Montana. Rivera's still facing open FBI and IRS investigations and just got slapped last week with almost a dozen ethics violations.

All 12 constitutional amendments: Short of outright seceding from the union, Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Legislature are doing everything possible to take Florida back to the 1860s. The dozen kooky amendments on this ballot include giving the Legislature control over Supreme Court nominations, eliminating public funding for abortions, repealing a 126-year-old provision prohibiting taxpayer money for religious institutions, and opting out of Obamacare. Kill these amendments with fire.

Alex Diaz de la Portilla: In 2010, when this Florida House candidate's estranged wife, Claudia Davant, filed for divorce, she got a temporary restraining order and accused him of physically abusing and stalking her. In her complaint, she wrote: "My husband can be extremely explosive and violent especially when under the influence of alcohol." A year later, a Tallahassee judge issued a warrant for his arrest after Diaz de la Portilla refused to obey a court order to return Davant's dog.

Crandon Park Tennis Center renovation: The folks behind the Sony Ericcson Open want voters to approve $50 million in repairs and upgrades using tournament revenues and private funds. But any improvements to county parks requires two-thirds majority approval from Miami-Dade voters. If they don't get it, they claim Miami-Dade could lose the world-class tourney. Truth is, it's the same B.S. blackmail attempt the Miami Marlins used to hoodwink the county into buying a half-a-billion ballpark. We all know how that turned out.

Juan Carlos Zapata: This County Commission candidate has used his friendships with politicians to get back at his enemies. For instance, in 2005, Zapata persuaded County Commissioner Joe Martinez to cut funding to the Colombian American Service Association, all because the nonprofit's board refused to reinstate him as a member. The group had cut ties with Zapata in the first place because he threw a fit when they wouldn't lease an office he liked. That's second-grade schoolyard behavior -- Lord knows we already have enough of that in County Hall.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.