When you're a political underdog with just a few days before an election to drum up enough support and overcome odds to win, you might resort to some outlandish tactics. Some go on Saturday Night Live and make fun of themselves. Others pull out shameless attacks on their opponents. Miami Beach mayoral candidate Raphael Herman decided his best campaign tactic was to get into a heated situation with the Secret Service involving a fax machine the night President Obama happened to be in town.
According to police, Herman told officers that he was roughed up Monday by a city firefighter while leaving a fire station near 17th Street and Meridian Avenue. According to a police statement, Herman then placed a phone call to the Secret Service, saying "he knew where the president was staying and wanted the president to see him with blood on his face."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Herman left City Hall, called police about 5:30 p.m., then refused to open the door to officers when they visited him at his home. Herman demanded the Secret Service fax him a written request to speak with him, which agents did.
Fax? Riptide is a firm believer that politicians and governments should enthusiastically embrace the latest technology for maximum efficiency. Miami Beach needs a leader who at the very least uses current technology when making demands of the Secret Service. Where is the vision?
Ultimately, the Secret Service came to the same conclusion that incumbent Mayor Matti Bower's campaign did about Herman and decided they "did not believe a credible threat existed.''
Though city elections are officially nonpartisan, Herman is believed to be a member of the Nutcase Liberation Party of America, a small fringe group some reports tried to link Sarah Palin to in last year's presidential election. Herman is on his sixth bid to become mayor, and his main platform seems to be that he wants to turn the city of Miami into Miami Beach's parking lot and that he speaks nine languages.