With Miami's primary elections rolling in on August 14, Riptide decided to do Dade a solid by tallying up the worst scalawags, scoundrels, and scumbags who weaseled onto the ballot. Rock the vote, long live democracy, and all that jazz; but honestly, we'd rather you stay at home and watch Dr. Phil than vote for any of these folks:
State Rep. Daphne Campbell: Hail to the no when it comes to this Haitian-American state legislator representing northeast Dade. The IRS recently hit Campbell and her husband with a $145,000 lien. Meanwhile, the state attorney general is tracing hundreds of thousands of dollars the couple received through group homes they operated for disabled people. In 2005, the state cut off funding to one of Campbell's companies after a mentally ill woman was raped at one of her facilities. Since her election in 2010, she's only had one significant bill in Tally: a rule to stop the state from providing lists of troubled assisted living facilities to the public. The legislation was so horrible — and so obviously motivated by self-interest — that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed it.
State Rep. Erik Fresen: A cursory glance at this Coral Gables rep and chief backer of casino giant Genting's efforts to legalize gambling in Florida tells you all you need to know: buggy eyes, creepy grin, smarmy charm. Look a little deeper and you'll also find a charming history of hiding his debts from voters. On his 2010 and 2011 financial disclosure forms, Fresen failed to list two IRS liens totaling $29,199, plus a 2009 final judgment for $641,000. (It's illegal for public officials to leave liabilities off the form.) In 2010, meanwhile, he paid $10,000 in fines to the Division of Elections for submitting incomplete and late finance reports the previous two years. If Fresen can't be honest about his cash flow, he doesn't deserve a vote.
Gus Barreiro: Never mind casting a ballot — we're trembling at the thought of shaking this guy's hand. In 2009, Barreiro, who's seeking his second stint as a state representative, was canned from his position as director of residential facilities for the Department of Juvenile Justice. Why? Because an investigation revealed he'd downloaded 300 to 400 sexually explicit adult porn images onto his state-issued laptop. He also used his computer to log on to the sex hookup website adultfriendfinders.com under the screen name "CubanCigar107." Gross.
Renier Diaz de la Portilla: There's nothing worse than a self-righteous right-winger using his elected position to win partisan points with gullible tea baggers. Enter Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami-Dade Public School Board member who's now running for state rep. Renier wants to change MDPS policy to prohibit political events at schools, all because noted socialist Michelle Obama made a campaign stop at Barbara Goldman Senior High. Diaz de la Portilla reacted as if the second coming of Leo Trotsky had dropped in to indoctrinate kids, sending a mass email whining that "public schools are not an appropriate venue for campaign politics." A slightly hypocritical stance from a guy who spent $23,400 from his school board office fund in 2009 on mailers to Republican voters in Florida Senate District 36 — a seat his brother Miguel, coincidentally, was campaigning for and later won. An investigation by the Miami-Dade inspector general discovered that Diaz de la Portilla tried to conceal his use of a political consulting firm to produce those mail pieces.
Dr. Rudy Moise: Anyone else get the sense this wealthy physician is running against Congresswoman Frederica Wilson for a second time only because his ego can't help itself? This is the same guy, after all, who has bankrolled B-movies like Trapped: Haitian Nights to cast himself as the star and funded a memorial statue of Civil War-era Haitian soldiers, then allegedly ordered the artist to put Moise's face on one. That's not to mention some questionable deals with public money, like the $500,000 from the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust that he sank into a failed Kreyol-language radio station.