Miami New Times.This week, Luke gets the scoop on Rev. Richard Dunn II's biggest supporter.
Just when I was about to give Rev. Richard Dunn II the benefit of the doubt, he proves he can't be trusted to sit on the Miami City Commission and represent the African-Americans in his district. Now that he's the frontrunner to replace incumbent Michelle Spence-Jones, who isn't allowed to run again, Dunn is cutting backroom deals with Marc Sarnoff, the city commissioner who has no respect for Miami's black community.
Last week, Sarnoff hosted a private fundraiser for Dunn at the downtown law office of Solowsky Allen, where the Coconut Grove politician works. I'd rather see Dunn take money from the Devil.
Two years ago, Sarnoff publicly defended Miami Police officers who fatally shot seven African-American men during an eight-month period. On February 11, 2011, Sarnoff appeared on WPBT2's Issues and claimed the cops were justified in firing their guns. He told host Helen Ferre that police officers have reason to be "nervous" when they pull people over in "certain neighborhoods."
He said he understood why a cop would shoot someone who ducked down in a car. Eight months later, Sarnoff was one of only two commissioners who voted against firing Chief Miguel Exposito, the man responsible for the police department's "shoot first, ask questions later" policy.
Dunn loves taking credit for initiating the U.S. Justice Department investigation into the police department that recently concluded Miami cops have engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force in officer-involved shootings. Yet Dunn has no qualms letting Sarnoff, who insisted the shootings were justified, raise campaign cash for him. What a hypocrite.
The reverend, who served as city commissioner during the two years Spence-Jones was suspended from office, insists he's now getting support from the same city hall insiders who gave campaign donations to her. He specifically pointed out Jay Solowsky, one of the partners of the law firm employing Sarnoff, as a major Spence-Jones contributor. "If they were good enough for her," he says, "they are good enough for me."
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That's bull, because Sarnoff would never break bread with Spence-Jones. Sarnoff knows he can't control her. In fact, he failed to stop her from securing $50 million for an Overtown redevelopment project earlier this year. And that is why Sarnoff is supporting Dunn. He is telling all of his buddies to give money to Dunn because the good reverend will do whatever he says.
The fix is in.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.