| Columns |

There's Something Fowl in North Miami

Local campaign strategist Michael Caputo likes to employ some fowl play in his election day tactics. 
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In the mid-1990s, Caputo busted out his patent-pending tactic of using a man-in-a-chicken-suit-to-tail-opponents when he worked for Russian President Boris Yeltsin's campaign.

Back when he was spokesman for ex-School Board Member Frank Bolanos' failed campaign against state Sen. Alex Villalobos, Caputo had a volunteer don a chicken suit too. Bright yellow and bearing the nickname, "Demolobos," the chicken trailed Villalobos when both camps failed to agree on a debate.

Caputo is dusting off the chicken suit one more time. As this very moment, the North Miami Chicken is greeting voters attending the North Miami City Council meeting. Tomorrow the clucker will be on hand at the mayoral forum featuring the six contenders for the seat. 
The North Miami Chicken, on behalf of candidate Frank Wolland, is out there to warn voters about mayoral candidate Andre Pierre, who allegedlyis afraid to answer questions about his profits from deals with local developers. 

According to a press release put out by Caputo, Wolland "has called upon Pierre to stop being chicken and answer these burning questions."

I'd say Caputo has too much poppycock on his mind. However, he stands by his campaign schtick, noting that the North Miami Chicken is a great way to try to get Pierre to divulge more information about his five percent ownership interest in the North Miami Housing Corporation, an entity created by Boca Developers, the company that is building Biscayne Landing, a troubled mixed-use residential community on top of a former Munisport site just east of Biscayne Boulevard. 

"Whether it is a tired tactic or not," Caputo explains, "if we can inject a little humor into a campaign that gets a candidate to come clean, then it is a good day."

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