Miami Government Decides What Voters Can Hear
A recent Ethics Commission meeting confirmed Tancredo's comments that Miami is amost definitly a third world. The Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission ruled in February that they found probable cause against a former County Commission candidate that spoke out about unusual behavior and voting records from County Commissioner Katy Sorenson.
On one of the warmest days of the year, several key reporters sat in the audience at the Miami Dade County Ethics Commission to hear what the outcome of several cases they were reporting on. The Watch Dog himself, Michael Putney, and Oscar from the Daily Business Review watched the doors close behind them when the closed hearings were held.
In a large room sat one former candidate and his attorney in front of three Commission Judges, an adminstrative person and two advocates. A quick reading and a comment by the Ethics Commission's own advocate letting them know that the act they are going to use to find probable cause against the complainant is "seemingly unconstitutional", and a very fast finding of probable cause regardless of the Constitution.
A request to dismiss the complaint for the good of the people was immediately rejected. A request to defer the case until proper documents were filed in the 11th Circuit Court was even more quickly rejected. No information was released as specific advocates infered that the Commission could very well find itself in litigation because of this Act.
The Ehtics Commission for years has tried hundreds of cases using the Fair Campaign Practices Act as a way to fine candidates who agreed to abide by the Act. According to Mike Murawski, the Advocate for the Ethics Commission, once a candidate agrees to abide by the Act, they waive their First Amendment Rights guaranteed by the Consitution and place themselves in the hands of a Committee of 5 to decide if what they said to the public they felt was "PC".
Nobody in Miami-Dade County or in the Ethics Commission of former judges and lawmakers had ever questioned the Act which they used to "tar and feather" candidates they felt did not say things the way they wanted and in the process chilled free speech. Nobody had read a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court delcaring the same Act as unconstitutional in 1999, and now knowingly they still held their ground using the same ordinance to find probable cause against free speech.
To add to this, a request by the former candidate to recluse Ethics Commission judges that had donated to the complainant's political campaign or those who had some close ties with the complainant that would impede their fair judgement. This was denied becuase "they were not part of the investigation".
The offenses were filed for using the word Special Interest which the Ethics Commission now defined as "demonizing", turning retirees, police, teachers and political figures into immediate demons. The phrase [special interests] slung wildely by Katy Sorenson when referring to her colleagues on the BCC was now defined by the Ethics Commission as per the definition in the complaint filed by Sorenson.
The next probable cause was found regarding a comment about a move in the Urban Development Boundary outside the UDB process. The pages of a mailer strictly related to the UDB process was now taken down to the phrase "no public hearing". Even though no public was present and the hearing was held outside the UDB standard seve-step meeting, they still decided that the candidate could not use this phrase regardless of what the clear intention of the mailer was. Again, no free speech was apported to the candidate.
A third charge for what they felt was an insuation of corruption. The former candidate said that there was "no insinuation" it was the truth. That truth was considered inappropriate and probable cause was again found.
The sad reality is that Miami-Dade County stands along with Castro's government and Chavez's government as an oppresive regime designed to foment incumbency and chill free speech wherever and whenever they please.