The Miami Herald does a long ‘process’ story about the elections coming up in Coral Gables and Miami Shores. It’s mostly about how there have been unprecedented expenditures and unprecedented negative campaigning. It’s a long story, and it’s in the print edition as well as online — probably more column inches then ever devoted to any of the issues in this election.
Two items of special interest. First, the Herald has found out something about the mysterious mailers (cf. Electioneering Report — April 8, 2011 (Update 4)):
According to a Statement of Electioneering Communication filed with the city of Coral Gables, Jordan Behlman is the committee’s chairman. When contacted by The Miami Herald on Friday, Behlman would not comment about his involvement with the group. Behlman, 30, is a registered student at the University of Miami School of Law.
The mailer’s return address is 3606 S. Waverly Cir., Tampa, which Behlman listed as his permanent address on the electioneering statement. It’s the address of Behlman’s parents. Behlman’s mother, Jaynee, said Friday they have nothing to do with Coral Gables.
“I don’t know what’s going on in Coral Gables,’’ she said. “I don’t know who got my address, but they’re using it without my permission.”
She said her son is not living at home and that she was approached by a private detective this week who said he was looking into the committee.
“He scared me to death,” she said.
The Committee for Coral Gables’ Future is not registered with the Florida Division of Elections. According to the statement of electioneering communication, the purpose of the organization is to, “support and oppose candidates in Coral Gables municipal elections.”
(Incidentally, as far as I can recall, I’ve never met this student.)
Second, they quote me (without giving the name of this blog or the URL). Ironically the point of my quote is that I wish they wrote more about issues and less about process.
“It’s always a struggle in municipal elections to figure out what the issues are and what the candidates’ stances are,” said Michael Froomkin, who has lived in Coral Gables for 19 years. A University of Miami law professor, Froomkin writes a popular blog that has chronicled the campaign.
“Certainly the high budgets and the negative mailers are what have attracted the media’s attention,” he said.