THE ETHICAL QUANDARY OF CAMPAIGN DONATIONS
THERE ARE SLEAZY POLITICANS, AND THEN THERE ARE EXCEPTIONALLY SLEAZY POLITICANS LIKE DAPHNE CAMPBELL, WHICH CAUSED SOME FOLKS IN THE SHORES TO QUESTION ALICE BURCH'S DONATION TO DAPHNE CAMPBELL
The political process is often equated with sausage making, an unsavory and bloody enterprise that involves the use of animal parts that most folks would rather not know is in the food that they eat.
The comparison between politics and sausage making is often raised as evidence of the unsavory nature of politics, most often when some politician is caught doing something unprincipled, unethical or just outright corrupt, which for some politicians is pretty much an everyday occurrence.
In the last week folks in Miami Shores were made aware that Alice Burch, the Village's former Mayor, and current Councilwoman, had been listed as a member of the host committee for a political fundraiser/birthday party for State Senator Daphne Campbell that was to take place at the Miami Shores Country Club.
I contacted Bob Smith, a Shores resident who was one of the folks who have raised the issue of Burch's involvement in this endeavor, and here is the message that he had originally posted on Facebook.
MAY 25, 2017
Even among the collection of usual collection of scammers, schemers, liars and con artists that populate the Florida Legislature, Daphne Campbell would be considered as a classic example of a truly reprehensible bottom feeder who somehow managed to slip through the cracks into a position of real power over the people of Florida.
The problem is that she didn't do it on the sly. She's been running for public office for well over a decade, and she not only gotten a lot of money in donations from fellow Haitians - ethnic politics has been a cornerstone of our political process from the very beginnings as new groups sought to gain a political foothold - but she also got a lot of money from companies and lobbying groups such as Publix, ATT, Amscot, US Sugar, TECO, Disney Destinations LLC and Disney vacation Development, as well as the Florida CPA PAC, Dade County medical Association, the Florida Natural Gas PAC, the Ackerman Law Firm PAC and lobbyist Ron Book. (You can look at her campaign finance reports for 2016, HERE, and her 2018 campaign reports HERE.)
In short, she got money from people who cared less about her ethical or even possible criminal behavior, but rather whether she would use her voting power to support whatever it was that the wanted from the Florida Legislature.
That's essentially the justification that Alice Burch gave, in her response to Bob Smith's complaint about her behavior.
One could take apart this defense in any number of ways unfavorable to Alice, but given her past behavior involving her activities in an effort to have a guard gate placed on 96th Street to create an enclave of the Eastside of the Village, and worse, her behavior with the Doctor's Charter School Board - which will be a story that I am now finally able to write about with the release of the last outstanding investigative report having been made public yesterday - her $200 donation to Campbell, while worthy of criticism, is but an act of mopery when it comes to Alice's misbehavior, past, present and future .
The real problem, and a problem that is at the core of so many of our other problems, is not that we have politicians like Daphne Campbell or Alice Burch doing crazy, stupid or even not very smart things, but rather that no one wants to pay attention until the shit hits the fan, and then after a flurry of angst, anger, or vocal complaint, everyone slinks off until the next bit of misbehavior occurs that sets the cycle of anget, anger and recrimination off again.
Daphne Campbell is where she's at because she got elected. Here are the breakdowns from the Board of Elections of her 2016 election, first the primary, and then the general election.
A CRESPOGRAM SPECIAL SERIES
The area inside the RED BOX includes Miami Shores. Look at how few people came out to vote in the Primary, and then how many came out to vote in the General Election.
Elections count, not only in who becomes President, but also for sleaze bags who end up in Tallahassee, and on the Village Council.
So, while it's good that there was a group of folks who stood up to complain about Alice's $200 donation to Daphne Campbell, where are those people when it comes to Steven Zelkowitz's refusal to reveal where he "supposedly" lives, or any of the other insults and acts designed to restrict your rights being taken by the current Village Council?
The real reason Alice Burch even had an opportunity to give money to Daphne Campbell is that all of you concerned citizens either failed to vote in the Primary, or actually came out and voted for her in the General.
In short, the screwing you're getting, is the screwing you deserve! So, instead of bitching, start paying attention!