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RINOs should take notes on Miami-Dade Republican Carlos Alvarez’s recall election; Update: Largest polling precinct closed; Update: Polls closed; Absentee ballots in; Done deal

posted at 1:20 am on March 15, 2011 by

Interesting that as Wisconsin efforts for recalling elected officials on both sides of the aisle consume the headlines, voters in Miami-Dade county continue to flex their muscles–and have their wallets in mind.  Their message is clear:  local governments should not  look to the taxpayers to fund their budget deficits and perks as Mayor Carlos Alvarez may be sent packing in his March 15 recall election fueled by Norman Braman:

An anti-tax advocate, Mr. Braman began the petition drive soon after Mr. Alvarez proposed raising property taxes for 40 percent of Miami-Dade homeowners last summer to plug a large budget deficit, a result of plunging property values. The Miami-Dade County Commission approved the budget. At the same time, unionized county employees whose wages had been frozen were due for a raise under a prior agreement and to have some of their benefits reinstated.

But the criticism reached beyond agreements with unions and property tax increases. The once-popular mayor, who was first elected in 2004, gave hefty raises to top aides in 2009, at the height of the recession, and also used a government car allowance to help pay for a BMW.

This anti-tax sentiment is echoed by this report:

On Tuesday, Cuban-Americans will decide the fate of two Cuban-American Miami-Dade County politicians. Once, being Cuban American was good enough for Cuban-Americans to come out and vote for a candidate. That is no longer true.

As early voting took place, it appears that Alvarez and Miami-Dade Commissioner Natacha Seijas will be ousted:

As of Friday, nearly 55 thousand people had already cast their ballots at the polls; more than 67 thousand voted by absentee ballot.

A recent Miami Herald-CBS4-Univision 23 public opinion poll showed that Alvarez and Seijas will likely be turned out of office.

When a politician such as Alvarez reaches into the taxpayers’ pockets to “fix” the budget, can recall be expected as the new normal and will it apply to both parties who dare betray the people?

Update:  The largest polling precinct in Miami Beach is closed to voters.  Reports cite schedule conflicts:

But tell that to voters who went to cast their ballots at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and found the city’s largest polling place was closed because clients in town for the Cruise show at the Miami Beach Convention Center had booked the garden for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Howard Srebnick, a Miami Beach resident and prominent criminal defense lawyer, said the Botanical Garden at 2000 Convention Center Dr. was shut down “without notice.”

The Miami-Dade Board of Elections did link a PDF notice on its website and here.  The Miami Beach precinct is home to many elderly voters who do not have access to transportation.  My concern is that most elderly, at least those I know, do not go to PDFs for information, so this is unfortunate for them if they cannot make alternate arrangements and get to the polls to vote.  Furthermore, I cannot find any notices printed in the Miami newspapers, so if you find anything, please drop it in the comments.

The new location is some 15 blocks south:

A sign at the Botanical Garden polling station redirects voters of precincts 30 and 34 to another polling site, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 621 Alton Road – 15 blocks south. Some poll workers at the church were also upset.

Polls close at 7pm.

Update:  Polls are closedWe wait.

Update:  via Twitter:  Absentee ballots have been counted; 87.4 per cent want the #recall of Carlos #Alvarez; 86.04 per cent want the recall of Natacha #Seijas

Update:  The deed is done (live results).

Crossposted at TMR

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When a politician such as Alvarez reaches into the taxpayers’ pockets to “fix” the budget, can recall be expected as the new normal and will it apply to both parties who dare betray the people?

Si, senor.

BigAlSouth on March 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Is this the same Norman Braman, the Cadillac dealer who once owned (and nearly ruined) the Philadelphia Eagles? The same Norman Braman who was referred to by Buddy Ryan as “that guy in France” (referring to Braman’s favorite vacation spot)?
Wow. If it is the same Norman Braman, he’s doing something right. Eagles fans won’t believe it.

either orr on March 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Yep. Same Norman Braman.

ex Dem from Miami on March 15, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Would it have been too much to have a shuttle bus ferry voters back and forth to other precincts to vote? Seems like that is the very least that could have been done to assist elderly voters.

ehvogel on March 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM

WOW!!!!!

Both tax-raisers lost by more than 7-to-1 ….

BD57 on March 15, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Who are they replacing them with or does that get decided in another election sometime later?

shmendrick on March 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Who are they replacing them with or does that get decided in another election sometime later?

shmendrick on March 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM

There will be a special election scheduled. I will follow up when more information is available. Should prove to be very interesting how this will play out–we will watch the political climate.

SusanAnne Hiller on March 16, 2011 at 12:25 AM

California’s method of having both the recall, and the election for the replacement governor seems more cost effective.

I expect that California will change its policy.

Slowburn on March 17, 2011 at 3:07 AM