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Miami Commissioner Seijas tries to buy votes on day of recall election?

Posted by FactReal on March 15, 2011

Seijas wanted to “donate” $245,000 to her district on the same day of her recall election

The Miami Herald reports:

Miami-Dade County commissioners voted down an attempt by embattled Commissioner Natacha Seijas to dole out almost a quarter of a million dollars in district funds to her favorite causes Tuesday, the same day her political career could come to an end.

The 9-3 vote — Seijas herself was not present — came the morning of the recall election that could oust the 18-year commission veteran from her post representing Hialeah and Miami Lakes. It was the first time anyone on the dais could recall denying a fellow commissioner a request to spend public money.

Commissioners Carlos Gimenez, Audrey Edmonson, Javier Souto, Joe Martinez, Rebeca Sosa, Jean Monestime, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Lynda Bell and Dennis Moss voted the item down. Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Sally Heyman, and Bruno Barreiro supported Seijas’ request.

The commission’s decision, at a time of upheaval at County Hall in which Mayor Carlos Alvarez also faces a recall vote, did not come without heated debate.

Jordan – whose office budget in the past was bailed out with help of funds from Seijas’ office — said she hoped her fellow commissioners were voting because of beliefs…

Commissioners use our taxdollars to perpetuate themselves in power
On the same day of her recall election, Seijas planned to donate $245,000 to nonprofit organizations in his district.

There is a tradition in Miami-Dade of using public funds to secure votes. So it’s almost impossible to beat an incumbent in an election. Each commissioner has access to $814,000 fund for them to use at their will even to “donate” them in their districts to charitable agencies which help to perpetuate the politicians in power by voting for them.

The tax money should not be used on political patronage of county commissioners.

Original in Spanish (Español):
Seijas planeaba el mismo día del referendo “donar $245,000 a organizaciones sin fin de lucro en su distrito.”

“[E]n Miami-Dade subsiste la tradición de donar fondos públicos para asegurar más votos. Por eso resulta casi imposible vencer a un titular en una contienda electoral. Cada comisionado tiene un pastel de $814,000 para su oficina y tienen la discreción de donarlos a agencias benéficas en sus distritos que, en señal de gratitud, ayudan a perpetuarlos en el poder mediante el voto.”

“El dinero de nuestros impuestos, sin embargo, no debería gastarse en el clientelismo político de los comisionados del condado.”

2 Responses to “Miami Commissioner Seijas tries to buy votes on day of recall election?”

  1. […] $1 million for their annual budgets which they use as they please — with few restrictions and no questions asked — plus $11,500 annual retirement contribution, unlimited free gas, $55,388 benefit package […]

  2. […] $1 million for their annual budgets which they use as they please — with few restrictions and no questions asked — plus $11,500 annual retirement contribution, unlimited free gas, $55,388 benefit package […]

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