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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

OCTOBER 28, 2013

THE VIDEO ON THE ABOVE WEBSITE IS A CUSTOMIZED VERSION OF THE CITY’S “OFFICIAL” VIDEO THAT WAS PRODUCED AND PAID FOR BY TAXPAYER DOLLARS
DIRTY TRICKS AT PLAY IN VIDEO SUPPORTING WATERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

There’s a lot at stake in the upcoming referendum vote on the redevelopment of the Coconut Grove waterfront, and because this is Miami, dirty tricks are part of the process. 


This latest scheme that I have uncovered, undertaken by several as yet unidentified individuals, shows that not only are dirty tricks are being played, but there is a new level of sophistication being employed when it comes to screwing the taxpayers.


This is a complicated story, yet at the same time a very simple story, so let me start out with the simple first.


The Communications Department of the City of Miami, under it’s Director Angel Zayon, last month produced an “official” city video supporting the redevelopment of the Grove Marina project and posted it on it’s website and You Tube channel on October 18th.


(NOTE)  Because a lot of folks don’t like to switch back and forth between videos and the story, I will be using screen grabs to reference the various issues I raise in this story, and the actual videos will be found at the bottom of the story.


Also, because this is not the first time that Angel Zayon has used city resources to produce promotional videos, I have downloaded copies of each video for backup, and if the originals are removed by Zayon, I will post my copies.


In addition to the official version of this video, at least one other version of this video was produced. That other version is the video that is featured on the above website created by a Political Action Committee (PAC) called, Committee Working to Beautify and Activate Miami’s Waterfront.


Here is a copy of the paperwork that this PAC provided the Miami City Clerk’s office.

From this point on, the cuteness begins as I explain how the supposed “official” city version of this video ended up on the PAC’s website, and the fact that, for starters, the video on the PAC website, although looking the same is not the same video as “official” version on the city’s website.   But, don’t let me get ahead of myself.


THE MISDIRECTION PLAY THAT INVOLVES FLORIDA PUBLIC RECORD LAW


Under Florida Public Records Law this, PAC, or anyone else for that matter, could file a public records request for a copy of the video - or in this case since the video was already on You Tube - relink the video to their website, just as I have done with the copies of all of these videos that I relinked below.


It doesn’t matter what I, or anyone else wants to do with the videos after that, because the Florida’s public records law is very clear that there is no restraint - other than an the obvious criminal use - on how individuals or groups can use material, including videos, that are obtained through public records requests.


In Microdecisions, Inc. v. Skinner, 889 So 2nd 871, 875 (Fla 2nd DCA 2004) the appeals court ruled that, [T]he fact that a person seeking access to public records wishes to use them in a commercial enterprise does not alter his or her right under Florida public records law.”


So this means that the PAC, like me, could download any video obtained through a public records request, put it on a website, pretend it’s their video, and they could even, if they wanted, charge money to let you see the video  and all of that would be perfectly legal.


This is how the folks involved this scheme figured they could cover themselves. They figured that an average viewer, if they happened to see the “official” version on the city’s website and then saw the other version on the PAC website would not give it much thought, and would probably think they were the same video, and that the PAC had merely linked to the city’s website to use the video.


Unfortunately, the video on the city’s website, and the video on the PAC website, ARE NOT the same video.


THE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT PAID TO HAVE A CUSTOMIZED VERSION OF THIS VIDEO PRODUCED, AND THAT IS THE VERSION BEING USED BY THIS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE.


This is supported by the fact that as I said, the Communications Department produced several versions of this video.  The first version - the “official” version - was the one that they posted on their website.


The second version is the one that is on the PAC’s website, and I have been led to believe that there is probably a third version that is being used for presentations before various homeowner groups.


REMOVING THE CITY’S FINGERPRINTS FROM THESE VIDEOS


What supports my claim that the version of the video on the PAC website was produced as part of a conspiracy to provide illegal campaign support for the PAC seeking to redevelop the Coconut Grove waterfront is actually quite simple. 


During the period of time that Angel Zayon has been the Director of the Communications Department, that department has produced a total 167 videos in English - including this one - and 71 videos in Spanish.


ALL OF THOSE VIDEOS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THIS VIDEO have opened with a title sequence that identifies it as an “official” video of the City of Miami, and all of those videos have had end credit sequence or plates.


Here are screen grabs that show you what I mean  (You will be able to see a complete opening title and end credit sequence in the 3rd video I have posted below.)

In addition, since September of 2012, each of these videos has also had the City of Miami Seal as a floating watermark in each of the videos.

Unlike EVERY OTHER video produced by the Communications Department - in English and in Spanish -  neither the city’s “official” version of this waterfront video on their website, nor the copy on the PAC website contains either a title or credit sequence, nor do they contain a City of Miami Seal watermark.


As I said, I contend this was done on purpose so that anyone who by chance happened to see both versions would assume that the PAC had just linked to the city’s “official” version of the video.


In addition, there are several other significant differences between these videos.  First, and foremost, the length of the videos is different.  The official city video runs for 5:16 and the PAC video is only 4:23.


Secondly, the opening titles on the videos are different.

The failure of the Communications Department to include a title and credit sequence did not occur as a result of some oversight. This was consciously done so that there would be a consistency between both versions of the videos and therefore downplay the differences in the videos to any curious viewer wondering how the PAC ended up with a city video on it’s website.


If the Communications Department had done what they had done with virtually EVERY OTHER VIDEO THEY’VE PRODUCED and put a title and end credit sequence, along with their watermark, the PAC could have posted that video on their website and that would have been perfectly legal also.  They would have been well within their rights according to the provisions set forth in Microdecisions, Inc. v. Skinner, 889 So 2nd 871, 875 (Fla 2nd DCA 2004).


But they didn’t, and that’s where the cuteness let me catch up with them.


The decision to exclude the telltale title and credit portions along with the watermark did not happen by chance. Either Mayor Tomas Regalado and/or Commissioner Marc Sarnoff - both of whom have been deeply involved in promoting this proposal, and especially Sarnoff who has had one of his staff members for weeks gong around and speaking to every possible group he could in support of this effort - had to have been involved in directing Angel Zayon to keeping these identifying markers from the videos.


Zayon is an errand boy.  He does what he is told to do.  This was a policy decision, and Zayon was the guy charged with implementing the policy.


The end result provided the Committee Working to Beautify and Activate Miami’s Waterfront PAC with a “free,” and “clean” video for them to use in support of their efforts to get voters to support their taking over the waterfront.


Now, let me be very, very clear.  The issue here is not that a PAC, through the provisions of Florida’s public records law is using a video produced by the City of Miami for its personal use.  They were, and are, entitled to do so, even if the version of the video that they are using was crafted just for them, because by making a public records request, whatever versions of the video they obtained became theirs to do with what they wanted..


This is not a public records issue.


This is an abuse of power and misuse of public money issue, and it could also be an illegal campaign contribution issue, because the various versions of the video all point to the fact that they were produced using a very different format than any of the other 237 videos produced by the Communications Department in the last 3 years, and that in removing the identity of the City as the producer of these specific videos was done for an ulterior purpose of making a video available for use by the PAC so that would look as if the video on their website had been produced by them, and not the city.


They could have gotten away with this.  They could have half-assed explained away almost most of the issues I’ve raised,  although the narration on each video is different enough to raise it’s own questions, but the one issue that cannot be explained away is the failure to put titles and credits and watermark on the “official” version of this video that was posted on the city’s website.


That had to have been done on purpose, and consequently it had to have been done to mislead and provide cover for the expenditure of public money to produce a cleaned up version of the video that showed up on the website of a Political Action Committee.


THAT’S THE SMOKING GUN!


It’s Miami, Bitches!

CITY’S “OFFICIAL” VERSION
PAC’S VERSION
http://alturl.com/4g6yehttp://alturl.com/4g6yeshapeimage_16_link_0

PAGE LINK - COPY AND PASTE

Copy the link below, and it will be a permanent link to this page that you can post on Facebook, or anywhere else.

THE OFFICIAL CITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO

THE CUSTOM PAC VERSION OF THE VIDEO

A REGULAR CITY VIDEO WITH TITLE AND CREDITS