The story about the Miami Downtown Development Authority’s sending out postcards to as many as 39,085 residents in the downtown area encouraging them to apply for absentee ballots offers both a window into the real politicks that goes on in Miami, and also provides a cautionary tale about the public policy decisions that have allowed Miami City Commissioners to create and maintain independent power bases through their “leadership” of quasi-public bodies like the DDA, the Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA) and Business Improvement Districts (BID.)

No one has come to exemplify the abuse of this system more than Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. In addition to being a City Commissioner he is the Chairman of the DDA, the OMNI CRA, and Coconut Grove BID, and has been angling to have both the Wynwood and MIMI Districts create BID’s that would allow him to weld power over those entities also.

For Sarnoff critics, myself included, this relationship is nothing more than a naked manipulation and stranglehold over these tax funded groups by an individual who has used these entities to reward his friends and supporters and abuse the financial power they provide.

Even under the best and most benign of circumstances, any kind of relationship that allows a City Commissioner to weld such total power over a handful of quasi-public organizations funded through tax dollars should raise concerns.

When it involves someone like Sarnoff, whose ethical lapses and corrupt personal and political behavior have now become an integral part of his biography, what occurred at the DDA is not only something that should have been expected, but it is something that warrants a criminal investigation.

To that end, here is my revised and updated story with NEW documents obtained Friday that reveals a far more detailed look in how a quasi-public body can be used to support the political ends of it’s Chairman.

NOTE: This post includes copies of previously cited documents as well as NEW documents.  For purposes of organization, ALL of the documents cited in this post will be included in sequential order on a separate page, and I will in some instances only use portions of those documents within the body of this post for purposes of space management.  The documents will be referenced in the traditional footnote manner by numbering them.  You can access this document page by clicking HERE, or by clicking on the number of the document.

I have highlighted portions of this post as a way to focus attention on information that I think is important for you to not gloss over.


First, the simple stuff.  In the Miami Herald article written by Chuck Rabin, last week, he cited a claim made by Alyse Robertson, the DDA’s Executive Director that the costs for sending out the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot postcards was $7200.  Documents obtained from the DDA on Friday indicate that the actual costs were higher.

The cost for printing the postcards was $5280.00.(1) The Bulk Mail costs were $5433,.23 (2), for a total of $10,713.23.

Additionally, the article claimed that 31,000 postcards were mailed. The printing invoice indicate that 42,000 pieces were printed,(3) and the Postal Service invoice states that 39,085 pieces were paid for. (2)

When asked how the return postcards were paid for, I was told that the postage costs covered both outgoing and return postage.


Contrary to what I and others originally assumed, the scheme to send out these Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot postcards did not originate in either late June or early July, as I assumed by the reference to this program in the DDA’s July 11th minutes.(4)  In fact, this latest effort was the 2nd time the DDA had sent postcards out.

It is now evident that the decision to pursue this program was discussed and initiated very early in 2011, and was put into play with the DDA’s hiring of a new name to Crespo-Gram readers, Nicholas S, Martinez, who was hired on April 11, 2011.

Martinez comes with an interesting resume that includes working 5 years for the Leon County Supervisor of Elections.  He was hired as a $68,250 a year exempt employee and the summary of his DDA job description states that: (5)

       “This position provides and prepares a range of

       research/data analysis, voter outreach, systems

       design, and support of computer-based GIS

       (Geographic Information Systems) mapping and

       related statistical software to advance economic

       and public policy initiatives.”

Martinez, reveals the importance he placed on the voter outreach program being part of his job responsibilities by listing it as the first item in his resume. (6)

What we have with Mr. Martinez’s arrival on the scene is a very computer savvy individual capable of providing the latest in sophisticated campaign design and analysis.  How sweet is that for a candidate running for reelection who also happens to be the Chairman of the DDA Board, and this guy’s ultimate boss!

How many other candidates running for Miami City Commission do you think have access to that kind of brain power, paid for by tax payer dollars?


During a brief exchange on Friday with Javier Betancourt, the DDA’s Assistant Executive Director, he acknowledged that the DDA had conducted a previous Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign for election of the County Mayor in June. 

This is supported by another document that reveals that Nicholas Martinez arranged for the PO Box that is being used for these efforts to be rented from June 1, 2011 - May 31, 2012. (7).

Why is all of this important? Because it goes to the legal issue of establishing forethought and premeditation. This wasn’t a spur of the moment, haphazard let’s do a project to support good government decision.

Consider the resulting actions that occurred after the decision was made to do this.

  1. 1.They hired a smart computer wiz with the intellectual knowledge to do campaign analysis and voter outreach.

  1. 2. They did a trial run with another election.

  1. 3.They collected the incoming data by scanning and preserving it, thereby making available for any future use the DDA considered valuable, and in the process making it available for use to measure support for candidate Sarnoff.

  1. 4. When caught, they denied any intent of illegality by claiming that it was nothing more than a public service project supporting citizen participation in good government.

Javier Betancourt in an attempt to deflect my questions about this activity on Friday, even went so far as to try to label the increasing focus on what has happened as, “No good deed goes unpunished.”


This Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot effort is how Commissioner Sarnoff likes to operate. He always attempts to shield his involvement by using a front organization, and expects that front underwrite the costs. 

These front organizations are almost always ones over which he has ultimate control, and he likes to maximize all the opportunities available whenever possible by interweaving his schemes through several of these organizations in an interlocking way. He has repeatedly used this template with the CRA and DDA to cross-pollinate and finance a lot of his recent schemes, especially in trying to chase away the homeless.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate that when it came to his reelection campaign Sarnoff would pull out all the stops and avail himself of the benefits from all of these organizations.

It also didn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the changes in the makeup of his District since 2007 had created a Pig-In-The-Python problem for him. There were supposedly a very sizable, yet unidentifiable increase in possible voters living in the downtown portion of his District to which he, like all the candidates for the District 2 race had little direct access to.

They were unreachable for the most part because they lived in the new condo buildings that had been built during his first term. This represented a real problem because a traditional walking-the-streets and knocking on doors approach doesn’t work in condos. For the most part you can’t gain access to these buildings without condo association approval.

Therefore it’s easy to appreciate what happened next when you realize that the DDA boundaries comprise essentially the same area that includes the largest concentration of these condos. 

A Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign, conducted by the DDA was one of the few simple and economical ways to reach the folks in these condos, and, because the approach was being made by a group like the DDA, it would create an appearance of seeming to be non-partisan.

For Sarnoff, the icing on the cake as always was that the costs would be covered by the DDA.


The issue that now raises substantive questions about abuse of power, misuse of public funds and violations of Florida’s Absentee Ballot law centers on why the DDA chose to create a PO Box address for the return of any of these Absentee Ballot requests, rather than having those requests go directly to the Miami-Dade Elections Board, and how those returns were handled by the DDA once they were returned.

Common sense would indicate that if the DDA was solely interested in supporting greater voter participation through the use Absentee Ballots, then the return address for the request for these ballots shoulda/woulda gone directly to the Elections Board instead of the DDA.

Instead, the returns went to the DDA where the responses that were sent back to the DDA were scanned.

When pressed about whether this information had been entered into the DDA’s database, Javier Betancourt denied that it had been, and when I asked,  “Then why did you scan the cards?,”  he replied that they did this in order to keep a count on how many cards had been returned.

My response was, you keep count by counting, like 1,2,3...


There are several problems with what the DDA did, and with Betancourt’s response.

First, by scanning these cards, the DDA, by virtue of being a public agency for purposes of Florida’s Public Records Law, made all of that information public records.

Secondly, it’s completely unbelievable that the cards were scanned solely to a method to keep a count of how many cards were returned, especially when you consider the DDA’s job description for Nicholas Martinez.

        “This position provides and prepares a range of

        research/data analysis, voter outreach, systems

        design, and support of computer-based GIS

        (Geographic Information Systems) mapping and

        related statistical software to advance economic

        and public policy initiatives.”

Putting aside the political issues involving Sarnoff, no one whose goal is to create a Geographic Information System passes up an opportunity to collect any shred of data that can further that goal.

No, those cards were not only scanned, but I contend WERE entered into the DDA’s database. To believe otherwise is to believe that Bill Clinton smoked pot and didn’t inhale.

One further bit of evidence that this information was intended in part as a method of data mining is the fact that the DDA request, unlike the Official Absentee Ballot request from the Board of Elections (8) included a request for the applicant’s email address. (9)

The DDA Board Meeting on October 21, 2011.

Why did they want email addresses? For the same reason everyone wants email addresses today - to use for marketing and research.

But now lets get down to the political nitty-gritty.

I would argue that the real, but unstated purpose of this Absentee Ballot campaign was an effort to help further the reelection of Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Chairman of the DDA Board of Directors, who even in April was beginning to sense that he might have a hard reelection fight on his hands.

Furthermore, I contend that the prior effort that the DDA mounted to get out the vote for the County Mayor’s race last June was both a trial run, and a way to deflect any accusations should this latest effort ever be questioned.

This is where the public records issue comes in. 

By creating public records of the information in these returned requests for Absentee Ballots, this became the way to provide cover to Sarnoff, should the information had gotten out that he obtained copies of this information from the DDA.

Their defense would be that they were providing public records, available to anyone who asked for it.  Of course, the key to public records is in knowing what to ask for.

Now, I want to be very clear, any candidate running for public office who has opposition is entitled by law on the day following the Absentee Ballot request being received by the Election Board to obtain a copy of this same information.

However, the issue here is that the information collected by the DDA represented specific information only on folks in District 2, making it far easier to analysis and work with, and also making it possible to prescreen these individuals via direct phone calls or surveys from Sarnoff’s campaign to determine whether they were Pro or Anti Sarnoff, and consequently making it possible to eliminate or delay THOSE requests from going Election Board.  Never forget that EVERY VOTE counts.

Whether or not that happened is something that might only be discovered with the opening of a criminal investigation by the FDLE.

What’s only become apparent after having Betancourt claim to me that only 300 individuals replied is that this 300 number appears to be the number of responses that were collected in June for the County Mayor’s race. (10)

I doubt seriously that the number this time out is also 300, and that raises another question as to what are the real number of returns this time are, and what do these numbers break down as at cost per Absentee Ballot?

In fact, if there is one question that demands a real and verifiable answer, it’s how many of the Absentee Ballot returns has the DDA actually received over the course of this campaign and how much have they really spent including investment in new software?


It’s only in the days since I first broke this story and made my first public records request for information that Javier Betancourt claims that the DDA is now seeking a legal opinion from either the Miami-Dade Elections Board or the Florida Elections Commission as to whether what they’ve done with the Absentee Ballot requests was legal, and whether or not copies of the returned requests can be released as part of a public records request that I made on Friday. 

I believe that this sudden concern for legal legitimacy is disingenuous.  I believe that all of the information from both the County Mayor’s race and this latest effort has already been provided to Sarnoff, and that now the effort is to deny this information, not to me, but to the other candidates.  And by information, I include whatever hocus-pocus analysis was conducted on this information.

If - and I only use if rhetorically because I have every reason to believe that it was - the information was provided to Sarnoff, the person who most likely to have received it was William Plasencia, one of Sarnoff’s City Hall staff members.

Since Sarnoff moved his law offices into the suite occupied by his pal and DDA Board Member Jay Solowsky - whose office is across the street from the DDA - in January of this year, Plasencia has had an office and computer available for his use at the DDA, in order I was told several months ago to “better serve the Commissioner’s downtown constituents.”

Plasencia comes and goes from the DDA offices at will, and in another interesting wrinkle the ability of Plasencia to hang out at the DDA and have access to a DDA computer is that his work product on that computer does not get archived into the City of Miami’s mainframe computer, thereby making it even harder to retrieve any of this information through public record requests.

Since I came along Sarnoff has invested a lot of time and energy employing all the tricks he can to keep the documents related to his various activities secret. One only needs to remember the numerous email addresses I’ve already uncovered that reveal the lengths to which Sarnoff has attempted to circumvent the Public Records Law.

One also needs to consider Betancourt’s claim that the DDA was essentially clueless to the possibility that they might have done anything wrong, against the knowledge that they hired Nicholas Martinez, a guy who spent the last 5 years working for the Leon County Supervisor of Elections which once again allows me to quote the legal scholar Sarnoff, who said on passage of his ethics bill, “ Now, no one will be able to claim ignorance as a defense.”

To understand how uncomplicated this all really is, here is the relevant portion of Florida Statute 101.62, that details the provisions of Florida’s Absentee Ballot law that the DDA now claim to be seeking a legal opinion on.

Missing from the list of approved recipients for Absentee Ballot requests and/or information contained in those requests are quasi-public bodies claiming to be supporting Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot projects like the DDA.

We live in a Banana Republic where all things are possible, but I tend to doubt that the Election’s Board would support a claim that the DDA was allowed and/or entitled to do what they did, or to scan the information they obtained from these requests before forwarding the returned postcards to them.

Of course in practical terms the damage has already been done. The postcards were sent, and the majority of those postcards that would be returned have already made their way back to the DDA for scanning, so whatever benefits have accrued to the Sarnoff campaign has already occurred.


Michelle Niemeyer, one of Sarnoff’s opponents filed a complaint on Thursday with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission and sent a copy to State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle. (11)

On Friday, she sent another copy to the FDLE.

Unfortunately, nothing of consequence will happen with the complaint to the Ethics Commission. It will take them months to “investigate,” and when they finish they might, and I say only might, impose a piddling fine of $500 against the DDA and/or its Executive Director Alyse Robertson.  I would bet that by then, if any sanction is imposed, chances are that Robertson will be long gone.

Katherine Fernandez-Rundle on her own account won’t do shit. My story JUSTICE IS NEVER BLIND, about how she engaged in a game of political switcharoo in trying to delay the return of Michelle Spence-Jones to her City Commission seat provides more than enough evidence to support the claim that Fernandez-Rundle is corrupt and unworthy of continuing to hold the office of State Attorney and would never on her own undertake this kind of prosecution.  She’s now announced she’s running for reelection and is too beholden to the power base in this community to actually go after any of them.

That leaves the FDLE, who does have the power to investigate, as well as the muscle to demand that Fernandez-Rundle recuse herself if they decide there is evidence to prosecute.

The big question about the FDLE is whether they would consider at this point in their on-going investigation of the antics at Miami City Hall this issue significant enough to include in the time they have left?

Sadly, the group who should be most concerned, and most responsible for addressing this nonsense is the DDA Board of Directors.

Yet, as a group they are so compromised as to be considered un-indictable co-conspirators in this deal.  The board for the most part is comprised of Sarnoff pals and toadies including Jay Solowsky who now shares his office with Sarnoff and Cousin Neil, Jerome Hollo, son of Tibor, who has benefited from the Sarnoff largesse, Neisen Kasdin from Ackerman Senterfitt - who Sarnoff want to be like when he grows up - Nitin Motwani, downtown parking lot scofflaw extradordinaire, and Kim Stone, who represents the Miami Heat, an outfit that thinks that all of the surrounding public property around the AAA Arena should be theirs to control.  Can we all say goodbye to the independent hot dog vendors.

At Friday’s Board meeting - which I only discovered was going on when I showed up to present my public record request - I heard Alyse Robertson praising Nicholas Martinez on what an asset he was going to be to the DDA.

After the meeting I managed to speak briefly to several board members, and asked whether there had been any discussion on the news about this absentee ballot story which by then I had written about three times, the Miami Herald once, and the Daily Business Review had also written about that morning.  One board member replied to my inquiry by chuckling and replied with a wry grin, “Not a word.”

Not a word indeed. 

In a better world, where ethical behavior actually counted for something, Alyse Robertson would be fired by the Board and Nicholas Martinez would be put under adult supervision.

But we live in the real world, where with some irony, I have it from reliable sources that both Alyse Robertson and David Collins, Sarnoff’s butt-boy Executive Director of the Coconut Grove BID, are destined to be fired if Sarnoff gets reelected.

Sarnoff is rapacious in his demands, and vindictive in his treatment of underlings, and Robertson and Collins, although having eaten a lot of shit to continue collecting their six figure salaries have none-the-less come to the end of their usefulness.

In a way, if Sarnoff himself survives both the election and the on-going FDLE criminal investigation, there will be a certain poetic justice in watching him run these two off.  The final screwing that they get will be their just rewards for being smarmy ass kissers who bent over so Sarnoff could screw them and the communities they were supposed to be looking out for.

It’s Miami, Bitches!

OCTOBER 24, 2011


Any additional comments would be superfluous.

OCTOBER 24, 2011


OCTOBER 24, 2011

Last January, shortly after Commissioner “Ethics” was forced to move his illegal law firm from his house in Coconut Grove, he moved in with his pal Jay Solowsky at 201 South Biscayne Boulevard.

Because Sarnoff is a cheapskate, and because he was essentially squatting in Solowsky’s suite of offices, Sarnoff didn’t want to pay the daily parking rate in the office’s building’s parking garage, and in typical Sarnoff fashion he started parking his car in a space that had been created so
that the City Commissioner who was the Chairman of the DDA, could park there when a DDA meetings took place.

Sarnoff just started treating it as his personal office parking space until I came along and revealed his antics and he quit doing it.

In the months since, I’ve not had much reason to cruise that parking area looking for Sarnoff’s car until this latest DDA dustup occurred, and then, just out of curiosity, I took a spin and discovered that the Commissioner Only parking sign was gone.

Don’t know why or when, but it’s a definite improvement to the neighborhood.


OCTOBER 25, 2011



So there I was cruising South on Biscayne Boulevard around 4:30 PM on Monday afternoon, when what to my wandering eyes did appear but a City of Miami car that passed me with what seemed to be a woman’s bare feet propped on the dash. The car was going South on Biscayne Boulevard from somewhere North of the city limits. 

Because of traffic, it took a while to position myself to be able to take a couple photos, and when I was finally able to get a look inside the car, there were my old pals Sergio Guadix, the Director of Code Enforcement and his Chief Assistant Jessica Capo, cruising down the boulevard with what can only be considered a classic, “Don’t Give A Fuck What the Taxpayers Think,” attitude.

I haven’t a clue where they had been, but obviously where ever it was, it had worn poor Jessica out because she was passed out like a tourist that had had to many afternoon Margaritas.

These two madcap kids seem to make a thing out of acting like Siamese twins, because one seldom goes anywhere without the other, and it’s anybody’s guess where they are attached.

Imagine, there I was, driving down the street minding my own business and I wind up with this photo. Who could make this shit up?

And just so there’s no confusion, here’s a shot of the back of Sergio’s car with his license tag: XA7884.


The core of Marc Sarnoff’s political life has been that he has lied at almost every opportunity, whether it be about something trivial, or something important.

Unlike George Washington, Marc Sarnoff can tell a lie, and he will tell it time after time even after everyone knows that he’s lying.

No other issue underscores his willingness to lie time after time than the issue of billboards. Unlike the lies about his fictional grandfather or many of the other whoppers that he has told along the way, the lies about billboards have had an impacted on the issue of quality of life in Miami that Sarnoff so often cites when justifying his decisions.

In the above two-sided flier that Sarnoff widely distributed in 2007, he portrayed himself as a stanch opponent of “Visual Pollution” and a defender of “The Beauty Of Our City.”

As soon as he was elected, he did a 180 degree turn, and became the champion of increasing the placement of  billboards and murals throughout the city, and for his efforts he received thousands of dollars in the traditional $500 campaign checks from billboard companies and all of their executives and friends. 

It was the least they could do, and chances are that in fact they’ve probably did a lot more because an insecure whore like Sarnoff isn’t really happy unless he’s able to get people to say, do and give him things that the insecure little boy in him uses as a measure of how far he’s come in the world from being the skinny kid with the big nose that used to get bullied.

Among the significant flip-flops between Sarnoff 2007 and Sarnoff 2011, are the following.

+ In 2007 Sarnoff called for a limit of 15 large outdoor advertisements for the entire city.  That number is now 45, and growing.

+ In 2007, Sarnoff called for these large billboards to be limited to the “Central Business District.”  Now they are creeping North and West of downtown.

+ In 2007, Sarnoff called for $1000 daily fines for the first 30 days, and then $200 afterwards.  That never happened, and in fact, the city has NEVER imposed a fine against any billboard or mural violation.

+ In 2007, Sarnoff called for billboards and murals NOT to be placed on vacant and unoccupied buildings.  For the last 2 years, the biggest mural in the OMNI CRA District, where Sarnoff is the Chairman, has been on the former, now vacant Vega Hotel structure owned by Eugene Rodriquez, persistent demander of CRA benefits.

It’s Miami, Bitches!

To view a larger version of this flier, click on it.

OCTOBER 24, 2011

There’s nothing like having a Commissioner in your pocket, or vice-versa when it comes to making sure that the laws only apply to the “little people.”


In a breaking story the Miami Herald tonight posted a story on it’s website announcing that the Miami-Dade School Board had stopped payments to the Arts & Mind Academy.

Here is a link to the Herald’s website so you can check the story out.

OCTOBER 24, 2011

MIAMI HERALDhttp://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/25/2471822/two-miami-dade-charter-schools.html

In a classic example of what it means to be screwed over by the tricksters, schemers and insider players who lust to be part of the 1%, the kiddies and parents of the Arts & Minds Academy, having been screwed over my Manny Alonso Poch and that collection of ass kissers known as the Governing Board, who are now asking these same students and parents  to help them out.

In what can only be a last ditch effort to save his Charter School from going under, Manny Alonso Poch, using the Governing Board as his mouthpiece sent out a letter seeking support from students and parents to write the members of the Miami-Dade School Board including Raquel Regalado and School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

This is the same Alonso Poch who has repeatedly screwed the system every way but loose, first by being a deadbeat property owner when it came to paying taxes on his building then by being a trickster in illegally nickel-and-diming the students for bullshit fees, and then failing to make sure that the school had enough textbooks to start the year, and lastly, as reported in the Miami Herald article that appeared on Monday night, stiffing the last principal who quit on his last paycheck.  And these are just a couple of the selected highlights of the Poch method of school administration.

If those wiz-bang young Miami Herald reporters really want to do a story about this school and the slimy members of the Governing Board they need go no further than the West Grove and do a little research on Manny Alonso Poch’s and Cecelia Holloman’s activities with a couple defunct groups starting with the Urban Empowerment Corporation and Coconut Grove Ventures.

These folks have a history, and that history shows reveals a pattern of behavior that leaves a slimy trail wherever they go.


There can be no better object lesson for the students, the parents and the community at large than for this school to have it’s funding taken away for good.

This obviously sounds cruel, but Alonso Poch has no intentions of ever changing his behavior. The complaints about how Poch ran the school have been going on now for several years, and instead of things getting better, they have consistently gotten worse.

If he was a standup guy who acknowledged that some mistakes had been made and he had every intention of cleaning them up, then he’s had more than ample time and opportunity to clean his act up and try to make things right.

Yes, it’s cruel, it’s Draconian, and perhaps it’s not fair to these kids for this school to be shut down, but the most important lesson that kids should be learning today is that life is never fair, and the absolute best lesson that these kids can learn at such a young and impressionable age is that assholes like Manny Alonso Poch deserve and require being punished for the wrong that they do, even if sadly they become part of the punishment.

The world is becoming increasingly full of assholes, and consequently prime examples like Poch need to be made an example of. If they don’t get punished it only encourages them to do worse and screw over more people.

Perhaps by making this experience a learning lesson, and understanding first-hand what the repercussions are when people like Poch believe they have a free reign to screw over any and everyone, then these kids will go forward in life with an understanding and commitment to see that they stand up against the future Manny Alonso Poch’s that they will encounter through life.

The value of that education and the benefits to the society that they will inhabit will be priceless.

I know that there are some who will say that this is all easy for me to say since my kid isn’t in that school, but then for all of those who did know what was happening, what did you really expect the outcome would be when the shit finally hit the fan?

Guys like Poch don’t change, and if you really read and understand the letter below, especially the portions that I highlighted, the attempt to justify their behavior by claiming everybody else does it, so why are you picking on us, and acknowledging that they have failed to provide services in the past are more than justification to cut off the funding.

The letter says it all. Manny Alonso Poch is a rat fuck, and before another nickel of taxpayer money should be given - if ever - the only solution short of the school being shut down immediately is that Poch should pay for all the existing problems out of his own pocket, that the Board should have his scheming pals removed, and that the new professional Governing Board should include at least 2 parents who actually give a fuck about what goes on in that school.

Anything less, and the doors should be nailed shut, and the kiddes sent off to other schools.


OCTOBER 24, 2011


(3) For each request for an absentee ballot received, the supervisor shall record the date the request was made, the date the absentee ballot was delivered to the voter or the voter’s designee or the date the absentee ballot was delivered to the post office or other carrier, the date the ballot was received by the supervisor, and such other information he or she may deem necessary. This information shall be provided in electronic format as provided by rule adopted by the division. The information shall be updated and made available no later than 8 a.m. of each day, including weekends, beginning 60 days before the primary until 15 days after the general election and shall be contemporaneously provided to the division. This information shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and shall be made available to or reproduced only for the voter requesting the ballot, a canvassing board, an election official, a political party or official thereof, a candidate who has filed qualification papers and is opposed in an upcoming election, and registered political committees or registered committees of continuous existence, for political purposes only.                             

OCTOBER 28, 2011


As a supplement to this report, there were also 2-4 color maps created that you can look at by clicking HERE.

After I looked over the report and the maps, I called Javier Betancourt, the DDA’s Assistant Executive Director, to ask him a couple questions.

First, I asked him who had received copies of the report, specifically whether the members of the Board of Directors of the DDA had been provided copies.  He replied that they had not.

Then I asked him if there had been some sort of distribution list.  He stated that no distribution list existed, and that the report had not been circulated outside of the DDA.

Then I asked him if the Board hadn’t gotten copies, and no one outside of the DDA had gone copies, then who had?

He replied that the report had only been circulated inside the DDA to a small handful of employees.  I replied, “So you got a copy, Alyce Robertson got a copy, and maybe one or two other employees got a copy?”

He answered, “Yes.”

With all due respect to Mr. Betancourt who’s found himself with his weenie in a grinder having to deal with me this week while Alyce Robertson is off touring Europe, it stretches credulity and common sense that the DDA spent the considerable money, time and effort that it took to generate this report and the maps, and then chose not to show it to anyone. 

Especially, when the author, Nicholas Martinez, having gone through all that effort surely would have wanted the pride that comes with authorship by having his work admired by the Members of the Board. 

After all, having just been hired, what better way to confirm the good judgment of those who did the hiring?

And of course, let’s not forget Commissioner Sarnoff, who is anal when it comes to micro-managing his little fiefdoms.  Does anyone in their right mind really believe that my pal Punky would have expressed absolutely NO INTEREST in Mr. Martinez’s handiwork?

Who’s shitting who here?  Just look at the information in the report and the maps. This is the kind of professional analysis  that candidates pay real money for.

What’s evident is that there was no real need for the DDA to have this kind of material in order to send out postcards encouraging people to vote and/or request an Absentee Ballot.

What I do believe is that Sarnoff not only got a copy of this report and the maps, but that he’s the one who ordered that it be done to begin with, and I believe, based on the volume and specificity of the information that Martinez requested from the Miami-Dade Elections Board, that there probably exists additional campaign design and analysis material at the DDA that was custom designed just for Sarnoff’s use.

The creation of this material is called abuse of power and misuse of public funds, and the other candidates running against Sarnoff in District 2 got mugged big-time by the DDA.

Somebody really, really needs to call the cops on this one!

If the goal of the DDA was solely to encourage and support a Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign, in line with basic good government efforts, there was ABSOLUTELY NO NEED OR REQUIREMENT for any any the information that Martinez requested in the highlighted portion of his above email.

You can bet that if you asked anyone at the League of Women Voters or any other reputable organization whether they ever requested this kind of information in order to do what they do, they’d look at you like if you were crazy.

Yet, not only did Martinez request this information, but he also produced a report. Now, I have no way to know whether this was the only report he produced, or for that matter, whether the 9 pages in the below document represent the full report, or a version that was edited for me.  But here is the report.  Take a look at it, by clicking on the lower left Box icon.

Although the above activity was for the election of the County Mayor this does not minimize the claim that this was the trial run for the just completed effort to encourage Absentee Ballots in Commissioner Sarnoff’s reelection race.

What is of critical importance here is how this and other emails illustrate that Sarnoff’s staff member Plasencia was actively engaged in these political activities while on the clock, and that Sarnoff, far from being ignorant of anything going on, was kept appraised of the whole process.  Once a control freak, always a control freak.


In my last post I wrote about the arrival of Mr. Nicholas Martinez on the local scene as a $68,250 a year DDA employee, and I included the summary of his DDA job description that states: (5)

       “This position provides and prepares a range of

       research/data analysis, voter outreach, systems

       design, and support of computer-based GIS

       (Geographic Information Systems) mapping and

       related statistical software to advance economic

       and public policy initiatives.”

I went on to write that, “what we have with Mr. Martinez’s arrival on the scene is a very computer savvy individual capable of providing the latest in sophisticated campaign design and analysis. How sweet is that for a candidate running for reelection who also happens to be the Chairman of the DDA Board, and this guy’s ultimate boss!

How many other candidates running for Miami City Commission do you think have access to that kind of brain power, paid for by tax payer dollars?”

It appears, in this email I obtained from the Miami-Dade Elections Board that Mr. Martinez was indeed focusing his attention on generating some very sophisticated campaign analysis for someone. (13)

On Thursday afternoon, as promised, I stopped by the CRA offices, and was told by the CRA’s lawyer that they didn’t have any documents relative to my request, and that if in the future I wanted any of their emails I needed to go to the city’s IT Department.

I asked her to put in in writing.

Below is a portion of the May 2011 DDA Board Meeting. Sarnoff was in attendance and chaired the meeting - and, it is on this tape that Alyce Robertson reveals that the DDA is working with “the CRA, and also working with some of our stakeholders...” on this project

On Wednesday October 19th, the Miami Herald published a story by Chuck Rabin that paralleled a story I had posted hours before his was published about a little known effort by the Miami Downtown Development Authority(DDA) to conduct a Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign, within the boundaries of the DDA.

The information in both of our reports raised questions about whether the effort was little more than a sub-rosa effort to support DDA Board Chairman and Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff’s reelection bid.

Rabin’s story, however, was sloppily researched and contained a sentence which called into question whether he had knowingly published a lie as truth. Here is that sentence:

            “Sarnoff said he was unaware of the mailing

            campaign, adding that his campaign is “not

             touching any ballots.””

Did Rabin know when he wrote that sentence that Sarnoff was lying, and if he did, why did he include it without at least some effort to establish whether there was any evidence that challenged that claim.

I contend that Rabin DID KNOW that Sarnoff was lying and that he published Sarnoff’s claim anyhow, both because he’s become abysmally lazy and also because as I and many other people have come to believe, he has become jaded and in the bag when it comes to seriously reporting about the ongoing examples of corruption and abuse of public trust and money occurring inside Miami City Hall on a daily basis.   

In the days since Rabin’s story and my followup post, I submitted a number of public records requests to the DDA and the Miami-Dade Elections Board seeking copies of audio tapes and copies of emails seeking evidence that would provide irrefutable proof that Commissioner Sarnoff was indeed present when the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign was discussed at several DDA Board meetings, and that the DDA engaged in activities that went far beyond the scope of any efforts required to launch a Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign.

This post addresses those questions, and does provide evidence of an effort to collect voter data far more comprehensive and detailed than what would be needed to conduct what has been described as the DDA‘s effort to conduct an “outreach campaign to increase awareness and participation in local elections.”


Even though the DDA, like many organizations today engages in publishing skimpy versions of the meeting minutes, they do record these meetings on audio tape.

On the May, June, July and September 2011 audio tapes of these Board Meetings, the subject of the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign was discussed as part of the Executive Director’s Report.

Below is the audio portion of the July 11th Board meeting, chaired by Commissioner Sarnoff, where the initial campaign conducted to Get-Out-The-Vote for the County Mayor’s Race was discussed.

I would encourage you to listen to the tape to the end.  You can’t make up this kind of dialogue.


As I have repeatedly written, Commissioner Sarnoff has developed a process for using the organizations that he controls to maximize all the opportunities available whenever possible by interweaving his schemes in an interlocking way for whatever project he’s looking to promote.

The CRA and DDA coming together on this project was just one more example of that kind of activity.


Ever since Pieter Bockweg became the Executive Director of the CRA, he and his staff have shit on the Public Records Law at every opportunity.  On Wednesday evening, I sent Bockweg a public records request. 

Of course Ms. Cabarga lied to me, because I had already managed to get pages of emails that including some to and/or fromDavid Karsh, Sarnoff’s butt-boy PR flack who was at the time the CRA’s Director of Communications.

Check out the very first letter below from David Karsh to Alyce Robertson, the Executive Director of the DDA.

Karsh’s email ties the CRA into this deal, yet the big question becomes what did they do? I have no answer other than the copies of the letters in the PDF above.

We know that Bockweg is Sarnoff’s number one butt-boy when it comes to carrying out his orders, and there’s no way that Sarnoff would not employ whatever tactics he could through the CRA to generate votes for his reelection.

So, the attempt to deny me access to documents by claiming none exist, when some obviously do, raises a real question of what other documents exist that they’ve been able to keep hidden?

People wonder sometimes why I am so harsh and resort to name calling and foul language about the behavior of various city officials including the conniving, ass-kissing City Attorney and most of her staff.

The behavior of the CRA’s attorney is as flagrant an example of how a lawyer who knows better, shits on the Public Records Law, and this all underscores the fact that when it comes to the CRA, they will openly look you in the face and lie.  They can never be trusted!


Even though Commissioner Sarnoff and his staff go to great lengths to try and shield their illegal activities from public scrutiny, they more often than not fail to cover all of their tracks.

In my last post about this Absentee Ballot campaign I cited William Plasencia, a member of Commissioner Sarnoff’s staff as the natural contact between Sarnoff and the DDA.

Here, is an email exchange between Silvia Morales, of the Downtown Miami Residential and Visitors Center, Javier Betancourt of the DDA, David Karsh, former Sarnoff staff  PF flack, who not so mysteriously ended up at the CRA at double the salary, Sonja Bogensperger of the DDA, William Plasencia and his boss Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

This email provides further irrefutable evidence that not only the Commissioner’s staff, but the Commissioner himself was party to, and INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS of the mechanics of the design of the the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot postcard, and also was privy to the strategizing on how to circulate these postcards at events held within the DDA boundaries. (12)

This mention of events probably explains the spread between the number of postcards printed 42,000, and the number mailed, 39.085.  While they settled on a plan to send out the majority of the postcards, chances are that they distributed the other 2000 or so at parties and events hosted by Downtown Miami and other Sarnoff pals.