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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In Miami-Dade, a (futile?) plea for cleaner politics



Miami-Dade politicians have long played rough. In the current cycle, a candidate is accused of being a "bad mother." Mailers dredge up sordid details of one candidate's ugly divorce while the opponent resurrects an incident involving porn on a state computer. And in their spare time, candidates scramble to distance themselves from a Hialeah ballot broker accused of absentee voting fraud.

The latest flier to attack Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle links her to various and sundry political shenanigans and to the late Chicago gangster Al Capone (who lived, and died, on Star Island in Miami).

Just another election cycle in Miami-Dade, right?

Right. That's why Dr. Walter Richardson, chairman of Miami-Dade's Community Relations Board, is calling on candidates across the county to clean it up. In a letter (see below) sent to all candidates on Thursday, Richardson told candidates that "unethical campaign practices are destructive to the present and future of good community relations in our county."

With four days before the Aug. 14 primary, Richardson urged candidates to have a spirited debate over the important issues affecting Miami-Dade, and to "foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding, tolerance and respect." As Dr. Richardson knows all too well, the 2012 campaign is just getting warmed up. There's a long, long way to go.

[Last modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:32am]


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