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Why Luther Campbell Should Be Miami-Dade County Mayor

April 28, 2011 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 6 Comments

I was in high school when I first heard of Luther Campbell. He called himself Luke Skyywalker back then and headed a rap band called 2 Live Crew.

Campbell was bawdy, raunchy and as nasty as he wanted to be.  The last person you would expect to one day run for mayor of Miami-Dade County.

But now that he is, I plan on voting for him (I only speak for myself and not the rest of Miami Beach 411 on this matter).


Well for starters, he would support the decriminalization of marijuana, which would be a step in legitimizing the use of medical marijuana in the state.

And that would be a step in legalizing it throughout the country, an issue that is long overdue that fellow Miami Beach 411 contributor Doug expands on in this article.

And while marijuana decriminalization is hardly the most pressing issue in Miami-Dade County, there isn’t any other candidate that stands out in this election; which will be held May 24 after voters ousted Mayor Carlos Alvarez in a landslide recall election last month.

Above: Luther Campbell joking with moderator Michael Putney

Wednesday’s debate

The lack of standout candidates was evident during Wednesday’s mayoral debate at the Biltmore Hotel hosted by the Latin American Business Association; not to be confused with the Latin Builders Association, which hosted a debate last month and snubbed Campbell.

The Latin Builders Association already endorsed former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina for county mayor, which gives us even more reason not to vote for him.

After all, the Latin Builders Association is made up of the developers that led us into the current economic crisis, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they are not concerned that Robaina is being investigated by the IRS for his alleged involvement in a ponzi scheme.

And the Miami New Times gives us even more reason not to vote for Robaina, including the fact that he doesn’t pay taxes on a building he owns in Hialeah and the fact that he lied about his stance on the Marlins stadium issue and whole bunch of other scandals that would take up an entire new article.

None of those issues, of course, were brought up in Wednesday’s debate, the one hosted by the Latin American Business Association (which makes it a point not to endorse any candidates).

The winner of the election will serve out the rest of Alvarez’s term to November 2012.

Above: The top three fund-raisers in this election; from right to left, Jose Robaino, Marcelo Llorente and Carlos Gimenez

Robaina has raised the most money, which means he will probably win and continue with the same-old, same-old politics in the county.

Next in line in bundled contributions is Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, a former Miami fire chief and city manager who proudly boasts he is only milking one pension instead of two. He was also a fierce critic of ousted and shamed Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

And third in line in contributions is Marcelo Llorente, a fresh-faced 34-year-old lawyer and former state representative who critics say has never worked a day as a lawyer or passed a single bill in the eight years he served in office.

None of the other seven mayoral candidates have come close to raising the money those three have.

But none of the seven have the celebrity name recognition that Campbell has, not to mention their own newspaper column in the New Times.

Above: Luther Campbell sitting next to mayoral candidate Jose “Pepe” Cancio

Campbell held a fundraiser earlier this week and raised a mere $250, indicating that the movers and shakers in this town are not taking his campaign serious enough to try and grease his palms.

But despite him being a long-shot, I am still going to cast my vote for him because I’ve spoken to him on several occasions (even before he decided to run) and it’s obvious he cares about his community.

It’s not just because he has spent the last several years volunteering his time coaching football and serving as a mentor to inner-city kids.

And it’s not just the fact that he is more of a businessman than a musician, operating several successful (and unsuccessful) businesses since the early 1980s.

And it’s not even the fact that he wants to decriminalize marijuana, although that wins huge points for me, although I’m not much of a smoker these days.

To me, he’s just the most likeable candidate. And the most trustworthy. And in Miami-Dade, that goes a long way.

Above: Veteran television reporter and debate moderator Michael Putney

Above: Carlos Gimenez

Above: Mayoral candidates Roosevelt Bradley and Luther Campbell.


Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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6 Comments on

"Why Luther Campbell Should Be Miami-Dade County Mayor"

Ernie says:

You just lost all credibility with me. Luther Campbell’s candidacy is a joke.

First, the county mayor has absolutely no power to change state laws relating to marijuana.

Second, Campbell’s business management record is abysmal. He ran Luke Records into bankruptcy. He filed for personal bankruptcy. He now earns his living working for the Dade County school system. I don’t think he has 2 sticks to rub together. The New Times even paid his $300 campaign filing fee. And now you want this financial mess to manage the county’s $7 billion budget? Good grief!

Finally, Campbell lacks honesty and integrity. How can you say he is “trustworthy” when his record of cheating other performing artists is legendary? Campbell cheated Peter Jones (aka MC Shy D) out of $1.2 million in royalties and Jones had to sue Campbell to get his money.

What a shame for you to waste your column on a joke candidacy. If Luther makes the runoff instead of Gimenez or Llorente, you will have assured the county will be run by sleazy Julio Robiana.

Please reconsider making a serious endorsement.

Posted on 04/28/2011 at 1:34 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

The Latin Builders Association may be the mose destructive economic force in Miami. Hate those guys, and, no, not because they have the word “Latin” in the name.

Still, this is for like a one-year term. It’s not exactly the most consequential election we’ve ever had.

Posted on 04/28/2011 at 2:10 PM

Under the Sun says:

Years ago, Mark Hamill and I worked together building a stage for a production at LACC. Aside from him, the only other ” Skywalker ” I recognize had a 42” vertical.

I’m not familiar with the contending candidates, but if this is your choice, the field must be lacking.

You mention the New Times endorses him, yet you fail to mention this cat is also a contributor. I’ve read his articles, and if you read the commentary, he is constantly ridiculed.

Is this the best Miami can offer ? Raunch might be cool, but whatever happened to responsible governess. Wasn’t the last guy just booted too raunch ?

Posted on 04/28/2011 at 5:57 PM

Silver says:

A one-year term, yes. But whoever wins will have a pretty good shot at winning a full term if they do okay for that year.

I can’t believe people are actually thinking of voting for this guy.  While I do agree the field is lacking, someone like Gimenez or Khavari or even Lorente would be better than Campbell.

What were your reasons? Decriminalization of marijuana? He won’t have anything to do with that. He cares about his community? And you think the others don’t?
Oh yeah, your biggest reason seemed to be “he’s likeable.”
Likeable would be good if you’re going for community good-will ambassador, but I don’t think likeable is a reason to vote someone as mayor of our county.

Posted on 04/29/2011 at 9:22 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Because he’s not in the development/real estate industry’s back pocket like every mayor we’ve ever had. That’s my reason/

Posted on 05/02/2011 at 7:16 PM

Jim says:

I pulled this summary from his website, but has tons of information listed there about
how to turn the local economy around and create 150,000 private sector jobs, make it possible for most houses and business to convert to solar energy, and on and on,

An economist with innovative ideas, keen on effeciency and firm on waste and corruption.

And no special interest money.

A Vote for Dr. Khavari’s Public Banking Plan
is a Vote For Main Street & The Public Interest.

We can create our own local credit,
our own local jobs
and our own local commerce.
We can control our own local energy costs while
creating local independence from foreign oil
and protecting our own environment.

We can reduce local foreclosures,
stabilize our own local housing market.
secure local water & food while
lowering the local cost of living in general.

We can restore integrity in county hall,
while reducing the budget
and totally eliminating property taxes.

We can create a local safe haven for
investments, savings and retirement accounts.

Jobs and pensions are more secure
in a prosperous economy. 

The State and Federal Government have left us on our own
and that’s Ok, we can do just fine locally with my plan.

Vote for Local Prosperity - Vote Dr. Khavari for MDC Mayor

Posted on 05/06/2011 at 10:13 PM

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