Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recall Day In Miami

Today is the special election in Miami-Dade County where voters get to decide if they want to recall Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas.

Already, more than 126,000 voters have cast ballots via absentee and early voting in a two-week period that ended Sunday.

Voters picked up on a challenge set by auto broker Norman Braman who successfully called for a recall election to oust the mayor.

A recent survey by polling firm Bendixen & Amandi International for The Miami Herald and its news partners suggest Alvarez and Seijas could have a long day: About 67 percent of respondents said they support recalling Alvarez and 60 percent back Seijas’ ouster.

Braman and opponents cite the mayor’s role in setting a county budget that they say has led to a rise in property taxes and raises for staffers in a time of economic struggle. Seijas backed Alvarez’s budget.

Both fought the recall in court and now count on voters to support them. Alvarez and Seijas have assembled war chests of more than half a million between them. Braman has spent about $1 million on the recall drive.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I think recall elections are expensive, reactionary and short-sighted. If there is proof of criminal activity, then prove it in court. But if it’s just because you don’t like them or disagree with them, wait for the next election and run for the office yourself.

And if the recall is successful, then what?