Though it didn't make quite the splash that union protests in Wisconsin have, voters in Miami-Dade County (FL) recalled Republican Mayor Carlos Alvarez--thereby proving that no one party's politicians have a monopoly on political tone-deafness. A whopping 88% of the 200,347 votes cast elected to oust him for agreeing "to a budget that raised the county's property taxes while increasing pay to unionized public employees." Hark, doth Noman detect a pattern here?
"I'm fed up with my taxes being raised--we're all suffering," said Miguel Sanchez, a 33-year-old computer programmer from Doral, Florida, whose property taxes will be rising 20% as a result of Mayor Alvarez's compassion for public employees' unions. "Last fall, Mr. Alvarez agreed to increase pay and unfreeze some benefits for unionized public employees," while raising taxes for 40% of the counties homeowners by an average of 13%. The jobless rate in the county is 12%, or 255,000 people out of work. Property values are down as much as half in the past couple of years.
The Mayor apparently didn't exempt himself from largesse to public employees. He drove a BMW 55 Gran Turismo at taxpayer expense. His salary and benefits of $300,000 presumably weren't sufficient to support his driving habits.
County commissioner Natacha Seijas was also shown the door by the voters. Since this story pretty much speaks for itself, Noman will reserve comment other than to say that taxpayers are tired of being pushed around.