MIAMI – (CBS4) – It’s official: Luther Campbell confirmed to CBS4 Wednesday that he plans to run for Miami-Dade County mayor promising transparency, if elected.
In an extensive interview with the Miami New Times, Campbell spells out his platform as he looks to unseat Mayor Carlos Alvarez who is facing a recall election on March 15th.
Campbell, a New Times columnist, high school assistant football coach and former front man for the controversial rap group “2 Live Crew”, answered questions from a New Times reporter. On Tuesday, he abruptly canceled a press conference about his mayoral run.
When asked why he’s running, Campbell told the weekly publication that he’s “mad frustrated… I get in my car, ride around Liberty City, and everything looks the same as when I was in the neighborhood growing up. I see the same crimes in the same areas. Officers and residents are still getting killed in the community I grew up in. I go to a city like Atlanta that has sensible affordable housing, and no one is being murdered. I go to Miami International Airport and see the same construction that has been going on for like a hundred years. All of that frustrates the hell out of me. Why aren’t we getting it right in Miami-Dade? Why is our government only serving one set of people? That’s what is pushing me to run.”
In the question-and-answer forum, Campbell attacked Alvarez saying he “hasn’t created any new jobs, yet we keep these government employees who have been around for decades and aren’t doing anything.”
He also advocates rebuilding the James E. Scott housing projects that were torn down several years ago and have not been replaced.
“We need to build gated communities with security-guard entrances in the inner city,” Campbell told the New Times. “Then people would feel just as safe as those wealthier folks who live in Fisher Island and the Kendall suburbs.”
He also pushes for a plan that would include taxing exotic dancers.
“I think we can stimulate the economy with a tax on strippers,” Campbell said. “They make all this money and don’t pay taxes. I’d take that cash and put it into a fund where it supports youth athletics for girls like cheerleading or softball.”
Campbell promises to run a grassroots campaign and wants to go after voters who are registered to vote, but lack motivation.
“I am going after everybody from 18 to 50 years old. It will be just like music marketing. Fun. We will be having campaign parties before the election to get people motivated, get them behind something historical,” Campbell said.
Campbell’s history in South Florida runs deep. Two decades ago, Broward authorities tried to ban his album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be,” on state obscenity charges. A jury acquitted Campbell of the charges in Broward Circuit Court.
Before he decided to run, Campbell had said that his past won’t be a problem: “I have no problem addressing the many controversies that have been a part of my life. I will have no problem answering questions about the negative side of my life. I look forward to my opponents digging up every wrong thing I have done.”
Campbell will face some stiff competition. Others who have also said they’re running for mayor include two-term Miami-Dade County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and former state legislator Marcelo Llorente.
But whether voters will take him seriously is still in doubt. After all, Campbell’s hit songs are filled with expletives including the notorious song “Me So Horny” among others. Chris Paul, a producer with the Tom Joyner Show on FM Radio Hot 105 has written a tongue-in-cheek rap song for Campbell to consider as his campaign song. The lyrics include, “Y’all remember Uncle Luke from his days with 2 Live Crew. He made a star of that fat Chinese dude. Imagine what he can do for you. Luke wants to do his public duty, representing voters with big ole booties. Luke for Mayor! Luke, Luke for Mayor!”
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami New Times significantly contributed to this report.)