MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera-Bower and funnyman candidate Steve Berke went head-to-head in the last mayoral election on Miami Beach. Tuesday night, termed-out Mayor Herrera-Bower and Berke joined forces to protest Philip Levine’s, another candidate, campaign move.
“I think it’s unethical. Mr. Levine who has already made racially insensitive comments about the Hispanic community is now going out to try to woo them with a lavish party that he’s spending close to $100,000 on. And a lot of these people are elderly Hispanics that are going to appreciate the entertainment. We are trying to show them that Mr. Levine is never cared about the Hispanic community and all of a sudden he’s trying to buy their vote,” said Miami Beach mayoral candidate Berke.
Herrera-Bower and Berke stood outside the Miami Beach Convention Center hoping to turn a campaign event for Levine—against him.
“You don’t spend two million, a million and a half in a $10,000 job. He says he wants to be? He has never voted in an election here. He has not voted in a state election. What is this all about?” said Herrera-Bower.
Inside Ballroom D of the Convention Center, Levine hosted one of the most luxurious campaign events the beach has ever seen. The event includes dinner, dancing, even buses to pick up, and drop off the attendees.
The campaign calls it no different than any other event to rally votes.
“We have such tremendous support in the Hispanic community. This is a way for us to have a thank you for them. I’ve gone door-to-door, I’ve literally met almost every single one of them by knocking on their doors, y siempre estoy hablando espanol [and I’m always talking in Spanish]. So I’m very excited they are coming tonight. It’s a rally. It’s a time honored tradition,” said Levine.
On Miami Beach where politics always seem to be extra bizarre, Levine, a multi-millionaire, is certainly making a name for himself. As the city’s election draws near, heated exchanges have taken place in recent days.
“To me, I think we need to respect the process. Our democracy is very, very important and we don’t want to make a farce out of it,” said Levine.
The headlines often have nothing to do with the issues—but rather just drama—and MTV is filming every step of the way hoping to do some sort of reality series.