MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Politics on Miami Beach are about to turn funny, again, as Comedian Steve Berke has, for a second time, thrown-in his hat for the race for mayor.
You may recall Steve Berke, the entertainer, that garnered national headlines in his losing bid for the Mayor of Miami Beach in 2011. Berke said this time, though, he is serious about winning the race.READ MORE: Florida Girl, 12, Takes On School Board, Calls For Mask Mandate
Alongside bikini clad models and lots of pot smoking, Berke has made a living with entertaining videos and on the web.
Two years ago, he turned Miami Beach politics into the butt of his jokes. During a city commission meeting he took the grandstand and asked Mayor Matti Herrera to resign.
Berke then serenaded the Mayor with, “I present to you Sexy saxophonist Sergo Flores.” To which a half-shirtless Flores played loudly as commissioners laughed.
Berke, though, does possess a serious side. He was truly trying to get himself elected as the city’s mayor to tackle issues with the convention center, traffic, and city corruption. Berke’s points, though, were often missed by all the comedy that attracted attention in the first place. Much to the surprise of many, he ended up in second place with 23% of the vote in the election.
In a video released this week he recaps his run and why he’s decided to give it another shot. CBS4 was there as Berke officially filed for mayor yet again Wednesday. When asked who the joke was on: himself, City Hall, or Miami Beach, Berke responded “Well there is no joke this year. This is a serious campaign with very serious issues.”
Win or lose, Berke is now filming his every move. He’s making a documentary called, Follow the Money.
“We are going to try to get to the bottom of why these candidates are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for a job that pays $10,000 a year. It just doesn’t add up.” Berke said.
He’s started an ambitious campaign to raise $190,000 to pay the film crew of the documentary. As of this report, Berke had collected about $8500.
Berke said he won’t really profit off the film.READ MORE: 'No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe': Leaders Of South Florida Universities Discuss COVID-19 Crisis
“If anyone thinks I’m going to get rich off this documentary—I’m not. I’m doing this to expose the lies and to expose what is going on at City Hall,” said Berke.
There is quite an incentive program too for those who donate. In a slick video on Kickstarter.com, he advertises donors could have their photo in the opening credits of the movie or even have a golf game caddied by Playboy Playmate Amanda Cerny.
Opponents find the whole thing humorous. They seemed to discount Berke’s ability to truly win the race.
Commissioner Michael Gongora who entered the Mayoral race in February said Berke’s entrance into the race changes nothing for him.
“Running for Mayor of Miami Beach is no joke. It’s serious business. There are serious issues on the table that need serious attention,” said Gongora.
Councilman Jerry Libbin, also running for mayor, didn’t seem fazed. Libbin, who was reached in Hawaii while on vacation, told CBS4 he remembers Berke vaguely, “as the guy who lost last time around.”
Berke said he’s learned a lot over the past two years including how to spend his money and how to campaign.
“There is no joke this time around, I’m serious about becoming Miami Beach’s next mayor,” Berke said.
The election is in November and Berke is hinting there will be a few surprises between now and then.MORE NEWS: COVID In Florida: Memorial Healthcare System Suspending Elective Procedures Aug. 9
To see Berke’s Kickstarter video click here.