Joe Carollo is like a car with only one gear. It’s fine when the going to low and slow, but it can’t keep up at higher speeds. Ask any mechanic and you’ll hear that running a car in first on the highway will eventually kill the engine. Joe’s break out into the fast lane is going to mean his political career is coming to a certain end very soon.
Joe has always been controversial. When he was younger, he tried to become a police officer with Miami-Dade. The best he could do was to be a glorified crossing guard — a public safety aide — at Miami International Airport. He couldn’t even do that job and had to resign in disgrace. After his stint as Miami Mayor, he bounced around before finally getting the gig as the City Manager of Doral. Being the one to have to take direction rather than give it, he was eventually fired before suing to get his job back before then resigning for good. (Joe sure showed them, didn’t he?)
He returned to the City of Miami and set his sights on the City Commission once again. Since getting reelected after a tumultuous campaign and bloody runoff, he tried to settle scores by going after those who dared to support his opponent. Ball & Chain, a tavern on Calle Ocho with a long history, became a target. He bullied the valets and declared that “I am the law”. (Remember this is from a guy who was never trusted with the authority to write a parking ticket and the closest he came to being a detective was tracking down lost luggage.)
You can tell a dictator is in the making when he insists that the tiniest scintilla of the law has to be enforced against others, but there are loopholes wide enough to land a 747 through when it comes to their own behavior. Joe had a habit of upgrading his out-of-district home without the bother of pulling permits. I mean, not bothering showed common sense. Since he was the law, there was no way they weren’t going to give the permit. (Am I right?) Besides, the building code of the City of Miami applied to everyone’s house but his. His place was covered by a secret code out of Tallahassee, he insisted to everyone.
For a while Joe became the thing he seemed to hate the most: a lobbyist. (There’s a topic, why he wanted to become the thing he hated the most, that could keep him and his therapist busy for years.)
If Joe had is way, he’d ditch the cheap suits he’s been wearing since Jimmy Carter was President and get himself a flashy uniform. I don’t know why. General Norman Schwartzkoff won the Iraq War wearing fatigues that looked like chocolate chip pajamas. The most powerful man of war always looked like he just got up from a nap. Michael Jackson, in his heyday, had no army or navy, but wore the most elaborate uniforms on the planet.
Still, Joe’s uniform of the day would be something like those worn by North Korean generals, with medals starting on the chest, then proceed down his left pant leg, and then continuing onto his children who would have to scurry behind him.
With the addition of two new commissioners, Joe has the voting bloc to control what comes out of the Miami City Commission. But Joe should have heeded the words of Michael Corleone who said in The Godfather II, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
Years ago, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was recalled under the County Charter, which doesn’t require the petition to state grounds for recall.
The Recall Team and their supporters have to follow the state statute, which requires the use of at least one of seven possible reasons for recall: malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties; and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude. I’m pretty sure they’ve mined one or two reasons from this list.
Since Joe was elected from a district, the recall effort will focus solely on the voters of District 3. The sponsors of the recall will have to first gather about 1,580 valid voter signatures. Once they reach that hurdle, the City will give Carollo the opportunity to have a defense statement put on a new set of petitions. The new petitions will be printed up by the City and the sponsors will then have to get fifteen percent of all voters, or about 4,735 signatures of District 3 voters. If they reach that goal and the signatures are verified, Joe would have the choice of resigning or facing a recall election.
My guess is that he’ll fight to the last drop of his supporters campaign contributions.
Some despots and dictators have to be roused from underground hidey holes. We use the power of the ballot to remove politicians from office who have crossed the line. Here, Joe Carollo will no doubt run his mouth.
He can run, but Crazy Joe can’t hide.