"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, July 17, 2006

Out-of-Commissioner

An apology for my extended absence is in order, due, and hereby tendered. Sadly it cannot be accompanied by an assurance of regular participation in the very immediate future. September 6th looks to be the target date for my return to Planet Earth.

This is the result of my allowing myself to be lured once again into retail politics. I have accepted the position of Campaign Manager for Jay Beskin, a candidate for County Commissioner in Miami-Dade County, District 4. There are thirteen commissioners and a mayor whose executive power is exceedingly thin. These folks control the disbursement of an annual budget of 7 billion dollars, larger than 11 States of the Union.

The race is non-partisan, both being Democrats. It also turns out to be non-ethnic in this instance, both being Jews. The issues are multifarious and quite interesting, though largely local in hue.

A story that everyone can understand is the one I have dubbed (playing off the Bridge to Nowhere story in Alaska) the Train to Nowhere. The county decided to run a train in Miami Airport to speed folks from one terminal to another. They promptly shelled out the cash for the train to a company in Japan, but - oops! - the track won't be ready for years.

"Come to find out," as we say down here, trains cannot just sit in warehouses. They rust and become unusable unless taken for periodic rides.

So it is that Miami-Dade County pays $54,000 a month to a company in Japan to take the train on rides around and around the track. They signed a two-year contract, since no one projects completion of the track before that time.

Choo choo! Ka-ching ka-ching!

The election, as you may have divined, will be September 5th. Wish me luck. Unseating an incumbent is no mean task.

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