Running for office shouldn't be a retirement plan

On July 10, Joey Flechas from the Miami Herald published an article about the City of Miami commission's effort to resurrect their sweetheart pension deal they had in the 90s. It's crazy! So, I wrote a letter to the editor which the Herald published today.

Restoring Miami commissioners' pensions is an insult to voters

The City of Miami Commission's effort to reinstate a $50,000 minimum lifetime pension for themselves is an insult to taxpayers and families that work their entire lives to retire.

I believe in compensating our elected officials fairly, but this proposal reeks of self-serving corruption.

Unlike their own employees that pay 10% of their salary toward their pensions, commissioners would pay nothing. Commissioners are also allowed outside employment to supplement their income. And if they structured their pension the same as their employees, after serving 8 years they would only receive 18% of their annual salary once they retire, not 55% as proposed.

Instead of opting into the pension system used by their employees, commissioners resurrected the sweetheart deal they received in the 90s. This deal was so generous that one of our former elected officials will start receiving $10,000 monthly payments in 2022. (see City of Miami Elected Official Trust Fund actuarial report)

What makes this proposal stink more is that commissioners fully vest into the pension after serving only 7 years. It's such an odd number for commissioners that are elected to four year terms. It makes sense, however, when you realize the sponsor Keon Hardemon is planning to run for County Commission next year and step down a year early.

Running for office should not be a retirement plan.

Commissioners Hardemon, Gort, and Carollo who approved this proposal on first reading should be ashamed. The public needs to speak out and demand this proposal be defeated on second reading.

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Biden is right. His time is up.

Friends, I recently wrote an op-ed for the Miami Herald about the first Democratic Debate which was hosted in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Let me preface this with three things. First, I will be voting for whoever is the democratic nominee. Second, my candidate of choice is Elizabeth Warren. And third, I think Joe Biden is a good person, was a great Vice President, and should not be our nominee in 2020.

Joe Biden was right: His time is up

For those of us who worked on the 2008 Obama campaign, the Democratic debate was a stark reminder of Biden’s lack of discipline on the campaign trail and his tone deafness when it comes to race. We dreaded this every time he went off script. In 2007, for example, Biden called Obama “clean” and “articulate”. These gaffes are nothing new (see: 1988). They are part of the Biden package.

Biden’s debate stumble started a week before with unscripted comments reminiscing about working with Sen. Eastland, a segregationist. During the debate, Harris said these comments were personally hurtful and that Biden’s actions to stop busing personally affected her.

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Friends, I'm starting a new blog to share with all of you my insights on local and state government (it's crazy!), and the 2020 presidential race (I'm with Warren!). I'll be posting more regularly here, and I will also be working on new podcasts that I plan to share here.

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