Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting Off to an Early Start! Elect Al Kaplan For North Miami City Council!

I got a phone call last night from John Patteson wanting to know if I was considering a run for city council in the next election cycle. I told him that I wouldn't run for Scott Galvin's seat if he decided to run for re-election and that I really had no desire to run for mayor. I had enough folks trying to get me to run this past May. Plus it was still about 21 months to go!

We knocked around various possibilities of who should run, would Scott decide to seek a county or state office, or maybe use his school teacher background for running for school board. Of course he could also just run for re-election to council again. Safe and secure, right! Not really. John reminded me about an incumbant councilman I'd challenged about twenty years ago. Everybody is vulnerable. He opted to just not run, but that stuck me in the position of trying to fend off a much better financed challenger. I lost by a narrow margin and we had to wait for the last precinct to be tallied to know for sure. Inthe meantime when I discovered that the mayor, who had talked me into running to begin with, was backing this other guy, I went ballistic!

The city attorney, Will Splitstoesser and I talked his girlfriend Christine Mareno into running for mayor. She was fresh out of law school, zero political experience, extremely bright and very pretty.

In retrospect I think that had I concentrated on my own campaign I could have won. I got way too involved in making sure that the incumbant mayor got defeated. I was dissapointed at not winning the council seat but it sure felt good to see a popular multi-term incumbant mayor lose an election to an inexperienced young female attorney. We haven't had another woman as mayor since then either.

I think that what we decided last night boils down to that I'm being offered support and funds from several sources, the community support is out there, and while Scott might prevail in the next council election I could make him really sweat and lose a lot of sleep holding on to that seat. The effort might be better invested in moving on and moving up. Start making your plans, Scott. You're a good councilman and a good friend but we both, you and I, need to move on to the the next level for the greater good of the community. It's time to get things moving again.

I've already got the campaign button designs. These are from the 1979 campaign and the top one is huge! My (now ex) wife Claudia Bailey designed them and they'd look as good today as they did then. All I have to do is order a bunch of new ones from a button company.

As for a campaign portrait for the posters, campaign brochures, and newspaper ads I'm thinking of something really dynamic and eye catching to use with a caption like "Al Can Really Take It On the Chin For North Miami". There's the photo of me with the bruised face and swollen black eye from when that well drilling contractor, working without a permit, got upset when I took picture of him and his truck drilling a well. Then there's that photo from the last election where one of Councilman Marcellus's campaign workers decided that I had no right to take pictures of her campaigning. You can see her fist coming straight at my face. That REALLY hurt! It cracked my dentures too. Now I'm ready to come out fighting! Thanks, John, for talking me into it.


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