HUNDREDS OF "ELECT KEN RUSSELL" YARD SIGNS WERE REMOVED TODAY THROUGH INTIMIDATION OF THE SUPPORTING NEIGHBORS AND CITATION THREATS FROM THE CITY. ALL OF THESE SIGNS WERE PLACED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITH COMPLETE PERMISSION OF THE CITY ELECTIONEERING OFFICE. WHAT THE OTHER SIDE DOESN'T REALIZE IS THAT THESE DIRTY MIAMI POLITICAL TACTICS ONLY GALVANIZE OUR RESOLVE TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM.
I'd like to apologize to all of my supporters who either had their yard signs removed today without permission, or were threatened by the city's code compliance officers. Hundreds of my signs around the city (all of which had full permission for posting from the Electioneering Office of the City) disappeared today. A sneaky political move that came from above.
When you're the underdog, building name recognition is key. Yard signs are a traditional method. Every incumbent who is being challenged understands this, so a big part of the campaign for a sitting official is to keep new opponents from getting their name out. One way, is to have code enforcement remove hundreds of my campaign signs in one day.
I've spent the last few weeks visiting homes throughout the district. I'm shaking hands, meeting the neighbors, and talking about issues. If the homeowner offers their support for the campaign, I ask their permission to place a sign in their yard. As of this morning, each of the hundreds of blue signs in Miami with my name on them represented a voter that believes in me. As of this afternoon, they were all gone.
City Code Enforcement had driven house to house, leaving Citation Warnings on doors, and verbally threatening my supporters to remove my signs. It would be great if they reacted this quickly and in this force when a complaint is filed about a serious issue. But who filed this complaint, and is it legitimate?
Before I placed my first sign, my team wrote to and spoke with Dwight Danie, supervisor of elections, specifically asking for the city guidelines and specifically letting him know that our intention was to begin sign placement. His response gave us the green light, including a copy of the City Code with regard to placement of political signs. Neither this City Code, nor the Electioneering Handbook, stated any limitation on the time frame for placing signs. Dwight is available by phone or email to verify these facts: firstname.lastname@example.org (305) 250-5358.
Apparently there is a new ordinance, less than a year old, that the electioneering office was not made aware of which was voted on by the incumbent commissioner. This rule states that campaign signs should not be posted on private property until 3 months before the campaign. I followed the letter of the law as described to me by the electioneering office. So the end result, is that my supporters have been intimidated, and I've been made to look as though I've conducted an illegal sign campaign. Welcome to the sneaky world of Miami politics. August 3, the signs will be back.