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NUMBER 139 - SEPTEMBER 11, 2019


This has been a financially rewarding year for Keon Hardemon.

Between his backroom, private negotiations with the developers behind the Little Haiti Innovation District, his backroom partnership with Francis Suarez to get the ULTRA folks to come back to Miami, and back into Bayfront Park, and now this week by getting his fellow commissioners to go along with reinstating pensions which will give him a pension with a minimum of $62,000 when he turns 60, he's been living large and banking sizable campaign contributions from all of the players involved in these deals.

Although he denies it - wink, wink - it's no secret that the Commissioner, either through his "Auntie Barbara," or his "Uncle Billy," or through his Chief of Staff, the ever cheerful and accommodating James McQueen, there's always someone close to him ready and willing to collect a "donations" from people who need the commissioner's special skills.

To keep an enterprise like this running smoothly there is a constant need of new "donations," and in Miami, the biggest source of quid pro quo donations for votes always seems to center on zoning issues.

Yesterday, while doing one of my usual checks of the city's NextRequest website looking for interesting public record requests, I discovered this request.

Copyrighted:  2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

It's Miami, Bitches!

There's nothing that says philanthropic power-couple like bundling $10,000 in campaign "donations" for the current title holder of Miami's Most Flagrant "Pay For Play" City Commissioner.

Giving $10,000 to a politician is always a good way to get their attention and assistance, especially when there is a pressing need to get a variance in order to open their for-profit pre-school, where the price tag for the little kiddies attending will be $25,000 a year.

Yes, I know, there will be scholarships, and given that this is Commissioner Hardemon we're talking about here, how many of these "scholarships" will go to his family and friend's children? I'm sure that the Commisisoner would like to see his own child learn Chinese, and Commissioner Russell who has a couple small kiddies would no doubt like to see his kiddies learn Chinese too.

In fact, somebody ought ot get it on the record whether there will be scholarships set aside for the children and grandchildren of Miami's politicians.

Scholarships however, don't change the fact that the Centner Academy is a for-profit venture, and that means financial success is measured by making money. You don't buy plush blue sofas and blue loafers with food stamps.

Below is the list of the $1000 donations made by David and Leila Centner and their various corporations to Commissioner Keon Hardemon on July 29, 2019.

$10,000 is chump change for your average philanthropic power-couple, so don't consider this money as a bribe, but as a gratuity for services rendered, much as you'd tip the valet for bringing your Bentley from the parking lot after a hard morning at the gym

The request first caught my eye, because it involved David and Leila Centner, who have somehow managed in the last couple weeks to become Crespogram regulars - their lawyer last week resigned from Greenspoon Marder after the conflict of interest created because the Mayor is, "of counsel" to the firm was revealed - and secondly, because tomorrow's commission meeting already promised to be one of, if not the biggest shit show of the year, what with Commissioner Comemierda's defense of his alleged inactive Marine Reserve status and his stacking the agenda with a handful of other items that are bound to keep the meeting rocking and rolling, and  Comemierda ranting and raving.

In addition, tomorrow is the first of the 2 required budget meetings which often turn out to be shit shows of their own that drag on into the wee hours of the morning.

So why, I wondered, would Commissioner Hardemon, who obviously knows all of this request that a Planning/Zoning item be inserted into the middle of all of this craziness, given that PZ items are normally heard at the last commission meeting of the month, and especially because this item was destined to be argued over vociferously?

Well, I did what I usually do when presented with such a dilemma, I went looking for the money and it didn't take long to find a connection between  the couple with the money to persuade the commissioner moving the item forward to this meeting, and a "donation."

Here's a nice photo of them on the website of one of Miami's paeans to the steamed virginias and shaved testicles crowd, Modern Luxury Miami.