Kristen Rosen Gonzalez needs her turnout in Miami Beach

Kristen Rosen Gonzalez needs her turnout in Miami Beach

The Miami Herald got it right for once Wednesday in their endorsement of Kristen Rosen Gonzalez for Miami Beach Commissioner. The Miami-Dade College professor is headed to a runoff Tuesday as the last hope to get an independent voice on the commission after the two other open seats went to cronies of Mayor Philip Levine. […]

Miami Beach: David Custin has fundraiser for Betsy Perez

Miami Beach: David Custin has fundraiser for Betsy Perez

Lobbyist David Custin is having a fundraiser for Miami Beach Commission candidate Betsy Perez. Oh, it doesn’t say that on the invitation. The invitation is from Mayor Philip Levine and four of the sitting commissioners: Michael Grieco, Joy Malakoff and newly-elected Ricky Arriola and John Aleman.  All five of them had Custin as their campaign […]

Voters say No! to well-financed North Beach upzone question

Voters say No! to well-financed North Beach upzone question

In one of the few times in politics where money apparently didn’t make the edge, a grass roots activists on Tuesday won their battle against a ballot measure that would have permitted upzoning on Ocean Terrace for a certain developer to build a high rise tower in a historic district with two- and three-story buildings. […]

David Custin left two commissioners off lobbying reports

David Custin left two commissioners off lobbying reports

Miami Beach campaign consultant and lobbyist David Custin is raking in the bucks representing vendors and developers with business deals before the very same people he helped get elected. It’s nice work if you can get it. It also smacks of influence. If you put people in office it stands to reason they owe you. […]

Lobbyist/consultant David Custin cashes in on Miami Beach

Lobbyist/consultant David Custin cashes in on Miami Beach

UPDATED: David Custin wasn’t always so successful in Miami Beach. Before he played a crucial role in electing Mayor Philip Levine and Commissioners Joy Malakoff and Michael Grieco in 2013, Custin was really just a glorified mailboy-turned-campaign-consultant who dabbled sometimes as a lobbyist. He only had one client, the red light camera American Traffic Solutions, Miami Beach […]

Phil Levine’s consultant pushes marina at Rebecca Towers

Phil Levine’s consultant pushes marina at Rebecca Towers

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was at Rebecca Towers last week, courting the elderly Hispanic voters that helped propel him to victory two years ago. He also took his whole slate of candidates — Ricky Arriola, John Elizabeth Aleman and Betsy Perez — who he wants elected so they can rubber stamp his decisions. But […]

Follow-up: Shady Miami Beach PAC costs — what for?

Follow-up: Shady Miami Beach PAC costs — what for?

The new, half million Miami Beach PAC funded by vendors and special interests and chaired by the termed-out Commissioner Jonah Wolfson has also had some interesting expenses. My bad for not mentioning before. Ladra got too caught up in the specter of a possible shakedown scenario. And it could be a war chest for Mayor Philip Levine‘s […]

Miami Beach break-up: Philip Levine and Michael Grieco

Miami Beach break-up: Philip Levine and Michael Grieco

It was a short-lived honeymoon and Ladra sees the pending end of the bromance between Miami Beach Mayor Philip “Fix It Phil” Levine and Commissioner Michael Grieco, who ran on the Levine slate last year to overcome longtime Beach incumbents. At Wednesday’s city commission meeting, Levine lashed out at Grieco for being the sole nay […]

Details on the ‘Beach-based’ David Custin/JC Planas split

Details on the ‘Beach-based’ David Custin/JC Planas split

Almost everyone in the political 305 has the same basic theory about the very public and nasty breakup between consultant/lobbyist David Custin and campaign attorney JC Planas — that it has to do with newly-elected Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. Oh, and money, of course. A couple of sources close Beach government have suggested that […]

Political breakup: David Custin, JC Planas partners no more

Political breakup: David Custin, JC Planas partners no more

It seems that campaign consultant David Custin can’t keep a long-term relationship with anybody. Word is that Custin and his attorney pal JC Planas, who share a multitude of political clients and most recently conspired, er, I mean worked together to elect Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, are at odds with each other. Is it […]