BY BUDDY NEVINS
The Davie election has become as nasty as the manure that dots the horse ranches in this metropolis.
Why Davie? It’s all about the money development money.
The races are fiercely fought because the town Ã¢â‚¬â€ it is really a city but they like to delude themselves into believing it is still a small town — is planning for enormous development projects in the next two decades.
Thousands of units of apartments. Huge office and university complexes.
Whoever is on the council will have a lot to say about those developments.
Development interests are all over these races, secretly and openly.
This week it got nasty. It always does when money is at stake.
Flyers from a shadowy group says the issue in the campaign is the Davie Town Council buying $12.5 million worth of land. I believe it is a non-issue.
One attack ad hitting western Davie voters slammed incumbent Town Council member Marlon Luis for voting to buy the land, which Davie town officials say is needed to build a water plant and a park.
A second ad being stuffed into mail boxes in central Davie inferred that Town Council candidate Freda Stephens would vote against such wasteful land purchases in the future.
What’s behind these pieces? I see the hand of supporters of The Commons. The Commons is the sprawling shopping and office complex proposed for construction within shouting distance of rural western Davie.
The language and art work of the ads is similar. They both were produced by a “group not heard from in the past — Protect Davie Taxpayers, which I could not find registered.
The group has an address in the same building as Stephens uses on campaign financial documents.
There is another clue in the Stephens piece. A line in the ad directs readers to website run by Mitchell Chester.
Chester is a lawyer who has been quoted supporting construction of The Commons. He is also a business associate of Traub, another outspoken supporter of the development.
That’s not all.
An Internet attacks targeted Stephens. An e-mail pretending to be from her was widely distributed. When the e-mail is opened, it contained a video from Channel 10-WPLG which talks about campaign ads she reportedly didn’t pay for in a previous campaign.
And Traub was the victim of a mail piece using without permission a story from Browardbeat.com which details the $25,000 he received to persuade his neighbors to vote to buy a golf course from a real estate investor. I believe the story is relevant, but to be fair the incident was years ago and Traub denies elements of it.
But both the attacks on Stephens and Traub are essentially accurate, although they are strident and mean-spirited.
Strident and mean-spirited. Ah, that’s Davie politics!