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Miami-Dade Democratic Party Threatens to Recall Ricky Arriola – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-01-14 12:52:00 –

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When the coronavirus pandemic struck Florida last March, Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Ariola raised the topic of a fundamental discussion with his fellow commissioners.

Suggestion — Arriola said New Times It was purely speculative — widely panned by social media, especially many firefighters and police officers.

It also marked the beginning of a series of controversial statements by Arriola about COVID-19.Last year, the city commissioner called for pandemic news coverage “Panic porn” Compared to wearing a mask To virtue signaling,and Tweeted the article Far-right conspiracy website Gateway Pundit calls for “Prison Forch”, referring to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. ..

In August, Miami-Dade Democratic Party chairman Steve Simeonidis threatened to launch a recall campaign to leave Ariola after a tweet from “Prison Forch” triggered public protests.

Now, a few months later, in another social media scandal, Simeonidis and other members of the local Democratic Party are again calling for the dismissal of Ariola, a registered Democrat who holds a nonpartisan seat in the Miami Beach City Commission. ..

“We are seriously considering moving forward with our recall efforts,” says Simeonidis. New Times.. “At many different levels, he is absolutely miserable to the people of Miami Beach, and their inhabitants deserve a far better representative than he can offer them.”

Tuesday night, Arriola Entered an enthusiastic Twitter exchange With Miami documentary filmmaker Billy Coven. Coven called Ariola “Yutz” and “Complete COVID denier”. Arriola responded by calling Corben “Billy the bitch” and Corben his official name, Billy Cohen.

Coven says New Times His former agent said he proposed adopting the stage name “Billy Coven” when he was a child actor in the 90’s. The intention was to provide an equal arena when ambitious actors went out to audition. Coven says he remembers the casting director calling him a “nice Jewish boy,” but that wasn’t always translated into the landing part.

The filmmaker says the stage name sticks, and he has used it professionally for years.

“It’s not a secret or anything, and certainly it’s not a denial of my legacy,” he says.

Coven says his critics often evoke his official name in the debate, which he believes to be an anti-Semitic dog whistle. “It’s the same as pointing at the’Jews’. That’s it.”

Upon entering the Twitter exchange, Simeonidis was called Arriola “Anti-Semitic garbage” Another top member of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, William Byat, Said yesterday He said he would introduce a resolution blaming Ariola “for his rampant racism, dangerous COVID lies, and actions that are not appropriate for elected civil servants.”

The resolution is basically an expression of opinion by the elected body, in this case the leader of the local Democratic Party. Voting blaming Ariola is almost symbolic because the party has no reason to punish or demand action from the commissioner. However, Byatt, a member of the county party’s executive committee, said it would serve as a warning to Ariola and as a formal document showing that the party’s leadership has serious reservations for his actions. Stated.

Byatt will bring the resolution to vote at the party’s next virtual meeting on February 9. He welcomes Arriola’s attendance at the conference and states that if he chooses to do so, he will give voting members the opportunity to speak.

Arriola did not respond to two phone messages or emails from New Times.. On Twitter, he replied to Byatt with a link accusing him of being an anti-Semitic ideology of his view of Israel.

The Miami-Dade Democrats rarely blame one of the elected civil servants, but it’s not unprecedented. In 2017, the party leader resigned to Democrat Miami-Dade State Legislature Catherine Fernandez Randall after her office refused to prosecute prison guards due to the death of schizophrenia prisoner Darren Rainey. I voted for the statement I asked for. And in 2018, the party sent a letter to Democratic Senator Daphne Campbell, asking her to explain the political mailer who pretended to be a Republican.

Byatt says New Times It is important for the Democratic Party to hold its members accountable, even if doing so produces negative publicity.

“We welcome people from different backgrounds, histories and personal experiences, as well as people from different ideological and policy perspectives,” he says. “But we have a core set of values ​​that we must remain faithful to in order to be a genuine expression of people.”

In the case of Ariola, Byatt says he was driven to action January 6th Facebook post The city commissioner compared the looting of Black Lives Matter during the protest with the riots at the US Capitol.

“Commissioner Ariola has left the deepest part of the COVID conspiracy,” says Byatt. “It has just escalated over the past few months to a statement comparing sedition and citizenship protests. That was a break point for me.”

Simeonidis shared Arriola’s Facebook post on Twitter last week and asked to resign.

Taking it one step further, Simeonidis says it needs a recall.

“I see the party as a mechanism to ask our people for explanation, and Ricky Ariola has crossed the line many times,” he says. New Times.. “We need to get him out of the office. It’s unbearable.”

Arriola was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. His current term ends in 2023.

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Miami-Dade Democratic Party Threatens to Recall Ricky Arriola
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