Through a Public Records Request The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter received a City Advisory Committee proposal for vetting candidates dated December 29, 2010 [see document by clicking here: vet. proposal.2.pages ] wherein Harvey Busch, Chairman of the City Advisory Committee, along with his committee members, Tony LoCastro, Vice Chairman, and member Bob Welsh proposed the need for several changes in our City’s election statutes. They made several valid recommendations. The very first point they made addressed the lack of vetting of candidates. It states:
All candidates for office should be fully vetted before their name appears on any ballot. By vetting I mean that at least these following items be fully verified:
Third on the list of recommended checks was the following:
Business history vis-a-vis lawsuits and bankruptcy filings as far back as the law allows
Why is this relevant? If you have read our previous articles on Mr. Busch, you would know two things. First, Mr. Busch filed for bankruptcy last year. Second, Tony LoCastro and Bob Welsh support Harvey Busch and have leadership positions in the City Advisory Committee as well as certain organizations in Sunny Isles that also support Mr. Busch.
What does this have to do with the election? The vetting proposal provided above illustrates how Mr. Busch and his insider supporters are quick to talk standards and point fingers, yet fail to apply these standards to themselves and FAIL TO DISCLOSE these very facts about Harvey Busch who is out and about asking for your vote.
If in 2010 Mr. Busch thought that filing for bankruptcy (although not against the law) was an important enough factor to be a necessary part of the vetting process for a candidate, why then did he choose to maintain silence of his own 2011 bankruptcy? If in 2010 he thought a bankruptcy should be disclosed prior to a candidate’s name appearing on any ballot, why didn’t he disclose it prior to putting his own name on the 2012 ballot? Why didn’t the organizations that support him, and that supposedly serve voters’ interests disclose this? Is there anything else Mr. Busch and his friends are keeping from us? Perhaps an older bankruptcy from back in the day? Inquiring minds want to know.
Busch’s staunch supporters, Mr. LoCastro and Mr. Welsh, who served with Mr. Busch on the committee that prepared this document have, to our knowledge, remained silent on the issue of Mr. Busch’s bankruptcy. However, they too considered bankruptcy an important factor in vetting candidates. Therefore, voters need to know if members of the City Advisory Committee, Mr. LoCastro and Mr. Welsh, were aware of the Busch 2011 bankruptcy when he registered as a candidate. And if they were not, at what point did Mr. LoCastro and Mr. Welsh alert voters? To our knowledge, they never did. And if they have, how do they reconcile their candidate’s bankruptcy with their own rules?
How can Mr. LoCastro and Mr. Welsh expect voters to place their confidence and give their vote to a man who would not apply the same rules for himself as he would impose on others? Don’t members of the City Advisory Committee and leaders of other prominent city organizations understand that most voters would consider a man who cannot handle his own affairs a poor choice to handle the far more complex affairs of our City? The obstinate refusal of Harvey Busch to admit his own financial failure along with Mr. Busch’s apparent position that he is exempt from rules he himself proposed for other candidates is outright offensive and disgraceful. It is precisely this kind of campaigning that chips away at the trust that voters have in their elected officials.
Lastly, we would like to point out that Mr. Busch has also failed to follow other rules in his campaigning process. Harvey Busch is currently under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission for improper use of credit cards for his campaign expenditures and improperly filing his campaign treasury reports. Mr. Busch’s entire campaign strategy has been to hide behind negative mailers smearing his opponent with lies instead of facing him like a man in a public debate, as Commissioner Scholl has requested on numerous occasions.
OUR CLOSING THOUGHTS
Mr. Busch and his insider supporters are making a mockery of the Sunny Isles Beach election process. Their campaign is completely void of substance. Furthermore, they do not live up to THEIR OWN STANDARDS, much less the Florida Elections Commission’s. Because there is no transparency or substance to offer, Harvey Busch’s campaign has consisted entirely of attacking his opponent and flying in relatives to speak about coronary artery disease. Apparently Harvey Busch is confused about the purpose of meet and greets during a political campaign. We are trying to elect a commissioner, not have a medical check-up! Clearly, following the rules is not a priority for Harvey Busch. Also, keep in mind that his campaign is already notorious for its disregard for the rules of grammar, sentence structure, and spelling. What can you expect from a man who, aside from the more pressing issues mentioned above, signs and files treasury reports that don’t have the proper spelling of commissioner ?! We are not making this up. Click on these links and see for yourself: Busch.CTR.1 Busch.CTR.2. Looks like Harvey will sign anything his handlers put in front of him.