My entire campaign is about transparency, so I am willing to answer any questions regarding the political process; specifically how money is the corrupting influence that is destroying our democratic process. Even though my opponents have outspent me 100-1, I am still only a few points behind, because rather than buying media, I am earning it. I have proposed the world's longest urban cable car system connecting Downtown Miami to South Beach as an iconic and spectacular public transportation system. Furthermore, I secured Richard Branson's endorsement of and interest in sponsoring the project, in order to help alleviate the burden to our taxpayers. I am also the first political candidate in history to release a campaign rap video. Here it is, if you want to see me poorly rapping: http://youtu.be/dCQx7szKXEA. My two biggest missions are drug policy reform and campaign finance reform.
To learn more about me or my campaign, you can go to www.SteveBerkeforMayor.com

Comments: 3207 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

-IZ-1563 karma

I see that you've been a redditor for 3 years and didn't just make this account for publicity. For that I thank you and wish you all of luck.

steveberke1074 karma

Thanks.

Tomm05091381 karma

The obvious question. "Why should I vote for you?"

steveberke2504 karma

The obvious answer: 'cause I'm the best candidate. But, to give you a little history, let me begin by saying that I got involved in politics by accident. I made a few political music video parodies on Youtube, and, before I knew it, I was being called an "activist." One of my friends thought it would be "funny" if I ran for mayor, and in 2011, I announced my candidacy for Mayor of Miami Beach. It started off as a joke, but then, as I was doing my homework, I started discovering how the political sausage was made, and I knew I had to change course and become a serious candidate. That wasn't an easy task, since I was a comedian, and I had already put out a few satirical campaign videos. But, as the 2011 election approached, we changed the tone of my campaign and finished in 2nd (out of 4 candidates) garnering nearly 30% of the vote on election day. I lost to the two-term popular incumbent mayor, Matti Bower. Mayor Bower is currently serving her third and final term, and thus, the mayor's seat is now open. As you may or may not know, it is very difficult to unseat an incumbent, so the competition for this seat became fierce. It was only after a near billionaire had entered the race, did I decide that I had to run again, and prevent my hometown from being bought. The man's name is Levine, and the best way to describe him would be if Mitt Romney and Mr. Burns had a bastard love child. But, getting back to your question, I'm the only honest candidate in the race, and I pride myself on 100% total transparency. My opponents continue to launch vicious attack ads through anonymous organizations (ECO's and PAC's), and then deny that they had anything to do with them. That's complete bullshit, and it's an example of how a politician will outright lie to your face. I will never hide behind an ECO or a PAC, and I will always tell the truth, even if I know it will hurt my candidacy. Oh, and I have a pretty killer plan to build the world's longest urban cable car system, that won't cost our taxpayers a dollar :)

Rush6447667 karma

How can I trust you?

steveberke2104 karma

Maybe, if you see me on the street we can try that thing where you fall backwards and see if I catch you?

bkleo504636 karma

What have you done on the ground to try to reach voters given budget constraints and spending by your opponent?

steveberke1483 karma

I have knocked on thousands of doors (today, I knocked on nearly 100), done voter registration drives, phone banks, etc. I often stand outside of our local grocery store chain (Publix), and talk to people about my platform as I help them with their groceries.

person23_a3628 karma

Stance on red-light cameras? The state doesn't put them there, city governments do. Will you pull them?

Miami Beach has 10.

steveberke1302 karma

I hate them. Miami Beach is one of the only cities in Dade County where the red light camera system doesn't make the city any money. We barely break even from ours. But, on another note, I actually want to get a full review into rear-end crashes. Around the country, research has shown that while red light cameras prevent side impact accidents, they actually increase the chances of rear end crashes because people often slam on their brakes.

Lurknasty22604 karma

In your opinion, what is the perfect breakfast?

steveberke1966 karma

A really beautiful woman.

lebanonman23535 karma

Miami Beach is a city of 87,000 people. That's like, kind of small. Why would so many paid interests want to get involved? What stake could a near-billionaire possibly have in your city?

steveberke1266 karma

Ah, now my friend, you have asked a very interesting question. Why would someone spend more than two million dollars to get a part time job that pays $10K a year? That is the question I want Miami Beach residents to ask.

1moar510 karma

Good luck. What is the most mind-blowing thing you can share with citizens about the whole process?

steveberke1145 karma

When you run for office, you're really putting yourself out there. I never would have imagined the strangers that would come to my aid and offer their support, and on the flip side, I also could have never predicted that some of my closest friends would wind up turning their backs to me. It's both physically and emotionally exhausting, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they had a really thick skin.

thebobstu478 karma

Why aren't there more beards in politics? I think they make men look more distinguished.

steveberke915 karma

Apparently, millions of dollars of research has gone into this question, and the research says that beards make people appear less trustworthy. That hasn't stopped me from rockin' my flavor savor though. I haven't shaved it off since freshman year of college!

rickglass476 karma

Holy shit you're the guy that did this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5v9-h2S5pw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Edit: fucking Christ, I just woke up and I have a thousand karma

steveberke496 karma

Yeah, that was a younger, less mature self. I wouldn't do something like that again. It was damn funny though...

SingularisMalefactor419 karma

Do you have aspirations for a higher political office eventually?

steveberke1138 karma

I'll never say never...but for right now, I am focused on fixing my city first and foremost. We have so many problems that need to be solved, so I can't really imagine jumping to a "higher" office before I help my own community first.

PounderMcNasty340 karma

Why are there so many weirdos in Miami Beach?

steveberke946 karma

You say weirdos, I say unique and exciting individuals...

Eshef331 karma

No question, but after a little research I would vote for you if i lived in Miami Beach. Killer rap video, and even better Fiat! Good luck in the election, kick him in the balls.

steveberke329 karma

Thanks for the kind words

Eshef121 karma

When do you think the documentary will be out? I'm interested in watching it. Can we get some more pictures of the fiat cruising Miami Beach?

steveberke183 karma

I think we are looking at the first quarter of next year. Who knows, maybe there will be some more Fiat action in the future...

Eshef139 karma

You said you were a comedian and had put out some satirical comedy, but this is outrageously funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znpt_Umixcs

steveberke115 karma

Thanks. It was a lot of fun to make.

Cunfuse296 karma

What's your opinion on the two-party system, and the current state of the Republican and Democrat parties?

steveberke658 karma

It is a thought duopoly, and if you look very carefully, you can see the same puppet master pulling all the strings...

noargumenthere287 karma

Do you think the documentary about the dirty political process might make you a bit of an outcast if you get elected. I mean you "have to go along to get along," and you're starting out as a whistle blower of sorts. I imagine there are councilmen who might be a bit shady who may not like your holier than thou approach.

When does the documentary come out?

What kind of experience do you have with politics, public office, city government or running a business/company?

What is your drug policy exactly?

steveberke727 karma

Is that what honesty has come to? Being accused of being "holier than thou?" I don't think that bringing total transparency to the political process should make me an outcast, and I already have the support of several commissioners who can't wait to see the documentary when it comes out. I imagine it will air in January or February. However, having the cameras around has definitely been a double edged sword. Nearly 5 months ago, I predicted (in my Kickstarter video: http://youtu.be/AW6jxBpWRTo) that my opponents would say that I'm not a serious candidate, or that I'm only running for office to make a movie. That prediction came true, and they have consistently attacked me for that. Levine has even bullied some of our neighborhood associations into preventing me from filming some debates. However, I was able to film the debates that were held on public property, and they are up on my website for your enjoyment (spoiler alert: I crushed my opponents in each and every debate). Regarding experience: I have served on the Community Development Advisory Committee, and been a local activist for years. I'm also an entrepreneur and have run several different kinds of companies, from real estate management to microbead pillows. Finally, I would like to see marijuana eventually become legalized and regulated like alcohol. Unfortunately, as mayor of Miami Beach, I would not have the ability to outright legalize it, so I would instruct our chief of police to decriminalize it and stop arresting citizens for small amounts of possession. Miami Beach arrests 1000 people per year, at a cost of ~2500 per person, so we could save our city roughly 2.5 million dollars per year. Not to mention, it would allow our police to focus on more serious and violent crimes.

B3L0W_Z3R0239 karma

I guess this is more of a character/humanization thing, but how do you feel about LeBron and the Heat?

steveberke622 karma

Lebron actually attended one of my campaign events. He kept to himself and rejected photo requests, while Wade (who also attended) was a gentleman and granted them. I think it's emotionally tough to have so many people "hate" you. I suffer from the same problem. I have had people slam doors in my face, give me the middle finger, and tell me to f off multiple times. Politics is extremely divisive, so I know what it feels like to be hated. Lebron made a mistake when he announced he was "taking his talents to South Beach" on national TV. But I also think that he knows that and has worked hard to overcome that blunder. Lebron is an incredible athlete, and being a former professional tennis player, I know the kind of commitment it takes to compete at a world class level. One thing people don't realize about professional athletes is that they often times sacrifice their childhood because they had to dedicate every waking second of their lives to their sport. At 23, I probably still had the emotional maturity of a teenager. I had never been to a high school party, and I rarely drank in college, because I was still so dedicated to tennis. Lebron is still a big kid, and I often see him in the clubs in South Beach. I try not to be too hard on him, because I can identify with some of the pressures, stress, and hatred that he has to overcome throughout his life.

tweetiebryd235 karma

What's all this about a Cable car system, now?

Richard Branson, you say? No cost to me and my fellow citizens, you say?

steveberke375 karma

Yup, SkyLink is a Cable-Propelled Transit system. They are being constructed all over the world in urban centers, from London to Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro to Singapore, to Portland, to Lisbon. CPT systems tend to cost around 1/3 the price of other mass transit systems, take literally years less time to construct, are environmentally friendly and are totally bad ass forms of transportation. I reached out to Richard Branson and he has expressed an interest in sponsoring the project through naming rights. Couple that with some creative financing - CPT systems are quick to build and we can start raising revenues faster than almost any other system, they also btw require no subsidies as they don't need drivers and are incredibly cheap to maintain, and you don't need to dig into the taxpayers pockets at all.

tweetiebryd68 karma

Mind blowing. Who would oversee it's upkeep and revenue in the upcoming years? are your fair city's citizens to be untaxed in the future, would there be a privatized firm run by Branson's people?

I live in Chicago, and (if I understand correctly) the Chicago Transit Authority is a private company that owns the buses and trains, and therefore earns the revenue from the fares. The city treats them like a utility company, offering them tax benefits and welfare programs in exchange for the service they provide the community.

steveberke109 karma

It would certainly be a public-private partnership. Obviously, we are at such an early stage that I can't realistically get much more detailed than that...

HidesBehindUsername218 karma

I don't live in Miami, but from the sound of it we need a hell of alot more people like you in our political system. You have my upvote and my best wishes.

steveberke153 karma

Thank you.

Jrjrj1983204 karma

Get in touch with Adam Carolla, I think you guys would get along swimmingly, and he has the largest podcast in the world.

I hope you succeed.

steveberke251 karma

Thanks. If you have the time or know how, care to put him in touch with me?

disoriented166 karma

You seem to be a genuine candidate from what I have read thus far. Your wit combined with a realistic, modern approach to politics, is frankly, refreshing. Still, how do I know that you're not a lizard person?

steveberke309 karma

I make no claim not to be...

casey311wvu159 karma

[deleted]

steveberke469 karma

Cats don't poop in brown paper bags and light them

MittRominator158 karma

Do you plan on building a solid gold Dig'em statue?

steveberke346 karma

Quoahog's already done it, but I'm open to a gold Cartman statue.

Iggych23150 karma

What do you plan on doing about the corrupt car towing companies that exist in Miami beach? Those guys rob people blind on a daily basis and get away with wayyy to much

steveberke340 karma

I couldn't agree with you more. My opponent, Comm. Gongora actually voted to raise the towing rates. It's no surprise that the owner of one of the towing companies allowed him to put a GIANT multiple story campaign banner on his 15 story building on Alton Road. The only way that this billboard should be legal is if it is Comm. Gongora's official registered "campaign headquarters.". But, how can that be his campaign headquarters when the building has been abandoned for over a decade, and is boarded up with broken windows. Unless his campaign staff is made up of hobo's, crackheads, and rats (which wouldn't surprise me), then that building with his banner is not his campaign headquarters. If this isn't proof that this Commissioner is in the pocket of that towing kingpin/real estate developer, than I don't know what is. Furthermore, that kingpin allegedly gave him a $100,000 donation to an anonymous ECO (electioneering communication organization) to help him finance hate mail against his opponents. I think the solution to our towing nightmare is my integrated transportation proposal which includes SkyLink and DecoTram

Nick4567107 karma

First off I want to start off by saying good luck! :) Here's my question: What do you intend to do first besides the drug policy what's one thing that you really really want to see a difference in?

steveberke215 karma

I have to get to work right away on the insane street flooding we have on the beach. It really is a major quality of life issue for our residents.

IntelligentNickname80 karma

I'm afraid I can't do much more than upvoting you for visibility to help you. But I have a question, what can you give to the residents of Miami Beach which the other candidate cannot? Is it just end of all corruption (Hmmmmmmm......? If so elaborate how), or the (presumably) very expensive cable car system.

steveberke218 karma

Thanks for the upvote. The SkyLink cable car system is surprisingly inexpensive (in relative terms) and will be about 1/3 of the cost of the proposed light rail system across the bay. I cannot personally end all corruption, but I can be a non-corrupt candidate and therefore, set an example. I am also proposing to decriminalize marijuana. Furthermore, I am proposing an Independent Police Review and Disciplinary Board - with real powers - to curtail the excesses of an out of control police department

TAKEitTOrCIRCLEJERK80 karma

If I wanted to run for an entry-level political office in my city (not mayor or even city council, just a local board maybe) what is the single best piece of advice you could give me?

steveberke155 karma

Attend the meetings, get to know your elected officials, find something that you are passionate about and get one of them to appoint you to that board.

Stolenusername73 karma

What exactly are your stances on drug reform?

steveberke114 karma

Check out the answer I gave below.

ragingummybear70 karma

I find you interesting. If I had lived in Miami you would have my vote. I have a question though, if you are a comedian do people have trouble taking you serious?

steveberke130 karma

Yes. It has been the hardest part of my campaign to get out from under that preconception.

GrendelKeep59 karma

Running a city is a tough job, I'm sure. Do you have any experience running an organization of any significant size? (businesses, non-profits, etc) Not sure if "running a political campaign" would count as an answer.

steveberke227 karma

It's not actually the mayor's job to run the city, it's the city manager's job. That is why the mayor makes only 10K per year, and the city manager makes 275k per year. It is the mayor's job to provide the vision, and the city manager's job to execute it. Not only do I believe I have the best vision, I believe I am the only candidate that even has one.

SmilesFTW55 karma

I've watched a bunch of your videos on youtube and love the content. Although I dont live in Miami this is really interesting.

What is the thing that bothers you most in our government? And what is your view on PACs?

steveberke138 karma

Money is the number one problem in politics. We must challenge the campaign finance laws. I have made a promise to the people of Miami Beach that I will never attack any opponents from an ECO or a PAC. I put my name to every negative statement I make and I do not hide. That is what I can do, in a small town election, to make a difference.

lexgrub50 karma

I just watched the rap video. I think it was nicely done. Just came on here to say good luck! Maybe you can help change the face of politics in more places as well.

steveberke59 karma

Thanks for the encouragement.

wejustfadeaway50 karma

I fully support you winning, but in the event that you do lose the election to the billionaire career politician, have you put any thought to what will come next for you?

steveberke179 karma

Sleep. I'd really just like to sleep for a little while.

filkinsteez40 karma

Will Lebron win another ring?

steveberke80 karma

I wouldn't bet against it.

Mossman1131 karma

Best of luck to you in the race. Now I have two reasons to wish I lived in Miami, one cuz it would be a blast and two to give you my vote

steveberke62 karma

I'll take your upvote!

Nutsack_McGee30 karma

Don't you think it's a little preemptive to create a documentary on the "dirty political process" before the election? There is a chance you may win, and I feel that it may leave a sour taste in voters' mouths if you do win and release it afterwards. Not being a dick, just genuinely curious as to how you may feel about it if you do indeed win the election.

steveberke85 karma

I sincerely hope that I do win, and that I will be able to show the residents of Miami Beach exactly what it took to become their mayor. I am running a clean campaign, so I have nothing to hide.

pagan0ne22 karma

You may have answered this elsewhere, but quite frankly, im too lazy to look.

With that out of the way, whats the dirtiest most underhanded thing you have had to do so far, why did you do it, and do you regret it?

steveberke55 karma

I honestly can't think of anything. That's the beauty of running a clean, transparent campaign. I record everything, and I regret nothing.

Aleyha20 karma

steveberke72 karma

Yup. It cost him around a million dollars in donations. Also, with all due respect to the former president, he didn't speak to me, and he didn't speak to my other opponents, and he clearly doesn't know anything about Miami Beach politics so he really should be ashamed of himself.

Rush644720 karma

Do you think your youtube videos will hurt your chances of becoming mayor?

steveberke54 karma

Without them nobody would know who I was, and with the size of my campaign budget I would have zero chance of winning anything.

BookwormSkates38 karma

I bought a T-shirt, hope it helps!

steveberke12 karma

Thank you

BigDickRichie18 karma

What did you think of the series finale of Breaking Bad?

steveberke48 karma

I've never seen it. I don't watch a lot of television, except for South Park, Family Guy, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

MrG4F9 karma

Why are you posting in the middle of the night?

steveberke25 karma

Because I'm awake and during the day I'm going door to door, and doing lots of other campaign work.

kid_tiger8 karma

will you abolish the political dirty money if you win?

steveberke84 karma

How exactly can I abolish money?

throwagayner4 karma

As you say that your campaign is all about transparency, what would you say is your biggest flaw as a candidate?

steveberke13 karma

That I don't like to wear suits, and everyone refuses to take me seriously as a politician if I'm wearing sneakers...

weira3 karma

I do the downtown to Miami Beach drive a lot (I go to UM and love heading over to South Beach for fun). However- a cable car sounds so unappealing to get over there as a public transportation option. Sounds like it would take just as long as metro rail and a bus transfer, which is about over an hour from school, and a 25 minute drive in my car on a good day. ** Would you consider any other faster public transportation options from downtown to Miami Beach for future students like myself (that bus over 395 during traffic... cringe)? Also, I would think with how stormy and windy it gets in Miami that a cable car would sound unsafe most times of the year, just think of a hurricane passing through or thunder and lightning while in a cable car! I don't know much about cable cars and their safety, though. And something must be done about the massive amounts of dog poop. Anyway, good luck with your campaign!

steveberke2 karma

SkyLink would get you from Bicentennial Park to South Pointe Park in about 15 minutes. There are very few times during the day when you could make that journey that quickly in a car.

blueberryfickle3 karma

Don't you feel the game is already over and we might as well accept what our countries have become? Start adapting to the reality of the situation?

steveberke16 karma

I've always been a fighter, and I'm willing to fight till the very end.

JustCallMeDovakiin2 karma

So are you kinda like this?

steveberke6 karma

Hmmm, well not really. I started out a bit like that a couple of years ago but now I'm more like Al Franken - you know, serious, a former comedian...

steveberke1 karma

I approve that message!

Thedaviddepablo2 karma

We have a skylink ? I have yet to see it - enjoyed the video

steveberke2 karma

Think of it as a glimpse into a possible, glorious future, should I get elected.

nailz10002 karma

Why the hell would you post this while most of the people who could be voting for you are probably asleep?

steveberke3 karma

I think I have the edge on the late night, party crowd...

Kbower012 karma

Why is this just now being brought to everyones attention if its such large fiasco?

steveberke1 karma

What are you referencing exactly?

wankawitz2 karma

Nice rap video! Good luck against Mr Richy Rich Pants the third.

What would be your solution to money having a way-too-ridiculously big influence in politics today?

edit: snuck in a question

steveberke5 karma

Thank you

foreveracunt2 karma

Hey man, huge fan, you won me over with the pot shop music video. Since I'm from Norway I can't do else than wish you the best, I have one question tho.

Is Fifa 14 as good as Fifa 13? should I get it? Heard some complaints, still on the fence.

steveberke6 karma

Because I've been so busy with my campaign, I've only played Fifa 14 once. It was far more precise than 13. And yes, you should always have the latest Fifa edition :)

Camsy342 karma

If you could change just one thing in Miami Beach, what would it be?

steveberke3 karma

I really want the flooding fixed.

ae_rockstar2 karma

Whats something that you really hate on your cheeseburgers?

steveberke2 karma

ketchup

imeanthat1 karma

Hi?

steveberke3 karma

Not right now.