Steve Berke says vote for him if you think the current state of Miami Beach is a joke.
The comedian and former reality show contestant is formally announcing his bid to be Miami Beach mayor 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Catalina Hotel & Beach Club.
Whether his bid is serious or not is unclear – Berke didn’t respond to an email seeking comment and of the two phone numbers listed on his website, www.steveberkeformayor.com, one was disconnected and the other connected to a recording that offered to “add spice to your love life.”
Berke has yet to file papers with the city, according to clerk Robert Parcher.
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But either way, Berke is already getting some laughs out of the 2011 Miami Beach elections.
Berke first declared his intention to run in a YouTube video posted Monday, in which he downs several shots, a martini and what may be a rum and coke while explaining a platform that includes decriminalizing marijuana, supporting gay marriage and bringing a casino to Miami Beach.
“I support solving the pension problem, lowering our city’s deficit and fixing the horrible economic mess Mayor [Matti Herrera] Bower has created,” he says. “So if you don’t want your taxes as high as my blood alcohol level right now, come join our party. We’re not the Republican party. We’re not the Democratic party. We’re the after party.”
Most of Berke’s biography information checks out.
Berke is a Yale graduate and former tennis player who got his television break in 2004 on Fox’s The Rebel Billionaire, a business competition show featuring Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin. You may remember that he created the Mooshpillow, or received some attention for his “Should Be Legalized” parody video that was eventually censored by YouTube.
Oddly, the one piece of information on his bio that doesn’t fly, is Berke’s claims that the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws made him a spokesman.
On his website bio, Berke says the video turned him onto politics after the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws highlighed his video and made him a spokesman – only, Allen St. Pierre, an actual NORML spokesman, said that’s not so.
"Nobody ever annointed him a spokesperson,” St. Pierre said. “He’s probably taking some liberties.”
Bower is seeking a third term. She is also challenged by Dave Crystal, a director of the Miami Beach Leadership Academy Alumni Association who runs Crystal Clear Tutors.