Miami Beach

Miami Beach bans lobbying by political consultants for 12 months after elections

Miami Beach commissioners have passed a new ethics law banning political consultants from lobbying them for 12 months after an election.

The law prohibits campaign consultants from lobbying the commission for a year after the official they worked for is sworn in. The measure passed on a vote 6-0 Wednesday night, with Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán absent. Alemán had opposed it on first reading.

Last year, a majority of the commission rejected the same ordinance when it was proposed by Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez. It was reintroduced this year by Commissioner Joy Malakoff. Both Rosen Gonzalez and Commissioner Michael Grieco, a mayoral candidate who employs the Beach’s most prominent political consultant/lobbyist, accused Malakoff of politicizing an ethics vote earlier in June. Rosen Gonzalez proposed waiting until after the November city election to consider the change.

Malakoff insisted the change was necessary to address the perception that campaign consultants curry favor with commissioners they worked for.

Grieco’s current political adviser, David Custin, also lobbies for private interests in the Beach. He also helped four other commissioners get elected. Before the vote, he called the measure “as politically cutthroat as you can get.”