Gutter Politics in WPB City Commission Race: Power Players Fund Shanon Materio's Smear Campaign | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Gutter Politics in WPB City Commission Race: Power Players Fund Shanon Materio's Smear Campaign

Hoping to keep her seat on the WPB City Commission, Shanon Materio led off her re-election campaign with the class envy card, trying to paint her opponent, Gregg Weiss, as a dilettante and an elitist.

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Her camp followed that up with a political reverse flip, suggesting Weiss was in bed with revolutionaries, while one of her leading supporters labeled him an anarchist and a Scientologist. All the while, Materio's own list of campaign contributors grew top-heavy with real-estate interests, lobbyists, corporate lawyers, and other insiders. 

Tuesday's election -- a non-partisan affair between two Democrats -- will reveal whether the citizens of West Palm Beach see through her muck.

The golden rule of political reporting, as everyone knows, is "follow the money." Materio had raised $47,305 through February 15. Here's where it came from:

-- $1,500 from executives of the Related Group, which built CityPlace and wants to build a controversial condo project that Materio has waffled on and that Weiss opposes -- Materio having misrepresented his position.

-- $1,000 from "Alligator" Ron Bergeron, Broward land baron and lately an entrant to the waste disposal field, in alliance with the notorious Sun Recycling

(Materio has been a vocal advocate of privatization of municipal services, pushing WPB to consider outsourcing its sanitation services. When New Times asked if she would recuse herself from voting on measures that might impact Bergeron's interests, her campaign declined to give a definitive answer. 

Both campaigns received contributions from sanitation giant Waste Management -- $1,000 to Materio, $500 to Weiss. Weiss told us he is opposed to privatization of municipal sanitation services.)

-- $500 came to Materio from Michael Masanoff, a lawyer/developer caught up in a very ugly legal battle and a massive WPB development scheme

(When New Times asked if Materio would recuse herself from voting on measures that might impact Masanoff's interests, her campaign declined to give a definitive answer.)

Materio received:

-- $500 from Barrett Welles, realtors handling luxury properties on the West Palm Beach waterfront.

-- $500 from water supply/engineering giant CDM Smith.

-- $500 from real estate title company Property Transfer Services.

-- $500 from John Bulfin, general counsel of private prison operator/serial human-rights abuser GEO Group.

-- $500 from Palm Beach banker/real estate investor Alfred Cinque.

-- $500 from Tallahassee power broker Paul Mitchell (brother of WPB City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell).

A big bundle of Materio's support came from out of town, in nearby Lake Worth, where Materio has roots: $2,000 from the family of former Lake Worth Mayor Rodney Romano, $500 from banker John Deese, and even farther afield, $500 from Party City gazillionaire Gerry Rittenberg. The many other construction and real-estate interests in Materio's camp include the sugar barons of Florida Crystals... But you get the idea.

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