MAY 23, 2015







(Full Disclosure:  I’ve appeared twice on The Gray Zone radio show.  The last time was early in 2014.)

Last Friday I woke up and smelled a stench in the air that I mistakenly assumed with the smoke from a fire burning in the Everglades.

I was wrong. The smell was from the bullshit emitting from the radio station that hosts the morning political talkathon known as The Gray Zone.

Specifically, the smell was coming from the shuck and jive, phony tongue lashing that Fred Menachem, the Executive Producer was inflicting on two of his fellow co-hosts, Marcos Lapciuc and Henry Crespo - absolutely no relation to me - for their interview the day before of Teresa “The Beard” Sarnoff, that had prompted a short news item by David Smiley on the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics website.

The phoniness of the self-serving effort to deflect criticism was based on the revelation in Smiley’s story that Lapciuc had written a “small” check to Teresa Sarnoff’s campaign that he had not revealed on air as part of the interview, and that in Smiley’s opinion the interview consisted of Sarnoff being “lobbed softballs for 20 minutes by the show’s co-hosts,” prompted Lapciuc at one point jokingly ask what his punishment was, followed by the sound effects of organ music, the sound of someone being lashed by a whip while the recipient said, “Thank you sir, may I have another.” (The podcast of the show can be heard HERE.)

It’s was all theatrical suck and jive bullshit, intended to deflect attention from the real issues that neither Lapciuc or any of his fellow co-hosts wanted to address which involved the larger, and far more serious question of under what circumstances did Lapciuc met Teresa Sarnoff?

“Marcos Lapciuc, who later told The Herald that he invited her on the show after meeting her at her husband’s law office and cutting her a “small” campaign “check.”

If anyone wants to talk about transparency, this is the real place to start.

What was Lapciuc doing at Sarnoff’s law office?  Is he a Sarnoff legal client?  If he isn’t a client, was he there discussing public business with the Commissioner?

Talking public business with a public official in their private law office isn’t illegal, although there are some in the community who speculate that some of the most important public issues that the Commissioner has dealt with have first been discussed in his law office before he discussed them at a City Commission meeting - I even have emails of meetings with Alice Bravo, Deputy City Manager being scheduled at his law firm - because rightly or wrongly the Commissioner has gained a sleazy reputation for being the Poster Boy for the concept of Pay To Play in the City of Miami.

It certainly wouldn’t be out of place for a savvy political player like Lapciuc, if he was looking for a favor from the Commissioner, to show his gratitude by cutting wifey a campaign check and inviting her to be a guest on his show.  Especially when he could control the questions and make sure that not so much as a feather touched her crafted and phony persona of civic activism.

So, the first questions that Lapciuc really needs to answer if there is to be transparency about what really happened on the show is  what was he doing in Sarnoff’s office; how did it happen that wifey showed up while he was there; what revelations and insights into her character and capabilities - since he’s now claims that he knew little or nothing about her before that meeting, or for that matter before the “interview” - that he discover that made him decide that she was the best candidate to be the next City Commissioner for District 2 and write her a “small” campaign check, followed by a personal invite to appear on the radio show.

Answering these kinds of questions is what real transparency is about, because right now I’m sure that there are any number of folks who figure that maybe Marcos Lapciuc cut Teresa a “small” check and invited her on the radio show as part of some larger quid-pro-quo between him and the Commissioner, because you never can tell what kind of deals any of these four co-hosts have on the stove when they’re not being radio “pundits.”

I’ll get back to this issue further down, but the next issue that needs to be addressed is the allegation Smiley made, and that Lapciuc and Henry Crespo denied, that they served up “softball” questions to Teresa Sarnoff.

Of course they did!   

Does anyone think that Lapciuc would write Teresa Sarnoff a campaign check and then turn around and start acting like Mike Wallace used to do when he was questioning some tin horn dictator in a Banana Republic?

In fact, the way they conducted the interview was worse that setting her up with softball questions, because Teresa Sarnoff is so obviously incompetent and incapable of answering any question involving issues of substance, that Lapciuc and Crespo basically guided her through some generic platitudes and boiler plate rhetoric, and Lapciuc, contrary to how he’s behaved with another candidate that he supports, didn’t remove himself from the interview, but made sure he was there to hold her hand through the process.

Here’s what I didn’t know when I first realized that this deal had a bad smell to it, but which only took me about 3 minutes to discover once I went to The Gray Zone site that includes the audio tapes of their previous shows.

Four days before the interview with Teresa Sarnoff, The Gray Zone did an interview with Mark Samuelson, whose running for the City Commission on Miami Beach.  (Here is the link to that interview that starts at 33:25 and ends at 44:15.)

Listen to how Lapciuc starts off by acknowledging that he is supporting Samuelson, and then turns over to the interview to his co-host that day Rachel Sapoznik. Then listen to her question Samuelson in rapid-fire detail about the issues involving the City of Miami Beach, and listen to his responses.

Compare that interview with the bullshit “interview” that Lapciuc and Henry Crespo did with Teresa Sarnoff, and you’ll be forced to come to the conclusion that the Samuelson interview was done with a serious candidate for public office, and the Sarnoff “interview” was an exercise in protecting a grossly uninformed and incompetent moron from making a fool of herself. (Here is the link to that interview that starts at 9:03 and goes to 29:56.)

It’s now apparent that this so-called “interview” was nothing more than a phony setup so that Teresa Sarnoff - who for the last 6 plus months has refused to give any serious interviews to anyone in the news media, and who has also refused to participate in any candidate debates or answer any questions sent to her - could then go forward claiming that she was not ducking the news media.

It’s very clear that his was the real reason for this fake interview, and that Lapciuc was in on the deal, because if he hadn’t been then he would have behaved as he did 4 days before with the Samuelson interview.


While it only took me about three minutes to discover the disparity of treatment between the Samuelson and Sarnoff interviews, it took me about five minutes to piece together the fact that Marcos Lapciuc and Henry Crespo are both on the board of a non-profit called URGENT INC.

URGENT INC. turns out to be  a family affair for Henry Crespo, since he’s the President, his wife is the Vice President and one of his daughter’s is the Artistic Director and Program Manager.

Since 2011, URGENT INC. has received a total of $679,917.00 in grants from the SEOPW CRA, and based on their 2013/2014 Annual Report, it would appear that they’ve also received money from The City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, The Knight Foundation and The Children’s Trust, and if not cash money, they’ve certainly received in-kind contributions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars during the 2013/2014 calendar year.

Let’s not even question what this non-profit does, doesn’t do, or how well it does it, or even how much money the Crespo family pulls out of this organization annually in salaries, expenses, etc.

Let’s just focus on the fact that in order for this organization to have received $679,917.00 over the last 4 years from the SEOPW CRA, as well as money or other kinds of contributions from Miami-Dade County and all of these other donors means that there were a lot of prominent and politically powerful folks whose asses needed to be kissed.

How many of these folks, starting with the Mayor and members of the Miami City Commission, along with Miami-Dade Mayor and especially County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson do you think showed up to be interviewed by these guys on their radio show in the last year, and what kind of kid glove treatment do you think they received?

I recall being on another show on this station one night talking about Commissioner Francis Suarez, and one of these guys actually called in  and craftily sucked up a chunk of what little air time I had to talk about how Suarez was a friend of his, and defend him against my attack. 

And while we’re at it, let’s talk about about their political fund raising and campaign support.  Just a couple weeks ago David Smiley did a story about Marcos Lapciuc hosting a fund raiser for County Commissioner Esteban Bovo at his home on Miami Beach, and how the other 3 co-hosts on the radio show had signed up as co-hosts of the event.

Henry Crespo - a Democrat - claimed that “he didn’t even know the guy,” which led to his name being removed.

When you got guys with their hands out looking to get tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from politicians, you can never expect them to do anything but drop to their knees and put a lip lock on these politicians asses at every opportunity.

So yeah, I have absolutely no problem in saying that I think that Marcos Lapcinc and Henry Crespo behaved shamefully last week in the way in which they conducted that phony “interview” with Teresa Sarnoff, and that at the beginning of every one of their shows a Warning should be read that says:

                “Be advised that the co-hosts of this show have been

                 known to attach their lips firmly to the asses of  politicians,        

                 developers and other rich folk in the community from whom        

                 they’ve taken money or favors from, or that they’re angling

                 to take money or favors from. Listener discretion is not only    

                 advised, it’s required.”

In other words, It’s Miami, Bitches!