The coalition of activists ballyhooed their lottery-style drawing Friday as the launch of the takedown of a county commissioner.
They had so many prospects, they said — eight commissioners who dared to vote against raising the property-tax rate — they would pick one name at random out of a hat, an Uncle Sam topper festooned in red, white and blue.
They exulted when the hat yielded the name to be targeted for a recall drive: Miami-Dade Commissioner Lynda Bell.
But for a while, things looked like they were not exactly what they seemed: The drawing appeared to have been rigged.
The evidence: A printout handed out to reporters — before the name was plucked out of the hat — already listed Bell as the targeted commissioner.
Absolutely not, insisted one of the event’s organizers, who blamed the mishap on a photocopying flub and an unlucky coincidence.
“No, no,” said Michael Rosenberg, co-founder of the Pets’ Trust, one of two groups heading the recall effort. “If I could have picked, she wouldn’t have been the one. ... I would have made sure she wasn’t in it, if I could arrange it.”
The Pets’ Trust drafted talking points specific to each of the eight commissioners — but by mistake only gave out the first one that was printed, co-founder Rita Schwartz said late Friday. That one, as it happened, listed Bell.
“It was honestly just a stupid mistake that I made,” Schwartz said.