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Reality Check

Gubernatorial candidate Michael Arth thought he could play politics by his own rules. He’s learning it’s not so easy.

Photo: Carlos Amoedo, License: N/A, Created: 2010:10:14 01:09:00

Carlos Amoedo

Rage Against the Machine: After he was shut out by the Democratic Party, Michael Arth (pictured in his office) decided to wage an independent campaign for governor of Florida

Photo: , License: N/A, Created: 2010:07:27 01:01:36

And, like the batter fresh off an unimpressive ground ball, the best Arth can hope for now is that his opponents screw it up 
big time.

The Also-Rans

In addition to Michael Arth, these outsiders are also gunning for the Florida governor’s seat. As you read below, the spectrum of sanity among these folks is quite wide – although of course, it can be argued that they’re all insane for running.

Farid Khavari (no party affiliation) 
is an Iranian-born economist with a doctorate in economics from a German university. His poor English immediately precludes him from the office – when he was allowed to speak for two minutes at the Agriculture Institute of Florida Candidates Forum last month, his visible nervousness exacerbated the problem, as he closed his speech with this final line: “We have 1.2 unemployment Floridian. Thank you very much.” And despite his supposed expertise in economics, he makes some dubious claims – that he can create a million jobs in three years purely in the business of solar energy, and that eventually, a society modeled on his principles would be completely cost-free. That’s right, no costs whatsoever. No wonder he calls it “carefreeism!”

Peter Allen (Independence Party) is a respectable guy who just wants to respect the Constitution. Born with only one eye and one kidney, and raised in a household run by a distant father and an alcoholic mother, Allen left home at the age of 15 and made an impressive life for himself, eventually starting an industrial electronics business that let him retire at an early age. As a member of the Independence Party of Florida, he’s a centrist who says he would benefit the state by acting as a “referee” between the two eternally bickering parties. We’d prefer someone to act as a warden instead, but it’s a start.

Daniel Imperato (no party affiliation), as fate would have it, also has only one functional eye. He says that while carrying a briefcase full of jewels in London, he had acid thrown in his face by a thief, blinding him. What Imperato doesn’t understand is that such stories are only believable if told sparingly – he also says Barack Obama knows him well, that Donald Trump stole the idea for The Apprentice from him and that he’s working on a documentary with Michael Moore about the “African banks.” At one point during our discussion, he pointed to a Porsche Cayenne parked outside and said it was his car. Yet after we bid each other adieu, he slunk off to a white minivan.

Josue Larose (write-in) is the most puzzling enigma of the bunch. A 29-year-old Deerfield Beach resident who claims to be a billionaire music producer, Larose has formed 40 political parties and more than 340 political action committees. Either the man has a fetish for paperwork or thinks that practically every institution in contemporary American life is in need of more political muscle: He’s created PACs for judo schools, helicopter 
companies, Episcopal churches, dating agencies and medical laboratories, just to name a few. The one time his campaign phone number was answered, a man with a thick Caribbean accent briskly redirected us to his e-mail address and hung up the phone.

C.C. Reed (no party affiliation) 
did not answer any of our phone calls or e-mails, but if his website is any indication, he’s got a knack for making lemonade from lemons. Rather than lament his steady string of political defeat stretching back to 1994, Reed brags that he is “the longest running candidate for governor.” Hooray 
for persistence!

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