MIAMI
10/28/2013 09:32 am ET Updated Oct 29, 2013

10 Highlights From Steve Berke's Reddit AMA: Pie, Beards, Philip Levine, Towing, And Breakfast

Steve Berke

Transparency hasn't exactly been a hallmark of Miami-Dade politics, so it's hard to imagine local candidates taking to one of the largest communities on the Internet and suggesting, "Ask me anything!"

But then, Steve Berke isn't exactly your typical Miami Beach mayoral candidate. A former Yale tennis star-turned-comedian, he made a living off pot parody YouTube videos and pulled pranks like sending a "sexy sax man" into city commission meeting. But then Berke got serious about politics, following up a jokey run for mayor in 2011 with a more serious campaign this year centered on ending corruption, better oversight of the police department, public transportation, and decriminalizing marijuana.

Sunday he took to Reddit and held an AMA, or "ask me anything," that revolved around his candidacy, opponents Michael Gongora and Philip Levine, breakfast, money in politics, and pie -- and he pulled no punches. Check out 10 highlights below:

  • 1
    Lurknasty22: In your opinion, what is the perfect breakfast?

    Steveberke: A really beautiful woman.
  • 2
    disoriented: You seem to be a genuine candidate from what I have read thus far. Your wit combined with a realistic, modern approach to politics, is frankly, refreshing. Still, how do I know that you're not a lizard person?

    Steveberke: I make no claim not to be...
  • 3
    thebobstu: Why aren't there more beards in politics? I think they make men look more distinguished.

    Steveberke: Apparently, millions of dollars of research has gone into this question, and the research says that beards make people appear less trustworthy. That hasn't stopped me from rockin' my flavor savor though. I haven't shaved it off since freshman year of college!
  • 4
    Iggych23: What do you plan on doing about the corrupt car towing companies that exist in Miami beach? Those guys rob people blind on a daily basis and get away with wayyy to much

    steveberke: I couldn't agree with you more. My opponent, Comm. Gongora actually voted to raise the towing rates. It's no surprise that the owner of one of the towing companies allowed him to put a GIANT multiple story campaign banner on his 15 story building on Alton Road. The only way that this billboard should be legal is if it is Comm. Gongora's official registered "campaign headquarters.". But, how can that be his campaign headquarters when the building has been abandoned for over a decade, and is boarded up with broken windows. Unless his campaign staff is made up of hobo's, crackheads, and rats (which wouldn't surprise me), then that building with his banner is not his campaign headquarters. If this isn't proof that this Commissioner is in the pocket of that towing kingpin/real estate developer, than I don't know what is. Furthermore, that kingpin allegedly gave him a $100,000 donation to an anonymous ECO (electioneering communication organization) to help him finance hate mail against his opponents. I think the solution to our towing nightmare is my integrated transportation proposal which includes SkyLink and DecoTram.
  • 5
    PounderMcNasty: Why are there so many weirdos in Miami Beach?

    steveberke: You say weirdos, I say unique and exciting individuals...
  • 6
    GrendelKeep: Running a city is a tough job, I'm sure. Do you have any experience running an organization of any significant size? (businesses, non-profits, etc) Not sure if "running a political campaign" would count as an answer.

    steveberke: It's not actually the mayor's job to run the city, it's the city manager's job. That is why the mayor makes only 10K per year, and the city manager makes 275k per year. It is the mayor's job to provide the vision, and the city manager's job to execute it. Not only do I believe I have the best vision, I believe I am the only candidate that even has one.
  • 7
    wejustfadeaway: I fully support you winning, but in the event that you do lose the election to the billionaire career politician, have you put any thought to what will come next for you?

    steveberke: Sleep. I'd really just like to sleep for a little while.
  • 8
    Aleyha: Anything to say about Bill Clinton's endorsement for Philip Levine?

    steveberke: Yup. It cost him around a million dollars in donations. Also, with all due respect to the former president, he didn't speak to me, and he didn't speak to my other opponents, and he clearly doesn't know anything about Miami Beach politics so he really should be ashamed of himself.
  • 9
    ChitownResidEnt: I really hope this doesn't get buried, but what do you think of Gongora? I watched the debate and obviously Levine spews more shit than an anus. But does Gongora only seem credible because he's a career politician, because he actually has some priorities straight, or because Levine could make anyone look good?

    steveberke: Gongora is well meaning. However, he is not a leader, he has no new ideas, he is perfect as a commissioner, but not the right choice for mayor. He inspires nobody.
  • 10
    pirinx: Most memorable time with pie involved?

    steveberke: No hands July 4th pie eating contest in Holyoke, Massachusetts. I snorted a cherry right up my nose and then ate it.

Meanwhile, in other Steve Berke news, here's the only-in-Miami-Beach campaign rap video you always knew was coming:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Philip Levine's first name.

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