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Dark Money collides with #MeToo movement before South Miami mayor’s election

MiamiHerald / The #MeToo movement is suddenly roiling a small-town-Miami mayoral race after a former politician went public with accusations of sexual impropriety in an unusual way – by recording an election-eve robocall funded by dark money.

An account of the alleged kiss, dialed directly into the homes of South Miami voters by former Commissioner Valerie Newman, is untrue, according to Mayor Philip Stoddard, the object of the accusations. Paid for by anonymous donors, the claim could sway the results of Tuesday’s election and affect the career of a college professor who won national headlines last year for his solar energy initiatives.

“What Newman says is absolutely false,” Stoddard told the Miami Herald. “This woman is quite a piece of work.” He believes Newman’s accusations are a political ploy to help his opponent, former mayor Horace Feliu, defeat him in Tuesday’s election.

The latest accusation to rock South Miami’s small-town, sharp-edged politics stems from an incident seven or eight years ago – Newman can’t remember which year – that she said happened after a Thanksgiving dinner at Newman’s home in South Miami that was attended by Stoddard, at the time the city’s newly elected mayor, and his wife.

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