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Amid swearing and video-theft claim, Miami Beach mayor race turning into MTV show


A day after a Miami Beach mayoral debate devolved into allegations of racism and a shouting match full of Spanish expletives, the fight continued on social media.

Candidate Steve Berke -- an entertainer who's trying to turn his mayoral bid into an MTV2 show -- complained on Twitter after a video that his campaign shot appeared Wednesday on opponent Philip Levine’s YouTube channel.

“You stole my video without my permission, and I demand you take it down from your YouTube channel,” Berke tweeted to Levine, who owns a media company.

Levine refused to remove the clip, which was taken after a Tuesday morning debate that descended into a shouting match. The melee broke out after candidate Michael Góngora accused the independently wealthy Levine of buying votes. This was just moments after Levine was accused of making a racist comment.

Levine had said that Miami Beach staffers have an attitude of “mañana, lazy, pushing things forward, kicking the can down the road.”

In Spanish, mañana means “tomorrow.”

Levine took a video clip of the debate, which Berke said was filmed by his tattooed roommate, and posted it on YouTube with the header “Uniting not Dividing.”

He put links to the clip in an email blast and on Facebook, too.

“I urge you to click on the video below from Tuesday’s debate to view my exact comments and the context in which I said them. The truth speaks for itself,” Levine's campaign email said.

During the debate, at least one person in the crowd started shouting "pendejo," which is literally Spanish for "pubic hair," but has other connotations.

Representatives for Levine declined to comment.

Berke said he has asked YouTube to take down the video. Berke said he makes his livelihood from his YouTube channel, where he posts parodies of popular songs, many advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana. That’s one of his campaign platforms.

Berke also says he’s the subject of a documentary that will air on MTV2. His opponents have questioned whether that’s true.

MTV representative Jake Urbanski said Wednesday that “MTV2 is in the development stage for a project with Steve Berke. No air date has been confirmed…It essentially means were working with him on something but it’s still very early so there aren’t a ton of details around it.”

He said the cameras following Berke on the campaign trail are from “a third-party production company enlisted by MTV2.”