Miami is a fast paced community with a rapid fire news cycle. Our blog keeps you current on the most important issues affecting the tax payers of Miami-Dade county. Read, share, comment, and as always let us know what topics you want us to tackle.

Miami voters have at least three candidate forums for races in three seats

Posted by on Oct 1, 2023 in Alex Diaz de la Portilla, Fresh Colada, Manolo Reyes, Miami elections, News, Sabina Covo | 0 comments

We already missed one candidate forum in the Nov. 7 Miami elections. Who knew? But there are at least three more scheduled for voters to get to know the people running for office in Districts 1, 2 and 4.

One Grove, the group of Coconut Grove residents and stakeholders who organized during the city’s flawed redistricting process, will have a candidate forum Tuesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. Former New Times Editor Chuck Strouse, now assistant director at the Lee Caplin School of Journalism at Florida International University, will moderate a panel that includes The Miami Herald’s Nancy Ancrum, former Miami Herald reporter Don Finefrock representing the Coconut Grove Spotlight and someone from the League of Women Voters.

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Miami District 2 candidate James Torres posts first video ad, calls ‘for change’

Posted by on Sep 30, 2023 in District 2 election, Fresh Colada, James Torres, News, Sabina Covo | 0 comments

If you’re following the District 2 race in Miami, you’ve likely seen incumbent Commissioner Sabina Covo‘s ads on TV.

This week, Downtown Neighbors Alliance President James Torres, who has a much smaller warchest and can’t afford a lot of network time, posted his first video web ad, a fast-paced 30-second spot that calls for new blood at City Hall and calls out the current state of dysfunction.

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Miami Commissioner Sabina Covo disappoints, faces seven challengers

Posted by on Sep 29, 2023 in Fresh Colada, News | 0 comments

Miami District 2 Commissioner Sabina Covo may have bit off more than she can chew. Many voters have expressed disappointment. It’s one reason why she faces no fewer than seven challengers in the Nov. 7 election, which feels more like a race for an open seat.

Covo has been in office since February, when she won a special election — with only 29% of the vote — among 12 candidates to fill the term left by Ken Russell when he resigned to run for Congress (and lost in the primary). During this time she shines more for what she hasn’t done than for what she has done.

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No appointment in Miami; five qualify for District 1 election, including ADLP

Posted by on Sep 29, 2023 in Fresh Colada, News | 0 comments

With a unanimous vote, the Miami City Commission last Saturday decided not to appoint anyone to the District 1 seat vacated by the arrest and suspension earlier this month of Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla. Instead, the District 1 seat will remain empty — like it was a lot when ADLP was still in office — until the Nov. 7 election.

Five people, including the suspended commissioner, qualified for the race by the deadline last weekend. Diaz de la Portilla has no shame. He’s going to play this arrest ala Donald Trump, the victim of a Democrat-fueled plot to undermine him. But even he knows that in the unlikely event he should be elected, Gov. Ron DeSantis will only suspend him again.

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Vince Lago has conflict of interest with High Pines, Little Gables annexations

Posted by on Sep 28, 2023 in annexation, Fresh Colada, News, Vince Lago | 0 comments

Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago is pushing annexation like never before.

The city sent petition ballot cards to property owners in the Little Gables and High Pines/Ponce Davis area. Two town hall meetings were scheduled to talk to residents and hear their questions. And Lago has declared himself the lead negotiator with the county on the annexations.

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Help Wanted: A District 1 Miami resident to be commissioner for 7 weeks

Posted by on Sep 22, 2023 in Fresh Colada, News | 0 comments

The Miami City Commission will have a special meeting Saturday to decide how to fill the vacancy caused last week by the arrest of Alex Diaz de la Portilla on public corruption charges that include money laundering, bribery and criminal conspiracy.

His colleagues see on the dais could do a number of things:

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Brokerage firm cleans house after corruption arrests, drops Vince Lago   

Posted by on Sep 19, 2023 in Fresh Colada, News | 0 comments

It didn’t take long for Bill Riley Jr.‘s name to disappear from the list of licensed real estate salespeople at Rosa Commercial Real Estate, the brokerage firm owned by former Hialeah Councilman Oscar de la Rosa, stepson of Hialeah Mayor Esteban “Stevie” Bovo. The brokerage firm that got $640,000 fee for the sale of the 1505 Ponce de Leon building to Location Ventures and developer Rishi Kapoor, who we have learned was paying Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to speed the process along.

Riley was arrested afternoon with Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla on charges of public corruption that include money laundering and bribery. Authorities say he funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into the commissioner’s political action committee in exchange for a vote to give away a public park to his clients, the anti-vax Centner family that owns The Centner Academy.

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Miami Beach mayoral forum Monday for four candidates is really for two

Posted by on Sep 18, 2023 in Fresh Colada, Michael Gongora, Michael Grieco, News | 0 comments

All four candidates in the race to replace termed out Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber are expected to participate in a forum Monday sponsored by Miami Beach United, an influential activists organization.

Leading the pack are the two Michaels — former city commissioner Michael Góngora and former State Rep. Michael Grieco, also once a city commissioner, both of whom have been eyeing this seat for a while. Barring any October surprise, this should be the make-up of the run-off.

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Lobbyist arrested for corruption with ADLP gave to more politicians, PACs

Posted by on Sep 17, 2023 in 911 Emergency, Bill Riley, Fresh Colada, News | 0 comments

The lobbyist arrested last week with Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla on public corruption charges — including money laundering, bribery and criminal conspiracy — has given campaign checks to other politicians and political action committees.

Our local campaign finance watchdog Dani Rivera took a peek at some reports this week and found that Pristine DE LLC — a corporation opened by Bill Riley Jr. to, authorities say, funnel money from his clients to Diaz de la Portilla in exchange for a public park — has given more than half a million to other candidates and PACs since June of 2020.

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3 Coral Gables commissioners want a raise, car allowance, more benefits

Posted by on Sep 17, 2023 in Ariel Fernandez, Fresh Colada, Kirk Menendez, Melissa Castro, News | 0 comments

So, it was apparently Coral Gables Commissioner Kirk Menendez who came up with the plan to give himself and his colleagues some pretty big raises in salaries, more wiggle room in their expense accounts and brand new car allowances where there were none.

Newly-elected Commissioners Melissa Castro and Ariel Fernandez apparently agreed, according to City Manager Peter Iglesias, who can count.

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