Now that the mayoral election next month is all but a technicality, the real question is who Commissioner Francis Suarez, our next city of Miami mayor, wants to have serve on the dais with him. He’s been non-commmital because he wanted to focus on his own race. But now that he’s got no opposition, not really, he can put his considerable weight behind the right candidate.
Too bad he still won’t tell us. Now, we can only guess.
“I’m not supporting anyone right now. I get along pretty much with everybody,” Suarez told Ladra this week, adding that no mayor or elected supported him when he first ran in 2009 even though he started out 25 points behind Manolo Reyes, who is leading all the polls for the seat now.
“And I liked it that way. I didn’t even use my middle name, which is the same as my father’s,” said Suarez, a chip off the old block that is Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who was also the first Cuban mayor of Miami. “I wanted to rise on my own merits, my own ideas.”
The flip side of the coin is that he doesn’t want to piss anybody off.
“As mayor, you have a responsibility to create a coalition on the commission and set the tone and get things done. If you pick the wrong side, you may end up offending somebody and shooting yourself in the foot,” he said. “I want to hit the ground running. My responsibility isn’t to the candidates, it’s to the residents.”
But just who does Baby X think he’s fooling? Some political observers say he’s being a passive aggressive pussy who is secretly helping candidates but doesn’t have the cojones to publicly endorse them. “Like always, el tira le piedra y esconda la mano,” said one Miami voter and political junkie. It’s a Cuban saying that literally means he throws a stone and hides his hand but actually means he starts some kind of trouble and avoids the blame.
Read related story: Francis Suarez says definite maye to Miami mayoral race
Ladra, too, thinks that he does, indeed, have a great deal of interest in the two commission races (especially in one). Why else would he spend money polling the commission races along with his own race and issues every time? And it is very difficult for Ladra to believe that he and his dad and his political allies in Coral Gables and beyond would just pass on this opportunity to silently grow allies and build their machinery, especially trying to help the candidates that Suarez knows will be friendlier and happier to work with him instead of on their own agenda.
Yeah, Joe Carollo, I’m talking about you. The former Miami mayor and Doral city manager likes to be a star and the protagonist and could battle Suarez for attention and control of the commission.
Despite the fact that the two candidates are apparently sharing Steve Marin as campaign consultant, the two families sorta hate each other. Ladra can’t beieve that’
Suarez wants to sit on the dais with the guy who basically unseated his father from office in 1997 for absentee voter fraud that may not have been X’s doing (it was former City Commissioner Humberto Hernandez and former State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who las malas lenguas say is helping Carollo now). The election was thrown out and a second vote put Carollo in office. So, no, Ladra does not believe that Suarez isn’t actively working against Crazy Joe. You can’t trusth him because he could turn on you at any minute, like he has on almost everybody, even calling a press conference to stab you in the back. Just ask former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre. We have to believe that Baby X is ABC — Anyone But Carollo.
Read related story: Crazy Joe Carollo adds twist to crazy Miami Commission race
Athough maybe not Tommy Regalado, son and namesake of the current mayor, tampoco. There’s no real love loss between these families either. Maybe also because Suarez had the nerve to try to run against Mayor Tomas Regalado four years ago before he had to abandon the campaign after several missteps. Suarez just got rid of one Regalado, you think he wants to be saddled with another? And compete for media darling status with another block chip?
That leaves us in District 3 with Zoraida Barreiro, the wife of Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, or one of the other three guys who don’t seem to stand a chance next to the legacy candidates. Zory, as she is known, makes sense because her husband is a colleague of the new mayor’s father. This allegiance has legs. Also, Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro has not lost one election. Not for State Rep. Not for county commissioner.
There’s also a small possibility that Suarez likes Alfie Leon, the former chief policy advisor, for Commissioner Frank Carollo. But Ladra is making that hypothesis only because someone in his camp has defended Leon in private and Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago, a top Suarez ally, is backing Leon openly.
Still, it’s practically a toss up between the other two.
One might think Baby X is helping Reyes, who he beat by 260 votes when first elected in 2009, since he is leading all the polls, after all. Suarez has reportedly shared the polls with people to help Reyes raise campaign cash. And also allegedly lent Reyes his professional fundraiser — Brian Goldmeier reportedly made some calls on Reyes’ behalf.
But, on the other hand, Manolo is tight with the Regalados so there’s that little snag. And Baby X has been seen with Ralph Rosado at some events and neighborhood homeowner association meetings. Rosado has also shown that he can raise more money, which could be important to Suarez– or both Suarezes — in the future.
Maybe he’s hedging his bets. Does that still count as passive aggressive?

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We’ve been robbed. Cheated!

The four biggest cities in Miami-Dade have elections next month without a single mayoral race. Not really anyway. The four frontrunners have zero or marginal opposition. That means there will be no debates, no conversation about the direction of these cities, no real choice for the voters of Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and Homestead.

Also the commission or council races and the charter questions on the ballots in those cities will suffer from the lack of any real mayoral contest, which is always the main attraction.

In Miami, Commissioner Francis Suarez is the presumed winner after Commissioner Frank Carollo, who is termed out this year, failed to throw his hat in the ring. Everyone held their breath til the last minute on the qualifying deadine because Carollo was supposed to challenge Baby X. But many political observers speculate that his brother, former mayor Crazy Joe Carollo, le tiro la jarrita de agua fria by jumping into the commission race in Group 3 (more on that later), because it would be harder to get two Carollos on the dais and even if he did, then what? Yeah, sure, there are three others who qualified for the Miami mayoral race but none of them have raised any money or are considered real candidates, so they will go unnamed. Expect Suarez to get 93% of the vote.

In Miami Beach, former State Sen. Dan Gelber gets a free ride thanks to Commissioner Michael Grieco‘s self destruction with the secret PAC that he denied having anything to do with but that is now under investigation by a really selective State Attorney who has seemed to look the other way at far more egregious PAC problems (more on that later). Again, three others qualified, but, again, they will go unnamed because none has raised more than $6,000 (to Gelber’s $500K-plus account) and their names won’t matter after Nov. 7 anyway.

Read related story: Mystery Miami Beach PAC goes down, but new PAC is up

In Hialeah, Mayor Carlos Hernandez is apparently not termed out, as an attorney for former Mayor Julio Martinez had argued in court, trying to boot the admitted loanshark and absentee ballot bully out of the race. Alas, a judge ruled with the city’s warped thinking, which is that a half a term is not to be counted. Getting Hernandez off the ballot was the only way to get him out of City Hall. It was the only chance anyone had. There’s a lady challenging him, but while she’s very brave (her husband is a city employee), she stands zero chance of making a dent in the Hernandez election armor. That means that he can use more money earmarked for needy kids to give his needy staff vacations in Vegas.

And in Homestead, Mayor Jeff Porter — who has brought some stability to the county’s fourth largest city after the last mayor was arrested for corruption — is automatically re-elected de-facto after nobody dared oppose him.

Yawn.

If it hadn’t been for Annette Taddeo‘s win last month over former State Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz in the Senate 40 race, this would be the most boring local election year ever.

Not that I don’t like Porter or Baby X or even Sen. Gelber (notice I didn’t include Carlitos because Ladra does, indeed, dislike the Hialeah hoodlum). Those three are all fine gentlemen with good track records, it seems, so far anyway. But I miss the process by which ellos se destacan. I want them to lay out their ideas and defend their positions and plans. You should too.

This just handing them over the seat seems like a bad idea.

It’s also a terrible reflection of our community that we didn’t have more qualified people vying for these important posts.


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Miami City Commission candidate Ralph Rosado sounds like an incumbent on the most recent mailer that arrived in some Miami voters’ homes Wednesday.

“Let’s talk about crime and it’s prevention,” it says on the front.

“I have worked to guarantee that our police department can count on the sufficient number of police officers to keep us protected and also prevent crimes before they are committed. That is why I spearheaded an initiative to hire 100 new officers,” it says on the back.

That may come as a surprise to the mayor and city commissioners.

“It’s a lie,” said Mayor Tomas Regalado.

“I know he is running and he wants to be elected but you can’t get into elected office through fraud. That’s an injustice to the voters,” Regalado said. “It’s also an insult to the administration and the commission who worked hard and had to make many hard decisions to get to this point,” the mayor told Ladra, adding that they are at more than 180 additional officers in the past two years.

Of course, Regalado is supporting another candidate in the District 4 race: Manolo Reyes, an economics teacher who used to work in the city’s and the Miami-Dade School Board’s budget offices. There are a couple of other candidates who have showed an intention to run for the seat vacated by Commissioner Francis Suarez‘s mayoral bid, but, so far anyway, this is really a contest between Rosado and Reyes, who is a perennial candidate — but at least he doesn’t jump from seat to seat (Rosado also ran for state rep) and exaggerate his laurels.

Last summer’s graduating Miami Police cadets

Because Rosado’s role in the police staffing increase was basically going to a budget hearing a couple of Septembers ago and urging the commission to hire more police officers. That’s it. He was the first of two speakers on that item. The second was pollster and radio show host (until last week) Fernand Amandi, whose home had been burglarized. It’s a  little disingenuous then to send a mailer where he basically takes credit — “spearheading” the initiative and all.

“I am not a commissioner and I have no power over the police department. But heck yeah, I was there for 11 hours and I met with people for days prior and I did the research,” Rosado told Ladra.

“Can I say only because I spoke did it happen? I can’t say that,” he admitted. “But if nobody brought it up, maybe it wouldn’t have happened.”

Really? Well then, I say don’t run for office. Just go to every meeting and speak on the issues we need action on. Because, most likely, the new hires would have happened anyway. The shortage had reached a boiling point. And Amandi spoke, too. Maybe it was his words that moved Commissioner Marc Sarnoff to make the motion.

In his email, Rosado also said that he “implemented a program that uses crime data with the goal of trying to prevent crimes before they happen and concentrate police work in the most dangerous areas. We can make our neighborhoods safer and I, as your future City Commissioner, will work harder than anyone to guarantee that we do.”

And that’s at least a little more truthful. But not entirely.

What he did was bring the FIT Zone program used in East Palo Alto, California, to the attention of the city commission, complete with a Power Point presentation on July 14 last year. The program takes data from the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system put in place in 2014 and finds public spaces near hot spots — a time and area where there is consistently a flurry of firearm activity — to then program fitness activities, targetting at risk kids and the people in the surrounding homes. Miami’s pilot program is on Monday nights with a basketball league and other activities at Overtown’s Reeves Park and it’s a huge success, Commissioner Suarez said.

“He did come up with the idea and the results have been incredible,” Suarez said. “He did discover it. He did study it, flying to Palo Alto to see how it worked there. And he convinced me to execute it here.”

So, why didn’t Rosado send a mail piece just on that? Why not be honest and include more details about the lives the program could be changing, which would be more powerful? Oh, wait, I know. Because Reeves Park is not in District 4. So it’s better to be vague. I would imagine that voters in District 4 who get this mailer could logically think the program benefits “our neighborhoods.” It doesn’t. And it won’t anytime soon. According to Commissioner Suarez, the next two hotspots under consideration for an expansion of the program are in Liberty City.

Kudos to Baby X because he represents the whole city and is not provincial. And kudos to Ralph for going out of his way to bring us FIT Zone.

But it doesn’t make it okay to exaggerate or misrepresent his role on campaign materials, which is what Rosado did with the two crime-fighting claims in this mailer. One’s an outright lie and the other is a half-truth.


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It has to be the biggest host committee in formation list that Ladra has ever seen and far too many people to name them all here.

But among the most notable “young professionals” hosting a fundraiser Thursday night for Commissioner Francis Suarez‘s bid for Miami mayor are Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Coral Gables Commissioners Vince Lago, Mike Mena and Frank Quesada (careful with the Sunshine Law, boys), Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid, Hialeah Councilman Paul Hernandez, Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg, Aventura Commissioner Denise Landman, Coral Springs Vice Mayor Dan Daley, State Reps. Nick Duran and Jose Felix Diaz, former State Rep. Marcelo Llorente and even Jebby Bush. Yes, the son of our former guv who ran recently for POTUS. Him. Former State Rep. Erik Fresen was on an earlier version of the host committee, before he pleaded guilty earlier this month to “willfully failing to file a tax return” for one of the nine years he skipped. He has since been conspicuously removed from the list.

There’s also a large contingency of Miami-Dade Carlos Gimenez people, starting with the fundraising guru Brian Goldmeier and including his lobbyist son, C.J. Gimenez, and his wife, Tania Cruz, as well as one-time G-man J.C. Flores.

Throw in Democrat operatives like Christian Ulvert and Ben Pollara rubbing elbows with Republican lobbyists like Michael Cantens and onetime House candidate Daniel Diaz Leyva and former House staffers turned campaigners like Javi Correoso and it’s a huge and rather diverse (read: bipartisan) crowd at the event in Wynwood Walls, the hippest place in Miami for young professionals to be.

Read related story: Francis Suarez says definite maybe to Miami mayoral race

“These are the people cutting their teeth to make the city great today and they are the people who will be making the city great tomorrow,” Suarez told Ladra Wednesday. “These are people who often feel ignored, disenfranchised and dismissed.”

Um, did he see the list? I don’t think the sons of mayors and presidential candidates feel disenfranchised too much.

“It’s important to engage these young people,” Francis Miami Mayoral race“The Future” Suarez added. He is 39 years old, which is three years older than his father was when Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez became the first Cuban mayor elected in Miami in 1985. “It’s a generational passing of the baton or turning of the page. The city needs an infusion of youth and enegy and technological know-how. Not every fundraiser has to be a big money event. It is great to incorporate new people.”

The suggested donation for this event is $100, a low ask considering the crowd. But Baby X can afford to low ball. He doesn’t really need the money.

Suarez has raised close to $2.6 million and still has more than $2 million on hand between his campaign account and his political action committee, Miami’s Future. This, despite the fact that he doesn’t really have an opponent. Not yet anyway. Sure, there are three other guys with no name and no money who have filed paperwork that shows they intend to run, but Suarez is not sweating them.

“It’s a minor miracle that I’ve gotten this far without any opposition,” Suarez said. “And it may sound like a cliche but I pray for the best and prepare for the worst. So I’m working very hard, assuming there’s going to be competition.”

The elephant in the room — or not in the room, as it were — is Commissioner Frank Carollo, who is termed out but still hasn’t jumped into the mayoral contest. At least not officially. Political observers think that it becomes less likely with every passing day. But he could surprise everybody. And he is raising money for something. Someone at the Related Companies sent out an email last moth to raise money for Carollo’s re-election campaign until, ooops, a second email made a correction saying it would be for whatever Carollo’s future entails.

In its first month, the brand new PAC that checks were solicited for, United for Good Goverment, raised $107,000, according to the campaign finance report.

Read related story: Beleaguered Francis Suarez drops out of Miami mayoral race

“Frank has to decide what he wants to do,” said Suarez, who abandoned his attempt to run for mayor in 2013 against Mayor Tomas Regalado. after several setbacks by campaign staffers, including two arrests for filling out absentee ballot forms online, a situation that was completely unintentional and that really should have been handled differently by the State Attorney’s Office because nobody was defrauded. “I get along with Frank. We have taken strides not to fall into the same Carollo Suarez dynamic and it’s been positive.”

The other possibility that has been pretty much squashed now is former Miami-Dade School Board Member and county mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado, who is the current Miami mayor’s daughter. While Ladra has been saying for months that she had no interest in running for the city seat, her recent foray into a congressional bid to replace the retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has shut people up — for now anyway.

“If she didn’t have that opportunity, there would be rumors about there still being a possibility,” Suarez acknowledged.

That may free up more “young professionals” who might have been hard-pressed to pick between the two to join host committees.

 


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Ladra hopes everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend and got lots of love and nurturing comfort from our mamas… because it’s another doozy of a week in the 305 political world.

We’ve got soccer and activism 101 and a group of preservationists’ last stand and the mother of all fundraisers — this last one for Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, who still doesn’t even have any real opposition yet in his bid to become the second in his family to be Miami mayor (more on that later). Oh, and the county still wants to give Vizcaya away to be run by a private, non-profit board. You know, because that went so well for the Frost Museum.

If we don’t list your event, sorry. It is probably your own fault. Get me the info on your government and club meetings, campaign fundraisers and political powwows and it will be included. Trust me. Nobody gets a no. The easy way is to send an email to edevalle@gmail.com.

And now, with no further ado, I bring you the Cortadito calendar for the current week.

TUESDAY — May 16

8:30 a.m. — The Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club could rename itself the Miami Beach Candidate Speaker’s Bureau since every single one of its speakers has been a candidate for commission (Group 2) or the mayoral seat. Bless their little collective activists soul. Someone had to do it! This week’s guest speaker is Adrian Gonzalez, the owner of David’s Cafe, who is running for commission in Group 3. Former Mayor Matti Bower, who is still so far not running for anything, serves as moderator at the morning meetings, which are at Puerto Sagua Restaurant, 700 Collins Ave. Questions can be submitted in advance via Facebook.

9:30 a.m. — The privatization of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens continues as Miami-Dade Commissioners meet again Tuesday to discuss transitioning the powers and responsibilities of the historic and county-owned facility from the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Trust to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Inc, which will allow them to grant contracts and manage the considerable budget of county tax dollars with less public oversight. The Carrie Meek Foundation’s lease agreement at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport will also be discussed. Commissioners could also approve an $8 million budget for the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency and $1.6 million for the South Miami Community Redevelopment Agency. They will also consider increasing an agreement with Nova Consulting from a total of $8 million in value to a total of $25 million in value for management of our water and sewer pump system. Oh, and Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who lost her beloved husband last week, wants to increase the number of local people a company must have in its employ to qualify for local preference in procurement. They will also spend a lot of money, again. This includes $22.5 million for the lease or purchase of vehicles, $118.7 million for contract employees for different departments ($30 mil just for Elections) and $3.6 million for enterprise construction project management software. Does that mean the county won’t need individual construction project managers at $200 an hour like Mayor Carlos Gimenez‘s BFF Ralph Garcia Toledo? Or is this to make his job easier? If you want to speak on any item on the agenda, the meeting is in commission chambers on the second floor at County Hall, 111 NW First Street.

WEDNESDAY — May 17

6 p.m. — Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wanted to put the sale of the last parcel needed by David Beckham for his soccer stadium to the commission Tuesday. But Commissioner Audrey Edmonson wanted to have a town hall with the residents who live adjacent to the properties first. That will take place Wednesday evening at the YWCA, 351 NW 5th St., where residents of Overtown and Spring Gardens are invited to have a conversation with representatives from Miami Beckham United about the potential sale of the property and the future of the site. Its the same place where residents voiced their concern at the first soccer stadium town hall meeting in 2015. MBU already has six acres of property in Overtown acquired. The county parcel is the last piece needed.

6:30-9 p.m. — SAVE, formerly SAVE Dade, wants more people engaged in local and national politics. To that end, they are hosting a townhall Wednesday evening titled Effective Activism for Social Change. And they should know. SAVE has been instrumental in passing several municipal ordinances that give same-sex partners the same benefits of any spouse and was also instrumental in the county’s passage of protection for transgender individuals (fighting ugly bathroom police laws at the state simultaneously). The group has had some notable successes, even if they sometimes support the wrong candidates. This townhall is moderated/hosted by WPLG Local 10’s political reporter, Michael Putney. It is at SAVE headquarters, 1951 NW 7th Avenue, sixth floor.

7 p.m. — The Palmetto Bay Council Committee as a Whole will meet Wednesday to discuss a number of issues important to the village community — from an analysis of traffic in the urban downtown district to regulations for special events to evaluation forms for the manager and assistant manager to the noise coming from Thelatta Estate to speed limits around village parks to the upcoming budget process. Mayor Eugene Flinn wants to talk about the FPL property and parking lot regulations. And as if that wasn’t enough, they are also going to discuss the procurement process, light rail “issues,” the launch of the village website and new mobility fees for developers. This looks like a catch all meeting to Ladra. So many important things going on in Palmetto Bay, we may just have to start paying attention. The meeting should last a few hours, at Village Hall, 9705 E. Hibiscus St.

THURSDAY — May 18

2 p.m. — The Transportation Planning Organization (the old MPO) will meet to discuss four proposed amendments to the Long Range Transportation Plan that affect the 112 Expressway, the Gratigny Expressway and the new two-lane road along NW 7th Street under State Roade 826 and the widening of 97th Avenue. Commissioner Dennis Moss wants the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority to put accent lighting on the State Roade 874 ramp connector bridge to SW 128th Street. Commissioner Javier Souto wants to ask the Florida Turnpike to “refrain from proceeding” with the widening project at Coral Way, which would affect the brdige spanning from Southwest 115th to 118th avenues until there is a public meeting with area residents and a traffic study. The meeting is in Miami-Dade Commission Chambers at County Hall, 111 NW First St.

6-8 p.m. — That big todo in oh-so-hipster Wynwood for Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez is going to be the social gathering of the month for young politicos. Perhaps the season. It’s got the largest host committee in formation I have ever seen, and Ladra has seen a lot of host committees in formation. Even if you were not invited, we are quite certain that you can get in. Just bring a check. The festivities begin at Goldman Global Arts Gallery, 260 NW 26th St., inside Wynwood Walls. Enter through the gallery entrance between Second and Third avenues.

7-9 p.m. — Billed as the “last chance meeting,” the activists who make up the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition will meet to discuss final efforts to save a swath of protected land that is the only known home to an endangered and indiginous beetle. This last piece of pine rockland — less than 2% of which exists today — is slated to become a Walmart parking lot. Believe it. Or help stop it. The tree huggers meet at 7 p.m. at the Tropical Audobon Society, 5530 Sunset Drive.

FRIDAY — May 19

6:30-8:30 p.m. Brad Bonessi and J. R. Bult will host a fundraiser for Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, who is runnning for the congressional seat vacated by a retiring Ileana Ros Lehtinen, at the St. Tropez Condominium Friday evening, 7330 Ocean Drive. This is that same block in North Beach that was going to have some huge enormouse highrise until Rosen Gonzalez and other preservationists opposed the developer-financed voter referendum to increase zoning density and height. Ladra expects the campaign to strike it rich.

SATURDAY — May 20

6:30 -8 a.m. — Rise early if you want to run in the Village of El Portal’s 9th annual Armed Forces Day 5K Walk/Run Saturday. Same day registration is from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. and the program starts at 8. The race/walk starts in front of Village Hall, 500 NE 87th St., and winds through the small municipality.


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Both Zoraida Barreiro and Joe Carollo filed their first campaign finance reportelection2017 in their race for the same city of Miami commission seat and they must be a tad disappointed. 

Sure, $14,000 (Barreiro) and $10,000 (Carollo) is respectable — for any novice, first-time no-name. But Barreiro is wife of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who must not have tapped his donor pool yet (he raised $140,000 last year before he ended up with no opposition). Maybe he’s not 100% on board? And Joe Carollo is the former mayor of Miami, a former city manager of Doral and a buddy of Carlos Gimenez — or at least a member of his 2016 campaign team, at $6,000 a month for a total of $144,000 billed to the mayor’s PAC.

You think he could loan himself more than the $100 he reported earlier this month.

Read related story: Crazy Joe Carollo adds twist to crazy Miami commission race

But both of them did have significant bundling in their reports, as measly as they were. zoraidajoeHalf of Barreiro’s contributions come from companies owned by former School Board Member Demetrio Perez and $3,000 came from Lanzo Construction. Carollo got $3,000 from Robert Patino, $2,500 from the guy who owns Dade Outdoor Advertising and $2,000 from Norman Braman and his wife, which is kind of weird since Braman supported Raquel Regalado against Gimenez.

But these two aren’t the lowest scoring candidates in what is already a clusterbunch race with seven candidates so far, and qualifying isn’t even ’til September. This is the open seat in District 3, being vacated by Commissioner Frank Carollo, Joe’s baby bro, who is termed out and, reportedly, running for mayor, though he hasn’t filed any paperwork yet. The other candidates and their paultry little piggy banks are:

  • Alex Dominguez, with $4,650, has been fundraising for almost two years.
  • Olidia “Lee” Hernandez loaned herself $1,000, but she only just filed on Jan. 27.
  • Alfonso M. Leon has raised $36,978 — a lot of it in $27 and $40 and $100 and $200 checks.
  • Miguel C. Soliman has raised $27,530 — all of it but $1,000 in the first month reported, May.
  • Daniel Suarez, who filed in December, hasn’t raised a dime but just loaned himself $55.

Soliman is the only one with any evidence of bundling, which are multiple donations from the same person — using relatives or different corporations — to maximize impact (and access or investment). He got $6,000 from Luis Garcia, who owns Adonel Concrete and several real estate holding companies.

Read related story: Mr. and Mrs. Sarnoff give up seat to Ken Russell, sans runoff

As has been pointed out before, money is not necessarily a sign of who is going to win the election. Commissioner Ken Russell beat a far better financed Teresa Sarnoff in 2015. But it does tell you who has more ability to get their message out. And if the donations come from residents rather than corporations, it could also indicate voter support.

Of course, it’s early yet. And we still don’t know if there are any PACs involved. Only one is listed on the city’s website. But A Stronger Miami, which filed documents in October, has not raised a dime.

So its doing worse than even any candidate.


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