Joe Martinez email previews negative commission campaign

Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez may have learned something from his last Joe Martineztwo campaigns: how to go negative.

Martinez refused to attack Carlos Gimenez, who he was running for mayor against, with the absentee ballot fraud committed by the Gimenez campaign in 2012. He refused to go negative against any of his primary Republican opponents in his congressional bid in 2014.

But it looks like Martinez got over his distaste for the political attack just in time for this commission race.  His first emailed “press release” — titled “Are The Residents of District 11 Really Being Represented?” — looks like a preview of the campaign, which will predictably hit Zapata on his alleged mistake he made when he billed the county for his Harvard education (he later reimbursed the costs) and on rumors that he wants to incorporate West Kendall.

Read related story: Joe Martinez mulls county challenge to Juan Zapata

And he uses Zap’s middle name like an admonishing parent.

County Commissioner Juan Carlos Zapata sure joezaplikes to talk a lot about serving his district, but if you look closely at his attendance record to his commission and committee meetings, you have to question his commitment to the job he was elected to do,” the email says.

It goes on to report that Zap has been late (what? no Cuban time allowance for the Colombian?) or absent to 40% of the county commission meetings and 50% of the Metropolitan Services committee meetings since January of 2015.

“Imagine showing up to work at all or on time only 50% to 59% of the time, would you still have your job,” the email asks, then goes into the Harvard controversy.

“What could Commissioner Zapata be doing that’s kept him away from so many meetings? Other than trying to get taxpayers to pick up the tab on his studies at Harvard the truth is not much, which is similar to his less than stellar career as a State Representative for eight years.  What he has been pushing hard for is incorporating an area of Kendall as the City of West End, which will ultimately raise taxes for the residents of that area. It more than likely will also create another political position for Zapata to jump to.

When hard working residents deposit their vote and confidence in a person to represent them as their commissioner, the last thing a commissioner should do is raise their taxes and barely show up for work. The last four years have not been good to District 11 because we have had a disconnected and unresponsive commissioner.

Martinez told Ladra weeks ago that he decided to run for his old seat because constituents cannot get access to Zapata and are frustrated with the commissioner’s efforts to brand the district as the West End. Another candidate, Felix Lorenzo, told us months ago he was running because he was against incorporation and felt that Zapata was going in that direction.

But the Martinez email is the first salvo in this race, which we can now expect to get ugly.

Zapata didn’t return a call for comment but Martinez said, in a text message, that everything in the email was true.

“A public attendance record is negative?” He asked it like a question.

Sure, Chairman Joe. Just ask Marco Rubio.