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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

JUNE 14, 2013

NO SHAME IN THEIR GAME

If there was any doubt among serious people of just how unprepared Francis Suarez is for prime time, and how devious, underhanded, and tied at the hip Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and Tomas Regalado are, then the 100% orchestrated, leaked to the news media, raid on Francis Suarez’s campaign headquarters by a Police Task Force controlled by the State Attorney’s Office should once and for all dispel that silliness.


This is a classic case of the Miami-Dade State Attorney putting her thumb on the scale in an effort to help her pal Tomas Regalado. 


If you think that was happened yesterday was an aboveboard, straight forward attempt to deal with Absentee Ballot fraud, then think again kiddies. The only time that the Queen of Swag has been known to move this fast is when somebody at the bar offers her a free drink.


Here are just a couple examples of how Fernandez-Rundle really behaves when it comes to handling political cases.


EXAMPLE ONE


Katherine Fernandez-Rundle has been sitting on the case dealing with Miami City Commissioner Willie Gort receiving tens of thousands of dollars in free bus bench advertising  from Fuel Advertising during his last campaign for at least 6 months, if not closer to 9 months. The case is simple and straightforward and all of the “evidence” including depositions were collected months ago. Why won’t she act and charge Willie for this flagrant example of accepting these unreported contributions from a company with a huge interest in getting favorable treatment from the city through the daughter of Willie’s “special friend,” who just happens to control the permits for all  the outdoor advertising in the City? 


EXAMPLE TWO


Her office sat on the campaign finance report investigation of Tomas and Raquel Regalado for almost a year, right up until the statute of limitations was scheduled to run out, and then her hand-picked Assistant State Attorney handling the case actually let the time run out so that Regalado and his daughter could skate with just an Ethics Commission reprimand and pay a fine, instead of being arrested and removed from office.


EXAMPLE THREE


The David Rivera case, where after a 10 month investigation Fernandez-Rundle’s office prepared a 52 count indictment that was never acted on, and then waited another 8 months to close the case claiming that they didn’t have enough time to prosecute because the statute of limitations had run out. The head of the FDLE was so pissed after she decided not to prosecute Rivera, that Fernandez-Rundle refused to answer any of his phone calls because he was hot enough to fuck over her behavior - I have the emails.


EXAMPLE FOUR


The refusal to charge Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff with assault in the Reid Welch case even though there were eye witnesses who gave statements that it was Sarnoff who ran across the street and tackled Welch.


There are more examples, but you get the drift, right? 


Over the years Katherine Fernandez-Rundle has become a huge political whore who keeps spreading her legs wider and wider to accommodate the growing number of crooked, sleazy politicians she protects as part of her Family and friends Plan.


When it comes to Absentee Ballots, Fernandez-Rundle’s behavior has been absolutely shameless. The principal reason that Miami-Dade County has become the center of Absentee Ballot Fraud scandals has been her refusal to actually go after real cases of fraud, especially in cases where her own “campaign consultants” were involved, or where members of her Family and Friends Plan might have been involved.


Yet, in a case where the law might have been broken but where the evidence so far does not support a claim that fraud was committed by anyone attempting to misrepresent themselves in an effort to get their hands on Absentee Ballots, she managed in the course approximately 2 weeks  after being notified, secured the necessary subpoenas and search warrants and sent a Police Task Force after Suarez’s “Operations Manager,” who no doubt will end up taking a fall for his cluelessness.


There are those who will argue that Fernandez-Rundle, better late than never, has finally decided to butch up and get tough.  I would certainly agree that the time has long passed for her to actually act like someone who gives a fuck about Absentee Ballot Fraud.


But this is Miami, Bitches, and there is no rational reason to believe in coincidences or in the possibility that random chance caused Fernandez-Rundle to go after her pal Tomas’s challenger at this point just because she got a backbone injection.


I suspect that Regalado had become unnerved by Suarez’s recent efforts - if nothing else Suarez has demonstrated that Regalado is too old to put in the kind of physical campaigning that a close race calls for - and there’s certainly the possibility that Regalado’s internal polling showed this, which in turn may have prompted him to go looking for some help from his pal Kathy.


You have to remember that Michelle Spence-Jones lawsuit against Regalado and Fernandez-Rundle is predicated on her claim that they conspired in a not too dissimilar kind of scheme where Regalado was alleged to be looking for a way to get Miss “Date-Rape” away from City Hall.


Having said that, the fact remains that as questionable as this situation appears to be a real and honest effort to do something about Absentee Ballot Fraud, it does reveal a serious and perhaps fatal flaw in Suarez’s plan of making his  a campaign about “The Future,” and about a new generation taking over the administration of the City.


IS MIAMI READY FOR A METROSEXUAL MAYOR WHOSE ALL STYLE AND NO SUBSTANCE


Now, I want to be very clear: I think that Tomas Regalado, Johnny Martinez, Luis Cabrera, Angel Zayon, Alice Bravo, Henry Torre, Vanessa Acosta, “HotLips” Pacheco and everyone else who got a job in the City of Miami as a result of being a part of the Regalado machine should be frog marched out of City Hall and the MRC building, and chased down the street by people welding pitch forks.


Putting aside all of the dirty deals and low level corruption that has occurred within the city during Regalado’s first term, the level of institutional dismantling that has occurred to the bureaucratic infrastructure of City of Miami will take years to repair - if it gets repaired at all.


The Regalado administration has through planning and incompetence - the Ying and Yang of institutional corruption - managed to do away with some very significant levels of institutional memory and oversight that now threatens to have significant impact and repercussions on city departments such as building, planning and zoning, facilities management, capital improvements, information technology and finance.


Millions and millions of dollars have been pissed away, wasted and/or siphoned off by people and companies smarter than the employees in the city who are supposed to be watching over and protecting the taxpayers money, and that has all been a prelude as to what will happen in a 2nd Regalado administration.


The big problem is that Francis Suarez, contrary to his campaign claims about his being a harbinger of a future where a whole new generation of people will take over the administration of the city, is just another in a long line of pretty faced, empty suit political amateurs who has managed to have all this blow up in his face as the result of the actions of Juan Pablo Baggini, his campaign’s “Operations Director.”


Francis Suarez spent the last three years on the City Commission avoiding making any significant decisions, and all the while, if you believe Carlos Gimenez Jr., one of his childhood friends and the son of another political father, being a sock puppet for lobbyist Steve Marin and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.


Gimenez’s now famous email to a local blogger where he detailed Suarez’s behavior in the awarding of the Red Light Camera contract to Gimenez’s client does not paint a picture of a serious reformer or of a man committed to bringing about change, but of being just another compromised politician all too willing to do what he’s told to do.


And that is but one of Suarez’s problems.  Among his other problems is that he’s taken far to much really big money through his electioneering committee “THE FUTURE IS NOW,” from developers, lawyers and schemers who obviously believe that he is even more pliable and capable of being manipulated than Regalado - and that’s saying a whole lot.


Suarez’s biggest problem by far however - as evidenced by what has just happened - is that he is supremely stupid and little more than a rank political amateur - regardless of his being the son of a former Mayor - undeserving of being the Mayor of a major American city.


He thinks that his pretty boy good looks with his plucked eyebrows and empty platitudes about “The Future,” along with a wheelbarrow full of money to buy campaign signs and TV advertising is all he needs in order to win in a real campaign against an old, and wily veteran who has absolutely no compunction about scheming to have someone like Katherine Fernandez-Rundle rip his guts out, while standing on the sidelines bemoaning Suarez’s misfortune.


Suarez is in a street fight, and instead of showing up with a set of balls and a knife, he’s shown up with a can of hair spray and a pillow. 


When you run against a guy like Regalado, you have to take the election away from him. Guys like Regalado don’t roll over. You have to get in there face to face, and take the job away from him.  To do that you have to be smart, tough and willing to punch him in the mouth at every single opportunity, using his lies, his bad decisions and the actions of his appointees to underscore just what a terrible Mayor he’s been, while making sure that your own team doesn’t stab you in the back by doing something stupid.


There are those who have suggested to me that Suarez must know some real dirt on Regalado because he’s been on the inside as a Commissioner for the last 3 1/2 years.


Chances are that he does, but I believe that everyone on the City Commission and the Mayor operate on the principle of  Mutual Assured Destruction. They all have dirt on each other, and none of them dare to go beyond a certain boundary for fear that the whole house of cards would come tumbling down if they ever really started telling tales about each other.


I believe after my own 3 1/2 years of watching these people from pretty close range that they are all conflicted, and that early on, by hook or by crook they get positioned in a way to accept a favor, or agree to a deal that makes them vulnerable to pressure and a subtle form of blackmail where no one will tell on anyone else for fear of the repercussions.


This incident has shown Suarez now has a big knife stuck in his back, solely as the result of actions by his own “Operations Director,”  and as a result he is pretty much limited to mouthing platitudes like saying he’s done nothing wrong, and that he’s cooperating fully.


The truth is that he got sandbagged and he knows it, and there’s nothing much he can do about it.


When I say that he’s stupid, it’s  because he placed someone with little practical political experience in a supposedly senior position in his campaign and allowed that person to operate without adult supervision, that has now  led to this fiasco.


Just imagine how many Juan Pablo Baggini’s are out there right now expecting Suarez to stick them into senior jobs in his administration if he wins?


He’s got a whole bunch of young folks who think they’re smarter than anyone else because they’re young and never faced a real challenge, all vying to be movers and shakers in the Francis Suarez administration.


I suspect that a bunch of them couldn’t tell the difference between rain and spit, because they’ve never experienced spit.


If Regalado’s team is bad, imagine how much worse a Suarez team of grossly incompetent amateurs would be in running a city like Miami with no professional or institutional knowledge and experience.


What makes it worse, is that Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff has his hand firmly up Suarez’s ass, and has his own agenda that includes a handful of key personnel he wants to insert, that combined with the Suarez team of incompetents would in some ways make the rest of the City of Miami hostage to the wants and desires of the business crowd on Brickell Avenue. 


Next week I will detail one of Sarnoff more blatant schemes to curry favor with the Brickell Avenue crowd that could end up costing the citizens of Miami millions of dollars in future costs that they shouldn’t have to bear by themselves.


Suarez is not the first empty suit to think that he’s the next political savior, and like all empty suits, a large portion of his success to date has been the ability of his followers and supporters to project their own notion of who they think he is, or who they want as a candidate on the blank sheet of paper that is Francis Suarez’s resume.


He has no real resume nor has he amassed any record of accomplishment during the last 3 1/2 years he’s been on the City Commission, and as I have been able to document, he’s managed to do his share of weaseling and lying, not to mention making sure that he’s been on the right side of whatever deals lobbyist Steve Marin clients have required.


Unless something drastically changes, Juan Pablo Baggini and his on-line application for Absentee Ballots will be seen as little more than a fuck-up by a low level campaign operative with a fancy title and no real adult supervision rather than as an act of real Absentee Ballot Fraud.


But that won’t matter, because the real damage to Suarez was accomplished by Fernandez-Rundle siccing her Police Task Force to raid his campaign headquarters, making this a far bigger issue than it deserved to be.


Francis Suarez has no one but himself to blame.  He made Absentee Ballots a big issue so far in his campaign, sending out numerous tweets encouraging and soliciting people to apply for them, and now that effort has probably cost him far more votes than he would have ever gotten from Baggini’s efforts.


IN CONCLUSION


I don’t believe that Tomas Regalado or Francis Suarez deserve to be Mayor of Miami because each of them in their own way represents a long term danger to the taxpayers and the future of the city, so the only solution is for someone, anyone, who is honest, competent and an adult to step forward and throw their hat into the ring.


I know that’s asking a lot, but I believe that if someone were to do that they would be surprised by the number of people in the City of Miami who are so disgusted, fed up and angry about the continued corruption, incompetence and outright chicanery that passes for municipal government that they might be shocked at the response that they’d get.


Is there anyone out there willing to take on this challenge?


It’s Miami, Bitches!

THE QUEEN OF SWAG GIVES REGALADO A REACH AROUND, WHILE SUAREZ’S BEHAVIOR RAISES THE QUESTION OF WHETHER MIAMI IS READY FOR A METROSEXUAL MAYOR WHO SHOWED UP FOR A KNIFE FIGHT WITH A CAN OF HAIR SPRAY AND A PILLOW.

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