By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke — who is a candidate to replace more-boring-than-bread-pudding ex-Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez on May 24 — follows the money financing his opponents.
Before even filing his first campaign contribution report, my opponent Julio Robaina boasted April 1 on his Facebook page about raising more than $600,000. So far, the Hialeah mayor and the two other so-called front-runners in the mayor's race — county Commissioner Carlos Gimenez and former state Rep. Marcelo Llorente — have raised a combined $1.2 million.
That kind of money is nothing to brag about. You have to ask: What do the people who provide that cash expect in return?
But the money given directly to these candidates is only part of the game. It's policed, and contributors are limited to $500 each. Then there's the soft money — from political action committees — with no contribution limit. Though not expressly tied to candidates, PACs often do the dirty work.
Consider Common Sense Now, a PAC chaired by Gimenez. It was launched this past November as a way to restore sanity to county government after then-Mayor Carlos Alvarez had stirred things up. The group has collected $277,000, including sizable donations from individuals and corporations that have given to Gimenez's mayoral effort and do business with the county. For instance, real estate developer Jeffrey Berkowitz, who raised $5,500 for Gimenez, gave Common Sense $15,000 this past December. High-end builder Coastal Construction Group forked over $10,000.
Since Alvarez was recalled March 15, the PAC has spent money on consultants who are working on Gimenez's campaign. Among them is Florida International University professor Dario Moreno, who has been paid $22,623.
Then there's the Truth for Our Community, a PAC chaired by Robaina buddy and Hialeah Housing Authority executive director Julio Ponce. It took up the Hialeah pol's efforts against slot machines in Miami-Dade and term limits in Hialeah. It has raised more than $400,000, at least some from people and companies that do business with the county.
And Llorente chairs a PAC too. It's called A New Day in Miami-Dade and had raised $17,000 by March 31.
Who is controlling this race? The same developers, lobbyists, charter school owners, and corporate barons responsible for the collapse of the real estate market and the public school system. Greed, not reform, is driving this special election.
You have to follow the money to know what is really going on.
Question #1 Why does a candidate need 100' of thousands of dollars for a two month campaign?Answer: To pay the media.
Question #2 Why do people, groups and companies give this much money to these clowns?Answer: To get more money in return.
Question #3 Where is this "more money" going to come from?Answer: You!
Question: #4 So the media along with groups and companies are conspiring to take from me?Answer: Yes!
Question #5 What can I do to stop this?Answer: It is simple, look at who raised the big money is clue #1 and look at who the media keeps putting in your face as a candidate.
What they want is to start with three money whores. They have to have three or four in case there are indictments during the race. They will milk these candidates during the first run and then they will milk them again during the run off.
The candidate doesn’t care because he is not using his money, the contributors don’t care because when they give more, it just means they get more. And in every case you will be the one that pays.
This game keeps the honest guy from winning every time, because the public has been trained not to disobey their media moms.
Do not pick the candidate that has been picked for you.
The same thing again. We booted Alvarez because@$^* and know we find the majority of the politicians running are worse than Alvarez, one is a garrotero, the other is part of the problem. My God what we can do!!! Please recall the recall pronto!!!!
I couldn't agree more with you. This is the very reason why I was against the recall...not because I supported or agreed with Alvarez and his mess because I don't, but because recalling him would open the circus for some new fools to ruin the city. Sometimes as voters we have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils. So in the case of the recall, which is lesser- removing Alvarez who we already know how bad his ish stinks or bringing in a new mayor who we're clueless about how bad his ish stinks?
I don't know about the majority but I rather deal with the stinky ish that I'm already familiar with than to go with some new stinky ish that I have no clue about.
must be nice to have this forum if you are running for mayor... not saying I like these sleaze-balls but I'm just saying.
Interesting but not suprising. over and over again politicians sell themselves to the people as the righteous savior who has only the people's interest at hand. Liars liars! These politicians ecspecially in Miami are so discouraging, disgusting even. They have underhaned motives that only serve the few. They don't give a flying fig about Miami and the progress of the people as a whole.
This is a paid political add. ...The dirty race have started. Dade political circus is in full force again. Back and forth same political corrupted are gone to another comeback. Viva Broward !
this article has been showcased on yahoo news for over a week now. Starting to look more like a piece of well placed advertisement selling itself as news...
The entire political system from the lowest municipal level to the highest federal level needs to be changed to remove the power of the special interests and give it to the people where it belongs. Wasn't one of Obama's biggest promises that he was going to remove lobbists from the political system?
Surprised...with a name of Moshie classifying all Jews in the same category. A little angry are we? All the names that have been associated with any of the soft money have Latin names. Maybe we need a lesson in name genealogy.
What is the difference between your racist comment and one that would be said by a member of the Klan? Your head needs to be removed.
I'm a big fan and have supporeted Luther Cambell for many years, but this is no time to point fingers about money or anything else. I would like to know what Luther Campbell would do as mayor of Dade County for the cash strapped Jackson Health Systems?
Luther Campbell may be the best candidate for mayor, I have yet to hear from one better, but isn't it hypocritical to condem others for soft money when getting free space in Miami's contribution to yellow journalism, the much loved New Times. Have they offered equal space to all candidates?
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Matthew, when the Pilgrims came to this country, did they come here legally? Did they not kill many native Americans in their plight? How about the Jews, Italians,Irish, etc.? Get real dude! This is a country built by immigrants of all nationalities. The Italians and Irish had/have their mobs. Who controls the unions? The railroads? Engage your brain before spewing at the mouth.
It's narrow-minded "natural born american citizens" like this asshole that makes this wonderful country hated everywhere around the world. Thankfully he represents a minor fraction of the american people, that otherwise is generous, giving, and acknowledge this nation was brought to be by immigrants from all over the world. I bet 90% of the people in this country can trace their roots back to the other side of the ocean.
Alberto you are 100 percent right about Matthew Earl. He's a racist gringo REDNECK piece of CACA. People like him are the reasons why Latinos refuse to want anything to do with racist, ignorant Amerikanskis like him. I was born in The Bronx, and in Union City,New Jersey and dealt with schmucks like him!!
The US Constitution specifically forbids ex post facto laws. So if they did abolish wet foot/dry foot, it couldn't apply to anybody that is already a legal immigrant.
There is no real ethnic harmony or toleration in South Florida nor has there ever been anytime in the past. In fact, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of racial or ethnic harmony anywhere in the US no matter where you look, in the metropolitan areas in the North, Midwest, West, Southwest or the whole South. Whites and non-whites just don't seem to get along ever. It's beginning to look like the great american social experiment is one big failure and it doesn't help that people like Uncle Luke and a few faceless bigots and cowards have nothing better to do with their lives than spew racial and ethnic hatred against Cubans, and by extension against other spanish-speaking people who also in South Florida. The principal issue with these losers seems to be that Cubans are simply either too racially white for their preconceived notions, too economically vibrant or too politically powerful.
We plead guilty on all three counts. Try to get over it.
You forgot to mention that the Cubans are also the main players that make S Florida the Medicare/Medicaid fraud capital of the country.
"The principal issue with these losers seems to be that Cubans are simply either too racially white for their preconceived notions, too economically vibrant or too politically powerful"
I am very glad you plead guilty on all three counts Queenie, why don't you plead guilty to the next three:
1) Racial alienation and/or degredation of any hispanic culture that is not similar to yourselves or your language dialect
2) Continued buying of elections and rotation of monies to keep the same people in public office as well as financial backup for their family members who run for public office
3) Hypocrisy in advocating for the freedom of your people to come to this country, yet your elected Cuban-American officials endeavor to pass legislature to prohibit other latin american, south american, and caribbean immigrants from coming or staying here.
By the way, I am over it. And I hope you will contact me with any questions or concerns.
Your points are obviously generalizing all Cubans as a whole. FYI I know many Cubans including myself who didnt vote republican just because... In fact there were many Cubans who voted for Obama. I can care less abt politics in general to be honest with you but I also know these guys in Hialeah are scumbags as well in Miami-Dade.As a Cuban I dont alienate other Hispanic cultures thats ridiculous, where do you get this information? We are all mixed with each other plus i have Dominican cousins as well as from Panama and friends from all over.. Check again because what your stating goes for practically all cultures here so imo its too generalized.
Then do your part in helping to expose the curruption and get the message out to these career politicians what your issues are, the issues that you feel are priority for voters such as yourself. Lastly, since they claim to uphold the dignity of their home country of Cuba, I feel that you, as a young Cuban American, should challenge them all on what they are doing to help the situation of poverty and grief that the people there have to endure every day. Challenge them, and ask them if it crosses their mind while they drive in their BMW's to work every day
Fair enough, I too dont understand why this occurs but I can assure you its mostly the older generation who vote Rep. regardless whos in office that I do agree sucks if u ask me but I see the same with Jews and Blacks who vote Dem. in general its the way it goes sometimes. Listen Im not defending the jerks in office here I just dont agree with the Cuban bashing but then again I see the same thing with the Mexicans and blacks too. The fact is we live in a segregated country and racism is more alive today then ever. but as far as the Cubans in office here , heck get rid of them all, to me they are all corrupt. I dont care what nationality they are from.
Robys222: If you are at all in tune about what is going on in the elections here in the County that are going on right now, as well as the measures being taken in Talahassee every day, you would know that my statement is directed toward racists who happen to be Cuban as well as racist Cuban politicians. You may not behave this way, as well as many others may not. However, racism within as well as from your culture does exist, whether you want to accept it or not. You say you could care less about politics in general, yet are very quick in the defense the minute curruption is associated with your majority in the form of FACTS. Also, If you and your peers as voters are so sick of the curruption, why do you continue to let these people get elected? Actions speak louder than words, I suggest you start...
these so called imigrants are the rejects of thier country of origin. These are the happless warriors who when they had a chance to fight for thier country and thier freedom, they ran. Can you imagine if we american's ran when any force stood in our way, we overcame the force and moved forward. These losers will run if they are asked to defend america. The upper midwest needs people, I wonder how many of these free loaders would stay when informed they were be relocated to blute.
You are absolutely right about the first thing you said in your comment. South Florida (for the most part) is the only place in this country that still has such a problem with bigotry and racism in the political community and its voters. Its really a shame that Miami-Dade has ethnic voters. Until people down there wake up from their ignorance, nothing is every going to change. I am currently in Tallahassee right now. We have a black mayor and apparently since 2003. The rest of the country has progressed (for the most part) from its past on racism while South FL only seems to be getting worse. Its really a shame of what could have been for Miami. Instead, it is a hole ran by self-serving assholes for the bigots by the bigots.
Hey I'm a black cuban and I can personally attest to the bigotry white cubans have - when they speak in spanish and have no idea I understand every word they say. So please dont come witht that hatred against cubans crap. Like I said I'm a black cuban and I and every other black cuban I know - know the hatred white cubans have against blacks. So be real............
Do they hate you because they are Cuban or do they hate you because you are black or do they hate you maybe because you are in some way loathsome, or is it because you feel insecure in your own mind. I think you are really full of it.
Queenie, I am still waiting for a response to my statement regarding your last comment. Also I would love to know where else you have visited or lived in the United States to support your statement, "In fact, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of racial or ethnic harmony anywhere in the US no matter where you look, in the metropolitan areas in the North, Midwest, West, Southwest or the whole South." I would love for you to educate me on your definition racial discrimination from your and look forward to hearing from you.
WE HAD SOME MANY BAD PEOPLE RUNNING MIAMI VOTE AND STILL STEALING FROM US AND WE THE PEOPLE VOTE FOR THEM. SO L UKE IS RUNNING WHO CARE AT LEAST HE KNOWS WHAT OUT THIER GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE I SAY GO FOR LUKE.
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Puke, you are such a whore. The collapse of the school system? You mean the collapse of the parents of those students who are in failing schools who refuse to follow up on their children. And most of the High-School aged children in the failing schools are black, yes puke, they are black. Is that racism? Is that a soft money whore? Or is that their own responsibility? I know typical Libturd Whores like yourself love the fear-mongering. If you quadrupled the amount of money given to the school system, the failing schools would not change. You would still have the same parents, doing the same thing for their children, NOTHING! So you blame these politicians for the collapse of the school system? It's only collapsed in the districts where the parents care the least. The schools are there, so are the books and the teachers. Even the students are there, what is notably Absent? The parents of these children. Stop chiding the politicians for your own political gain and chide the parents of the children for their children's disappointing grades. The responsibility is their own. If you are gonna portray yourself as your brother's keeper, then be so. 95% of the high school kids in the failing schools cannot read on a 5th grade level. Is that the politician's fault? Or the parents? You would probably blame the teachers, but that would make you an idiot, which of course you are. You see in the NFL and the NBA, men who have college degrees and cannot put together a coherent sentence for a reporter. Stick that in your piss hole, you racist prostitute.
@Theo, Your argument may have been credible if you had addressed the campaign banks held by politicians who continue to keep office seats within their friends and family. Then there's "I know typical Libturd Whores like yourself love the fear-mongering.". Fear? Really? Like the fear in Tallahassee that causes the majority to pass legislature against immigration and women's rights as well as insult and undermine the President of the United States every chance they get? Also am not sure of what level of education you may have but I'm sure even someone like you could tell the difference between a public school in Hialeah versus a public school in Coral Gables. All of these county districts were strategically mapped for certain political as well as financial gain and I suggest you do some research before you challenge that. And then with regard to: "You see in the NFL and the NBA, men who have college degrees and cannot put together a coherent sentence for a reporter. Stick that in your piss hole, you racist prostitute". From your reference to Luke as "Puke", I had already gathered that your argument would be an angry rant and an attempt at a factual political statement. I wonder if you, yourself, are capable of putting together a coherent sentence on a blog wihout name degredation and loaded questions as opposed to cohesive factual arguments. Lastly, since NFL and NBA players are recruited for their talent, meaning the money they have made is money they have earned, I do hope you are successful in your endeavors to catch up to them. According to you it won't be hard since they are so ignorant. Please be sure to keep us posted on how you earned your first $100,000.
@Mike3245- Not even sure what to say to such a disgusting statement like that, but will ask you what you hope to accomplish by it. This may be Miami and I am sure you feel you can get away with statements such as this, but realize that you basically are proving yourself as a racist and will be treated as such when people recant to tell you your mother is a whore.