The Money Trail
Betancourt has accused Diaz-Balart of being an "enabler of corporate greed." Greedy or not, a phalanx of corporate executives, industry associations, and Republican political action committees enabled Diaz-Balart to raise almost a million dollars, about seven times as much as Betancourt. As of press time Diaz-Balart's biggest financers were:
National Republican Congressional Committee, $17,309. The NRCC sent this donation two weeks ago.
Americans for a Republican Majority, $10,000. This PAC is operated by Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and is the top GOP contributor to U.S. House candidates.
National Beer Wholesalers Association, $10,500. An important source of industry money that DeLay and other GOP leaders channel to candidates.
Keep Our Majority PAC, $10,000. Operated by House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, $4500. The creation of Deputy Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and a top source of money for GOP congressional candidates.
Together for Our Political Majority, $5000. Managed by Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY).
American Dream Political Action Committee, $1000: targets Republican Hispanics and is led by U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.), a George W. Bush ally.
Texans for Henry Bonilla, $1000.
Association of Trial Lawyers of America, $10,000.
American Medical Association, $5000.
Diaz-Balart also got checks from Miami-Dade's fabled political lobbyists, including Rodney Barreto, Herman Echevarria, Julio Rebull, Dusty Melton, Ron Book, and Bob Levy. Among the most generous local donors are: Eagle Brands CEO Carlos de la Cruz and family, $10,000; Flo-Sun and the Fanjul family, $11,750; Southern Wine and Spirits, $5000; the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, $5750. Out-of-state corporate contributors include Coca-Cola, Coors, Exxon, and R.J. Reynolds.
The anti-embargo issue did help Betancourt raise some money, including $1000 from the Delahunt for Congress Committee. Along with Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.) led the latest bipartisan charge against the embargo and travel ban. In July the House approved 251 to 177 a measure to permit Cuban Americans to send money to relatives in Cuba without restrictions. (It is pending in the Senate.) Remittances are currently restricted to $100 per month.After her primary win, Betancourt received $5000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also received money from California: $6000 from the Hispanic Unity PAC of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and $5000 from the Building Our Leadership Diversity PAC of Rep. Joe Baca (both D-Calif.). Other national contributors: New York Rep. Charles Rangel's National Leadership PAC, $5000.
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, $5000.
Communication Workers of America, $3500.
21st Century Democrats, $1200.
The American Chiropractic Association, $1500.
Betancourt picked up checks from her local base, a loose alliance of Anglos, Cuban Americans, and other Latinos. Among them are core members of the anti-embargo Cuban Committee for Democracy, including Silvia Wilhelm and Bay of Pigs veteran Alfredo Duran, who gave $500 and $1000 respectively. Others are: Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.), $5000 (via the Florida Leadership PAC); the law firm of De la O and Marko, $3500; Caribe Homes, whose president, Charlie Martinez, is president of the Latin Builders Association, $2000; Wometco Enterprises CEO Arthur Hertz, $1000; Antonio Prado, a Republican and president of the Hamilton Group, $1000; Janet Reno, $500; the Colombian American Democratic Council, $350.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.