Haitian President Michel Martelly Endorses Dr. Rudy Moise, Splits Congressional Race
Dr. Rudy Moise is as colorful a character as you'll ever find in a congressional race. The millionaire physician has bankrolled B-movies to cast himself as the star and was accused of inserting his face into a memorial statue of Haitian soldiers that he'd paid for. There's also a very real chance he could fight his way to Washington -- especially now that the president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, has jumped into the fray and urged Haitian-Americans to support Moise over incumbent Rep. Frederica Wilson.
"It is very important for Haiti to stand behind Rudy Moise," Martelly told a Miami Kreyol-language radio show, according to the Miami Herald. "When I say Haiti, Haitians in Haiti; Haitians in the diaspora."
Wilson lashed out against Martelly this morning, accusing him of trying to ethnically divide her district before the August primary that will decide the race.
"I am constantly advocating for Haiti in Congress and all across the nation," Wilson tells the Herald. "This is what the Haitian people need their president to do as well -- not for him to be meddling in United States congressional elections."
On one hand, it's not crazy that Martelly would try to push a countryman into U.S. Congress in the heavily Haitian district.
But is it even legal for Martelly, a foreign head of state, to jump so directly into a U.S. congressional race? Martelly went on in the Kreyol interview to say, "I am going to put my friends with him. I am going to put people who do fundraising with him."
As the Herald notes, it's illegal for candidates to take money from foreign heads of state.
But Wilson's district should be even more concerned with the Haitian candidate whom Martelly has decided to back.
In addition to the movie-bankrolling and odd statue deal, Moise once lost a $500,000 Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust loan in a failed Kreyol-language radio station. (Moise told New Times he "was the biggest loser in the deal" that also cost him hundreds of thousands of his personal fortune.)
And let's not forget Moise is the man behind Miami-Dade's worst Auto-Tuned campaign ad.
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