Big Bucks on a Losing Cause

Yesterday Banana Republican filled you in on the folks who made a buck ensuring Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, as well as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, held onto their congressional seats. Today we look at the people who made a chunk of change on the failed campaigns of Democratic losers Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez, and Annette Taddeo. The following information is based on campaign financial reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Let's begin with Martinez's spending spree on Spanish-language media. Univision radio and the local TV station Channel 23 made $71,377 off advertising paid for by the campaign of the former Hialeah mayor. Martinez also dropped $28,644 and $10,693 on America TeVe and Mega TV, respectively.

Then there's the $17,016 he spent on consulting services provided by Balsera Communications, a political public relations firm owned by Alfred Balsera, a former aide to ex-Miami-Dade mayor and onetime Martinez rival Alex Penelas.

Joe Garcia's campaign manager, Augusto Granados, made a nice chunk of change. The Miami Beach-based political consultant was paid $48,926 for running Garcia's campaign. Another top earner was Miami resident Adam Conderman, who collected $31,976 for his fundraising efforts on behalf of Garcia.

The former chief of the Cuban American National Foundation wasn't the only Democratic challenger paying commissions for fundraising. Taddeo's top earner was Adam Wilczewski, the campaign's finance director, who received $12,310.

Banana Republican will reveal tomorrow how the Republicans and Democrats helped keep South Florida's hospitality industry in business with the money they spent on hotels and restaurants to entertain donors and supporters.

On Monday, Miami's favorite Third-World secret agent looks at who made money working for Barack Obama and John McCain. So keep it locked on Banana Republican.

-- Francisco Alvarado

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