Norman Braman Makes It Rain in Effort to Oust Carlos Alvarez

As the first week of early voting in the recall election of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas winds down, we decided to take a peek at the latest campaign finance reports filed with the elections department. As expected, billionaire auto magnate Norman Braman dropped some serious coin, $300,000 to be exact, to get the vote out. His new political action committee Yes to Recall has bought TV and radio ad time on Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Univision Radio, WPLG, WFOR, WSVN, and Comcast, among others.

Braman's other PAC, People Who Want Honest Government, collected another $258,000, bringing its total contributions to $718,000. The committee has spent most of its funds on DRC Consulting and G&R Strategies to produce mailers and conduct telephone banking.

Citizens for Truth, Alvarez's recall PAC, received a $46,000 infusion that went to pay for a bunch of campaign workers. Although it appears no amount of campaign cash will save the mayor, who didn't help his cause with the news that a vaguely named group of transit workers was granted paid leave to work on his recall campaign.

In the effort to remove Seijas, her PAC, Abre Los Brazos, picked up $52,000, which was all used to pay for her legal fees in her unsuccessful lawsuit trying to stop the recall. None of her reports reflects any get-out-of-the vote activity, but that should change with the next filing. The group seeking Seijas's recall, Miami Voice, has not filed a new report either.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.