The Straw Buyer notes first, that absentee ballot fraud has been a de factor standard in Miami Dade elections for many years, and second, the speed with which Mayor Carlos Gimenez and State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle distanced themselves from the latest scandal. "In the most recent election, it seemed like the absentee ballots provided the razor thin margins that several of the candidates were able to win their seats with so it's easy to understand why some very powerful people are going to want this whole scandal to go away quietly."
Eye On Miami has been all over the absentee ballot scandal as well. We have noted that the combination of voter suppression and absentee ballot fraud is like a shot of Red Bull and vodka for an entrenched political status quo in Florida that is mostly GOP-organized.
Rundle quickly recused herself and Gimenez denied any relationship with the professional absentee ballot fraudsters.
Now what? According to The Straw Buyer, two odd developments. The state attorney's office now wants back, into the case. Now the kicker: our fellow blogger reports from a source in the police department. "... recently there have been moves made recently to transfer the Major in charge of Public Corruption in the MDPD out of his position and replace him with an old friend and lacky of Mayor Gimenez, a fellow from the Hammocks named Major Hernan Organvidez. Again, this is no way shape or form anything more than an unsubstantiated rumor, but consider for a moment if it was true. Who better to oversee a critical investigation into voter fraud that may affect you and your colleagues than an old friend?"
Some of our commenters on this blog have noted how it is also odd that The Miami Herald has gone cold on the Ana Sol Alliegro disappearance. Alliegro appears to be in the middle of campaign fraud that ties GOP Congressman David Rivera to a Democratic primary candidate running against his nemesis, Joe Garcia.
The Straw Buyer asks, "So is the fix in? I don't know but with the state attorney office delaying Robaina's arraignment (uncle of the former mayor of Hialeah, Julio Robaina) and the possibility of the Mayor's buddy taking over the MDPD public corruption unit, it certainly looks like it!"
We venture an observation: if it is true that Mayor Gimenez is rearranging the investigative capacity of the Miami Dade Police Department with insiders, it is consistent with the behavior of his predecessor, Carlos Alvarez, recalled by voters. Alvarez put one of his pals in charge of a multi-million dollar fund created from fines paid by criminals who violated environmental laws. In this sad chapter, money was squandered to feather the lifestyles of top cops.
The trail on this act of official thievery also went cold, cold, cold once the key actor resigned quietly. The money was never refunded to the public trust. Carlos Alvarez, though, was recalled eventually. So what have we learned?
For one, the loss of public confidence in public institutions is justified. Second, anything is possible in Miami Dade, when it comes to insulating the political and economic status quo. It is a reason that federal law enforcement and prosecutions are the only hope in a county and state that often seems hopeless corrupted.
And oh by the way, where did that money come from that was stolen by the police department? Federal prosecutions ...