|Sometimes you have to stand for something bigger than a paycheck. How does it feel to align yourself with the Koch brothers Brian - helping them?|
With Gimenez, it was tough at the beginning for Brian,” (Brian) May says. “By the time Gimenez made the runoff, Brian had refined his approach, using a softer touch with donors.”
Goldmeier continued dialing for dollars immediately after Gimenez beat Robaina in the June 2011 run-off. The mayor had a short window to amass another war chest before the next election in August 2012. Common Sense Now collected close to $2 million in a one-year span, mostly due to Goldmeier’s relentless soliciting of campaign donations from people doing business at County Hall.
For his efforts, Gimenez’s political action committee paid Goldmeier’s firm, BYG Strategies, $220,076 in consulting fees, plus a $20,000 bonus. In addition, Goldmeier got another $44,919 from Gimenez’s re-election campaign.
One lobbyist, who asked to remain anonymous, says he disliked Goldmeier from the moment he met him. “I promised Gimenez I would raise a few bucks for him,” the lobbyist says. “That led to Brian calling me every half-hour. The guy’s a jerk, but he is effective.”
Goldmeier has parlayed Gimenez’s victories into more fundraising jobs. Building for Tomorrow, a political action committee organized to promote a successful $1.2 billion bond issue for Miami-Dade Public Schools in 2012, paid BYG $74,507.
During the same election cycle, he pocketed $9,000 in fees from another political action committee that pushed a referendum to expand the Key Biscayne Tennis Center. Goldmeier made $154,046 in fees raising money for last year’s Jackson Memorial Hospital campaign for an extra half penny sales tax. The Miami Dolphins also retained him, doling out $9,000 in consulting fees for a referendum that never happened because the Legislature rejected owner Stephen Ross’ attempt to put public financing of Sun Life Stadium improvements on the ballot.
RACKING UP CONSULTING FEES
Today, Goldmeier is working the phones on behalf of the re-election campaigns of incumbent Miami-Dade county commissioners, Lynda Bell, Jean Monestime and Jose “Pepe” Diaz. So far, Diaz is running unopposed.
Commissioners’ campaign finance reports show that Goldmeier’s firm to date has racked up $43,451 in consulting fees. Political action committees supporting the commissioners have paid BYG another $52,360. He’s mainly been tasked with corralling prominent donors for events featuring Gimenez and politically connected hosts.
For instance, Goldmeier set up an April 2013 fundraiser for Bell hosted by the mayor at the house of Rafael and Vicky Garcia-Toledo. Rafael Garcia-Toledo was Gimenez’s campaign finance chairman and chauffeured the mayor to events during the 2011 special election and the 2012 re-election campaigns. Garcia-Toledo’s wife is a high-powered lobbyist whose clients include Genting Group, the Malaysian casino giant and owner of the old Miami Herald headquarters.
The host committee included some prominent Democrats, such as attorney Alex Heckler, who has raised tens of thousands for the Clintons, and Freddie Balsera, a political consultant who is President Obama’s main pitchman to Hispanics in Florida. Interestingly, Bell is one of the most conservative Republicans on the county commission.