Tuesday, August 04, 2015

In Miami with the Balsera, Curbelo, Taddeo controversy, time to reach for the Pepto Bismol ... by gimleteye

Congressional candidate Annette Taddeo, a leader of Miami-Dade Democrats, is running against Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo. Freddy Balsera, a long-time political consultant and lobbyist on the Democratic side has endorsed Curbelo, triggering a spat recorded by both the Miami Herald and Politico.

The kettle is on such a boil, hard to know what is in it.

Balsera notes that his friend and former colleague, Congressman Curbelo, is that rare species of Republican who is moderate on gay and environmental issues; issues like climate change where most Cuban American elected officials are dumb and mute.

The complicating factor, according to Taddeo, is Balsera's prominent role in the Democratic Hispanic presidential camp. Balsera played an important role in fundraising and advising the Obama campaigns and is on the call list for the Florida / Hillary Clinton campaign.

But there is one piece of the argument that accrues mostly to Taddeo's benefit: the relationship between Balsera and his team, including the son of Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Donald Trump. To Politico, Balsera claims that his firm's contact with Trump was severed after the leading Republican presidential campaigner made "disgusting" comments about Mexicans and immigration.

Still, Balsera's firm was on a Trump retainer while the man was on a mission to expand his heavy footprint in Miami. According to Trump's financial reports, his biggest source of personal income last year was the golf course and related facilities at Doral. Until inserting foot-in-mouth, Trump was in process of extracting the management of the Key Biscayne golf course from county hands. He publicly courted Gimenez who has since looked like the candidate who swallowed a canary when Trump's name comes up.

The monthly retainer asked by big lobbyists in Miami-Dade for big corporations can exceed $100,000 per month. That suggests Balsera's firm did earn a lot of money from an opponent of Hillary Clinton, tied to a Republican (Gimenez) who already announced his support for Jeb!

Of course, there is small consolation to Republicans from the controversy. If Trump were to run an independent campaign for president, the result would heavily favor Clinton against any of the GOP candidates. Whatever happens, Trump could profit which may be the whole point of his quixotic campaign.

To hear Balsera tell it, the Trump issue is a distraction. Only with Gimenez' son playing a top role in his team, Trump is more than that.

The bottom line: Hillary Clinton better be clear-eyed about what's in Miami's political ajiaco: it wouldn't be the first time intersecting interests of local Democrats and bundlers caused a presidential contender to wake up the day after the election with a lifetime's worth of headache.


Anonymous said...

Silly pettiness all around. Maybe 20 people total give a rat's ass about this drama.

Makes absolutely no difference in scheme of things.

Raul Martinez, Freddy Balsera, "Junior" (Gimenez Jr), Annette Tadeo all fighting over what radio station to play in their clown car.

For the record, I'm a Democratic donor/activist and I can assure everyone that absolutely no one in D.C. cares about this at all. The Herald even quoted someone at the DCCC as saying they never even heard of some of these people.

Anonymous said...

I would like someone to identify one single $100,000/month lobbying contract in all of Miami-Dade. How about all of Florida? Maybe for the planned Unicorn Museum in Matheson Hammock Park. But this is not reality.

Trump is a notorious dead beat. You work for him, your probability of getting stiffed is extremely high.

My best guess is he was in the $5,000-$10,000/month range with Balsera and the Junior G Man (the same firm that also had Jeff Garcia on its payroll). Trump probably made some vague promise of a "bonus" if they delivered the golf course and some fat govt subsidies for his beauty pageant.

Because bonus payments are illegal, they can't put this in writing. Hence, they never would get this money. Sure looks like Balsera/Lil G Man got a lot more than they bargained for with Trump.

Anonymous said...

There is no honor among thieves. These politicians and lobbyists have no loyalty except to the $$$. Although, I like Annette Taddeo very much and think she will be an honest broker of the voters' interests. Curbelo is an idiot, and won only because Dems stayed home in droves for the midterms. Oh well, he will get re-elected if Hillary is the candidate. Dems will stay home in droves in 2016.