#PoliticalCortadito: Gimenez clan involved in Carollo lawsuit vs strong mayor

Political Cortadito:
Mayor Carlos Gimenez clan involved in Joe Carollo lawsuit vs strong mayor

By Laura

There’s no mention of them in the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo against the city and Mayor Francis Suarez in an attempt to stop the strong mayor vote, but the county mayor’s family is involved.

While the emergency complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief was filed in Miami-Dade 11th Circuit Court by Jesus Suarez, an attorney with Genovese Joblove and Battista, an email shot out that very night shows who had to be notified as soon as possible: Tania Cruz, the mayor’s daughter-in-law, and Carlos Gimenez, who could be the mayor’s lobbyist son or the mayor himself — but there’s really no difference as evidenced by last month’s elections interference.

The email was sent just before midnight, two minutes and three seconds after Suarez got notice of the filed documents. It had only one word in it: “FILED” All in caps. Like “DONE” or “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.” Like he is reporting to his real boss.
Genovese Joblove and Battista has long been affiliated with Gimenez and once employed his other daughter-in-law, Barby Rodriguez.

Cruz, who is married to the mayor’s lobbyist son, was the attorney of record for the Carollo campaign and represented him, alongside Ben Kuehne, during the challenge to his district residency brought on by Alfie Leon. Is she consulting now, too?

And CJ Gimenez, the lobbyist son that this is probably addressed to, has been with Carollo since the campaign and now beyond, helping him get an extension from Papi as head of the county elections department for the wording on the strong mayor ballot question and, now, helping Carollo challenge the measure in court.

The lawsuit — which also names Miami City Clerk Todd Hannon, Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor (by proxy) Christina White and the political action committee Miamians for an Independent and Accountable Mayor’s Initiative as defendants — argues that the “ambiguous and intentionally misleading” ballot language doesn’t clearly tell voters what the mayor’s compensation will be under the strong mayor change (watch this become the crux of an anti campaign) and other changes that take power away from the commission. It also argues that the petitions themselves are invalid because some of the circulators are not registered Miami-Dade voters, as required by county code.

Interesting  points that seem to have merit. Ladra is not sure she likes the strong mayor idea, either. I mean, look how great it’s been for the county. And the Suarez version is even more powerful and convoluted (more on that later).
But I’m more interested right now in how deeply involved Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is in this fight. And why?

First he abuses his power to intervene in the elections process on behalf of his lobbyist son and Carollo, getting the commissioner a one week extension because Carollo thought he could kill the referendum measure with time. Gimenez didn’t get the extension for Suarez, who had previously sought an extension of a few days but was told he couldn’t have one and wanted to have the ballot language approved at a special city commission meeting Aug. 6. No, he did that for Carollo, who still couldn’t deliver even after Gimenez took over the elections department and deemed himself the elections supervisor.

And now the Gimenez family is behind, er, um, consulted on a lawsuit against the ballot measure.

What lengths will Gimenez go to on this issue? Isn’t it too bad he’s not as passionate about rail?

Some political observers believe it’s going to pass anyway, given Miami’s sewn-up vote, and that this presents Gimenez with an opportunity to muddy Suarez while allowing for the strong mayor vote to pass and then using the younger mayor’s inexperience against him in 2021.Is this just an opportunity to muddy Suarez on behalf of Carollo and his son’s career, or is there something more personal at stake? 

Las malas lenguas say Gimenez has long thought about running for Miami mayor after he is termed out at the county in 2020. Is this the tailgate party? But then, wouldn’t he want the strong mayor measure to pass.

It could happen. God help us. At least it is one explanation behind the Gimenez clan involvement in this lawsuit. Have another?


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