Political Cortadito: Recall vs Miami’s Joe Carollo gets $100K – and potential candidates

Political Cortadito:

Recall vs Miami’s Joe Carollo gets $100K – and potential candidates

Organizers of the recall of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo already have at least $100,000 to advertise their cause and a contingent of supporters who could become candidates in a replacement election.

Volunteers already collected more than 200 signatures last weekend on the first Saturday, said Juan Cuba, photographed here talking to the first group that fanned out. Cuba filed paperwork for the Take Back Our City political action committee last week. They were armed with petitions and flyers that listed some of the reasons why Carollo is corrupt and needs to go.

But that was before it really caught the attention of some political Papis who can make this happen.

Gaining in popularity by the minute, the recall effort has already attracted former city manager and Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Trust Board Chairman Joe Arriola to spearhead the effort and recruit others. Arriola told Ladra he wrote the first $100K check for the PAC and already talked to former commissioner Bruno Barreiro and his wife Zoraida Barreiro.

They are natural Carollo foes after the attacks he made on Zoraida when she ran in the District 3 race in 2017. She could certainly be interested in running for that seat again if and when the recall is successful. Or would it be Bruno,who resigned from his county seat to run for Congress, but lost the primary to Maria Elvira Salazar?

The Barreiros’ names were all over a strategy memo that was leaked Wednesday to Ladra — and hopefully not to Carollo — listed as people who could be tapped to write op-eds or do radio and TV shows or help in other ways. Others mentioned include a veritable who’s who of Carollo foes: former mayors Manny Diaz and Tomas Regalado — who would not be on the same op-ed, naturally — former Doral Mayor Luigi Boria, who fired Carollo as city manager, and Bill Fuller, the real estate developer who owns Ball and Chain who has been a target of Carollo since he was elected.

Funny enough, the memo also mentions Ladra and Al Crespo as “friendly” bloggers under the “earned media” section (surely this is not what they meant). “Friendly” because we know how batshit crazy and abusive Joe is.

The memo, which seems to be prepared by a newish political operative that looks to be working for the group (or pitching her or his services) gives some budget estimates for the campaign: $20,000 for 3 mailers, $20,000 for billboards and bus bench signs along Carollo’s known drives for “maximum psychological impact,” $25,000 for targeted radio and TV spots, $5,000 for social media, $4,000 for a 25-day, 8-hour a day phone bank, $3,000 for robocalls and $2,500 for yard signs.

Recalls can be expensive. And that’s just for the first round, when 1,580 petitions must be collected within 30 days, and a second round, when 4,740 must be collected in 60 days. Then Carollo can resign (unlikely) or opt for a recall election. If it’s successful, then there is a special election after that to replace him.

And that’s why that memo is important. Because there are some people who might be looking at this as an opportunity to get someone else in office. And you can bet there will be more money spent on the special election — where Ladra fully expects Carollo to run again. Against who? Maybe one of the Barreiros.

But Arriola seems to like Joe Sanchez — who served in that seat for 11 years before he ran for mayor unsuccessfully — for the job. He told Ladra Sanchez had already committed, but the former commissioner — a real police officer as opposed to a wannabe and real poser like 

Carollo — said he wasn’t sure.
“It’s something I would have to consider. I have two more years before I leave the state,” said Sanchez, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper assigned to Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez.
“I have always respected the will of the people to recall their elected officials, especially those who use their power to advance their political agendas and seek vengeance on those who have a difference of opinion,” Sanchez told Ladra. “City government has become a three ring circus and Joe Carollo is the ringmaster. Our government is at a standstill because of the political fighting among some elected officials, while our residents suffer.
“Right now, I don’t plan on running. But as a resident of District 3, I could tell you the people are outraged at the actions of our commissioner.”
Another name that was on the strategy memo was Alfonso “Alfie” Leon, the former aide to former Commissioner Frank Carollo and the District 3 candidate that almost beat Carollo in 2017, coming only 251 votes short.

Even Frank Carollo’s name was on the list. But, while there is no brotherly love there, Frank will never run against his brother while their mother is alive. He may work to help the recall campaign, but behind the scenes.

Leon is a maybe for the recall race. The attorney’s life has changed a lot in the last two years — he has a new baby girl he adores and his career has taken off, putting him in court almost every day — but what has not changed is his desire to serve and he wouldn’t rule out a rematch.

“I would love to see the neighborhood that my parents came to live when they left Cuba, I would love for it to be represented by someone who cares,” Leon said, adding that a week doesn’t go by when neighbors or someone at a grocery store will urge him to run again.
“Nothing has been done at all,” said Leon, and he went into a list of things that he talked about when he was running: sidewalks and wifi for the whole city and programming for seniors and he sounded very much like a candidate again. And you just know he wouldn’t lurk around businesses at midnight taking photos with his cellphone.

Whoever it is, it will have to be someone who isn’t afraid of Carollo’s wrath. Crazy Joe already threatened the chairman of the political action committee, Shenandoah resident and Marine Rob Piper, when he learned that Piper told a reporter that people are “sick and tired of corrupt politicians abusing their power, breaking the law and thinking there’s no one to hold them accountable.”

“That’s really something,” Carollo was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying in response. “I hope Mr. Piper remembers these words. They may come back to haunt him.”
What? Is that a sitting commissioner threatening a resident in his district for exercising his constitutional and state rights? Wow.

Like we needed another reason to sign that petition.

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