RECALL Carollo Mobile Billboard

Political Cortadito:

Recall Joe Carollo mobile billboard rides; press conference, protests to come


But some voters seem scared to sign the petitions

A mobile billboard with Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo‘s face and a phone number to join the recall effort made its way around Little Havana streets Saturday and passed by the Barrios event on 5th Avenue that Carollo was supposed to attend.
But one of the organizers said Carollo couldn’t make it, for he had an “unexpected trip.” Is that code for “in hiding?” Because some of the volunteers canvassing District 3 neighborhoods for petition signatures earlier in the day saw him lurking around.
The mobile billboard is one of the advertisements funded by former city manager and Jackson Memorial Hospital Trust Board Chairman Joe Arriola, who wrote the first $100,000 check for the Take Back Our City political action committee formed by former Miami Date Democrats Executive Director Juan Cuba and Roads resident Rob Piper, the committee chairman.
And while it premiered on Saturday, Ladra is sure we have not seen the last of it. “Enough with Joe Carollo,” it says in big red letters on the side. “It’s time to take back our city.”
In fact, look for the truck this week, either at the press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall with Arriola and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro — former Commissioner Joe Sanchez may have to phone it in from Tallahassee — or at the protest Thursday timed outside at the next city commission meeting, which ought to be fun.
You can’t miss the Recall Joe Mobile. It’s got Carollo’s mug on it and a phone number to call if you want to help in the effort to recall Joe.
That’s 786-250-1160, if anyone was wondering.

A website has also been up with for the Take Back Our City PAC to spread the word, get volunteers and solicit donations. And a new group of unpaid canvassers went out again over the weekend, collecting another few dozen, at most, signatures. They need 1,560 — or 2,000 to leave a nice cushion for invalid petitions — within 30 days. Because they got the first signature on Feb. 1, they have until March 1 or 2 to get them all. They have a few hundred so far.
Ladra hopes they are at least trying to tap into the 2,157 voters who picked Alfie Leon in the 2017 runoff with Carollo, who won by 252 measly votes. Leon could have more to gain than anyone.
Nobody said it was easy. But nobody said it would be so hard.
Ladra was asked to delete photos of one couple who picked up petitions and a map of their assigned homes Saturday. They didn’t want to be photographed. They didn’t want to be quoted. The man shook his head affirmative when I asked if they were afraid because Carollo is a vindictive dickhead who sends code enforcement after you, for example. He didn’t even want to speak the words. They hurried away with their clipboard.
“Take our silence as an answer,” the woman said, walking away as quickly as possible.
Some canvassers also reported hearing the same fears from voters who were too afraid to sign petitions. Some version of “You mean, so he can send someone from code enforcement here? No, thank you,” has been heard more than once or twice. And why wouldn’t he? Carollo sent code enforcement on the city manager, who he tried to fire and who resigned instead.
That’s the main reason for the recall, people. Sure, the stated reasons on the petition are the malfeasance, using his public office and taxpayer resources to help a political ally in his political campaign and misfeasance, ending a meeting last month after a political chess game without any of the city business getting done. None.

But it’s really because he is a bully that has violated people’s rights and has tried to militarize the code enforcement department against his perceived political enemies. It’s because he is an impulsive hothead that has already cost the city plenty in legal fees from lawsuits that he can never win. It’s because he puts the all too real fear of retaliation in the very hearts of the people he is supposed to represent.
That’s what you’re going to hear from Arriola and Barreiro on Tuesday — that Carollo is a bully who abuses his public office to retaliate against challengers, squash any dissent and help cronies get elected.
And it’s all true.
But how do you convince people to throw him out when he’s still there and can apparently use his office for whatever he wants with wanton abandon. Neither the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office — which has reportedly been investigating PaellaGate for more than a year — or the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, which is looking every day like more and more of a waste of taxpayer dollars, has taken a step to stop him.
When citizens are afraid to speak out against their elected leaders that equals oppression. Carollo, with his bravado and his infamous temper and his not-so-veiled threats and his history stalking and using government resources to bully his perceived political enemies and his quickness to snub any dissent and his talent for distorting the facts makes for a pretty good tyrant.
But if you think Carollo is insuportable and an out-of-control sin verguenza now, imagine how much more he will be of both if this recall fails.
So people of District 3, be not afraid of what could happen if Carollo finds out you sign the recall petition. Be afraid of what might happen if you don’t and you’re stuck with a bolder, badder, crazier Joe representing you — or not representing you, as it were — for another two years. At least.
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