ROUND 1: CrazyCarollo RECALL

Political Cortadito:

Joe Carollo recall group in Miami says they are 1/3 of the way to Round 1


The organizers of the recall effort against Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo stood in front of City Hall and cameras and the world at an eagerly-promoted press conference Tuesday morning and pretty much showed they don’t know what they’re doing.
They’ve got the passion, but they’ve been running around like chickens with no heads. And no experience with this kind of thing.
Rescued by attorney to the pols and former State Rep. JC Planas, who is one of the best election law minds in Miami, the loosely formed group may have to start all over again with signatures. Or maybe not. We don’t really know.
Planas was at City Hall Tuesday, in conjunction with a press conference, to “revise” the paperwork filed Jan. 30 by Juan Cuba , former executive director of Miami Dade Democrats, and Robert Piper, a Roads resident and chairman of the Take Back Our City political action committee. Planas said the purpose of the organization needed to be changed from “support better government in the city of Miami” to “recall Commissioner Joe Carollo” — even though the two mean the exact same thing.
And also they changed the treasurer from Cuba to Kelly Barket, a professional who can keep better track of expenses while Cuba organizes the canvassers.

Planas and Cuba and former city manager and Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Trust Chairman Joe Arriola — who is spearheading the recruitment and fundraising — all told Ladra that the changes or revisions don’t mean the group has to start over again. But they didn’t deny there is that possibility.
Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla, an ally of Carollo’s who likes to rub things in — the one who benefitted from Carollo’s abuse of city staff and resources to help ADLP’s county campaign — texted Ladra to ask if she had seen the “clowns” and their show Tuesday morning, referring to the press conference.
“What a debacle. All the hype and not a single signature,” he said, because The Dean likes to crow. “It’s over before it even started.”
Not quite, said Arriola, who told Ladra that the group was about a third of the way there, with more than 600 signatures collected in the past two weeks.  The group needs to turn in almost 1,600 valid signed petitions within 30 days to get to round two, when they would have to collect three times as many in 60 days. These are some of the new and overbearing rules implemented after the recall of former Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez by politicians who want to make it harder for us to take them out.
Carollo is certainly not going to make it easy and, judging by ADLP’s comment, will challenge the signatures collected so far. But Arriola said that the signatures can be collected in any 30-day window, so if they can’t use the petitions collected since Feb. 1, they can use the Feb. 11 start date and keep going until 30 days from that. And if they can’t make the deadline, they can start on Feb. 20 and go 30 days from that. They are ready, if they must, to go back to everyone who has already signed and get them to sign again.
“But we’re going to finish this before the 30 days,” Arriola told Ladra, adding that an additional 30 volunteers are joining the canvassers on the streets this week. “People are coming out of the woodwork.”
Among those are former Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who was at the press conference and has joined the effort to oust the guy that beat his wife in the election to that seat.
“I’ve had enough. As a resident of the district for 15 years — not like him who is a carpetbagger who just moved in to run because he lives in Coconut Grove — I can’t stand by and continue to see this chaos that he’s creating on this commission,” Barreiro told Ladra, adding that he had no intention to run for that seat. But he said anyone is better than Carollo.
“Joe is not representing District 3 and he’s giving he city of Miami a bad name,” Barreiro said.
In another ugly turn Tuesday, Carollo said the recall was started by Rene Pedrosa, the spokesman and aide to Mayor Francis Suarez who was arrested last week on charges of promoting sexual performance by a child, electronic transmission harmful to minors and battery. Pedrosa stands accused of luring and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old and resigned earlier this month because of the investigation. But there is absolutely no proof or even any hint that he has anything to do with the recall.
And furthermore, it sounds like the opportunistic kind of crap Carollo pulls all the time. In fact, Ladra would not be surprised if Pedrosa’s arrest — without judging what he did — was precipitated and timed by a politico’s tip to change the narrative of the recall.
Earlier Tuesday, Carollo had issued a statement that basically said the recall was started by a group of outsiders who were communists. Ladra told you he would turn to that old standby.
“The vast majority of this small group do not live in District 3 and is comprised of socialist radicals, as well as others that want to do business with the Cuban dictatorship and corrupt politicians that want to be relevant again,” Joe said in his early statement about the press conference Tuesday.
But later, without a shred of evidence, he blamed Pedrosa and said the press conference, planned last week, was a smoke screen. Ladra says he’s the one holding a red herring, because if he had proof, he would have made copies and handed them out at the press conference. He’s done it before.
“It’s disgusting and una falta de respeto that he would do that,” Arriola said. “First of all, because it’s not true. But mostly because how about the parents of that boy, who is now being used for political gain? We should be apologizing to that boy and his family, not using this situation, twisting it for your political convenience, perfectly knowing there is no truth to that.”
Now that minor may have been victimized twice.
Let’s just add it to the many reasons why the recall of Crazy Joe Carollo is reasonable and right.

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