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Diaz-Balart brothers endorse Crist

No surprise here: U.S. Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami have jointly endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate in 2010. A statement issued by Crist's campaign Monday quoted Mario Diaz-Balart as citing Crist's "commitment to a strong national defense, a world-class education system and ensuring that all Floridians have access to health care ... I look forward to supporting and campaigning with him."

The support of the Diaz-Balart brothers should help Crist in two areas: becoming more familiar with U.S. policy in Cuba and Latin America and helping to neutralize the support that his opponent, Marco Rubio, has in the Cuban community in greater Miami. Crist and Mario Diaz-Balart, the younger of the two brothers, served together in the state Senate in the 1990s.  

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Roberto

Major coup for Crist considering Rubio is the self-proclaimed great Hispanic hope for Republicans. Diaz-Balarts realize Crist is the GOP's best shot at keeping this seat. Smart move.

Carlos

Ha! Ha! I think Marco Rubio just won the primary. Do you remember how useless the Diaz-Balarts all out campaign against Mel Martinez proved to be in GOP Primary? These guys are just plain envious. How sad. All they do is talk about Cuba, Cuba, Cuba. So much for their self-proclaimed Cuban-American patriotism. They can't stand the idea of another Cuban outranking them on the national and statewide political stage. A little old to be so petty.

Julio

What Carlos does not seem to grasp is that Mel Martinez and the Diaz-Balarts are all supporting Crist. That is a major problem for Rubio. It shows he cannot even get the support of Hispanics in his own state. Pretty sad if you ask me.

Joel

Very, very dissapointing... this is a fight for the future of the Republican Party and now we know where the Diaz-Balart brothers stand... it's a shame really. If they were serious about going against the current administration they'd be supporting a guy like Rubio. This is a purely political move.

Impotent in Miami

This endorsement is meaningless. In 2004 the Diaz-Balart brothers endorsed Bill McCullom for the US Senate in the primary against Mel Martinez. They even did television commercials, direct mail and automated calls for McCullom in Miami-Dade County. Here is the impact their endorsement had against a Cuban-American Republican candidate among Republican voters in their own back yard. And Martinez was not even from Miami. Enough said.


2004 Miami-Dade County Republican Primary Results

UNITED STATES SENATOR

Johnnie BYRD 1185
Doug GALLAGHER 12356 (9%)
Larry KLAYMAN 721
William Billy KOGUT 314
Sonya MARCH 889
Mel MARTINEZ 102441 (80%)
Bill MCCOLLUM 10372 (8%)
Karen SAULL 919

Even no-name Doug Gallagher beat the Diaz-Balart candidate. Talk about non-consequential.

Alex

Everyone in Miami knows Rubio is a sham. We all know about his sweet deal on a home loan, his no-bid contracts at Miami Children's and at Jackson Memorial, and his open support for a Cuban-American group that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to the Obama campaign.

Joel

Alex, what the heck are you talking about? Those are some big accusations you are making and they sound baseless to me. Back it up, pal.

Alex

Joel - don't play dumb. Just look at the Herald archives from the last couple of years. People aren't as stupid as Rubio would like to think. These are not big secrets.

Joel

Yeah because the Herald is completely unbiased... don't take everything the Herald prints as Gospel. If all that were the case it would be all over the place by now. So, please, I'm still waiting for links or records or something. Thanks.

Alex

Miami Herald Article

As Miami Children's and Jackson Memorial hospitals are urging legislators not to cut their state money, they have doled out a total of $198,000 to former House Speaker Marco Rubio and Viviana Bovo, the wife of state Rep. Esteban ''Steve'' Bovo, to serve as consultants.

As Bovo was taking office in November, Rubio was leaving, due to term limits. Rubio took Viviana Bovo with him to work at a new consulting-lobbying firm, Florida Strategic Consultants.

The company in December then scored two contracts worth $102,000 and $96,000 with Miami Children's and Jackson Memorial hospitals, respectively.

Rubio, who plans to run for higher office in 2010, said he's staying out of Tallahassee lobbying. He said he provides strategic consulting advice and access to a network of contacts he culled as House speaker, one of the most powerful posts in the state Capitol.

''My job is to make introductions to key people who could help the hospital and the children it serves,'' Rubio said. ``I'm not a lobbyist. It's not my forte.''

Steve Bovo, a freshman Republican from Hialeah, is the in-house lobbyist for Miami Children's Hospital. He sits on a House budget committee that helps decide how much state money hospitals and healthcare providers in the state receive.

To ensure he's on the right side of the law, Rep. Bovo said he has requested legal advice on conflicts of interest. He said he stopped lobbying in Tallahassee ''the moment I got elected.'' He now does governmental-affairs work in Washington, D.C., and in the South Florida area.

Bovo noted that most people in the Legislature have other jobs, so apparent conflicts are nearly unavoidable.

''In this building . . . you could find 120 cases of conflict of interest, or maybe 160,'' Bovo said during an interview in the Capitol last week. ``I'm aware of it and I'm mindful of it, and I've had this conversation with the hospital.''

Joel

Thank you for sharing. It seems like there is more to this story than what has been reported, but it is something to look in to and something that Rubio will probably have to address later on.

whasup

So these exiled princes of Cuba have announced support for a Shucking Chuckles, a Dumbocrat, whose supports Demobamacrat policies.

This only shows where they are in terms of their privileged access to spending taxpayer money.

It's long past time we should have liberated Cuba, primarily so we could send these young princelings back to their patrimony.

None of this is surprising. Of course, the South Florida Cuban exiles put these privileged, elitist, aristocrats in their high offices, that's culturally and historically where they belong.

It is, likewise, no surprise that the ordinary Cuban exiles don't vote according to the dictates or endorsements of these lordlings.

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