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Bank records raise questions in Hialeah legislative race

A Florida House candidate may have broken campaign-finance laws by spending more money than he raised, back-dating checks and potentially using money from another campaign managed by the same political consultant, bank records from a lawsuit show.

The suit against Maykel “Miguel” Balboa was filed by his Republican primary opponent, Rep. Eddy Gonzalez of Hialeah, who failed Friday to persuade a judge to toss the political rookie Balboa from the ballot or shut down a political committee managed by consultant Sasha Tirador — who is also Balboa’s boss.

“He’s just pissed off because Balboa, with very little money, is literally beating Eddy Gonzalez,” Tirador said of Gonzalez’s lawyer, J.C. Planas.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley said he didn’t feel comfortable regulating political speech or disqualifying candidates so close to Tuesday’s election. He pointed out that Gonzalez had other remedies — namely an elections complaint — to stop Balboa’s allegedly unlawful conduct.

Gonzalez plans to file such a complaint on Monday and send the records to the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, Planas said.

“What we have found is a serious violation of the campaign finance laws,” he said in an email.

Planas, a former state representative, attached to the email subpoenaed bank records of Balboa’s campaign account — a move Balboa and Tirador’s lawyer, Joe Geller, called a blatant political maneuver days before Tuesday’s election. More here.

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whasup

Is it surprising to anyone that some legislators who are not independently wealthy are bankrolled and on the payroll of external entities?

Some groups buy politicians, some rent them, and some hire them. That's the Reality Check for citizens.

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