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Miami-Dade's GOP VP candidate draws heat: was Dem, didn't vote in '12, attacked R's by name

@MarcACaputo

Picture 2In the short time as a Republican, Emmanuel "Manny" Roman has made more than a few enemies at the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

And now that Roman is running for vice-president of the county party, he's feeling the backlash.

Last night, Republican Roxanna Greene sent out a blast email that pointed out Roman voted for and contributed to Barack Obama in 2008, that he became a Republican less than two years ago and that he "DID NOT VOTE in the 2012 general election!"

Wrote Greene: "This was the most important election of our time and our only opportunity to get rid of Obama and Manny couldn’t even bring himself to cast a vote against BARACK OBAMA which he voted for in 2008!"

Roman's response emailed to us:

"I’ve never hidden the fact that I am a former Democrat, in fact, I volunteered it to the press. I was a senior in college in 2008. Democrats make young people believe that they are for liberty when in fact their ideology is authoritarian.

"Something I will point out is that some of our Conservatives heroes, like Ronald Reagan, was also a former Democrat.  He even supported FDR. We are on the verge of losing an entire generation to the false promises of the Democratic Party - I believe my background and experiences put me in a unique situation to win them back.

"As you may have heard, the UM, FIU, and Barry University College Republicans all endorsed me for vice chair. The founder of the most active tea party group in Miami, Tea By The Sea, also endorsed me yesterday. I am a conservative and I will promote conservative principles as Vice Chair, if elected."

Why didn't he vote in 2012?

"I started working at a start-up firm and became totally immersed in trying to make it a success, working 70+ hours a week. I could not take time off during that time," he said.

Last month, Roman successfully pushed a resolution at the party condemning the now-failed deal to steer tax money to renovations at the Miami Dolphins stadium. The measure barely passed, not because many rank-and-file Republicans were for the deal but because many said they disliked the fact that the resolution needlessly called out Republican Reps. Eddy Gonzalez and Erik Fresen.

"It was childish," Miami-Dade Republican Chairman Nelson Diaz, an opponent of the stadium deal, said at the time. "We're supposed to be helping Republican members, not calling them out."

Others were more upset. Some suspected he was looking at Gonzalez's Hialeah-based seat, which is open next year. Here's Roman's response at the time:

"The vote was 37-34. However, there was almost unanimous consent that the REC is against the deal. The vast majority of the 34 nay votes wanted to edit the language because they thought it was too harsh. The 37 yays argued that it needs to be harsh because the stadium deal is outrageous and we need to call out Republicans when they vote like Democrats.

"I have been told that if I brought up this resolution that I would have no chance of getting elected anywhere. The problem with people who have made politics their profession is that they cannot conceive that some people actually want to do what they feel is the right thing to do. For them every act by another is something calculated to gain an advantage; this is because they think that way themselves. So to answer your question directly, this is not self promotion and I have made no decision to run for office (but have explored the possibility)."

Grab the popcorn.

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