The leading challenger in the Miami mayoral race is attacking incumbent Tomás Regalado over charges of civil securities fraud filed against the city.
Commissioner Francis Suarez's political group mailed a flier this week highlighting the charges filed last month against the city and its former budget chief by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is seeking financial penalties against the city and ex-budget director Michael Boudreaux for allegedly misrepresenting Miami's finances to bond investors.
The flier, mailed by The Future is Now, Suarez's electioneering communications organization, features a photograph of Regalado next to boldface text that says, "SEC charges city of Miami with fraud."
"Another federal investigation!" the flier continues on the back side. "In the last month, the Regalado administration has been embroiled in 2 federal investigations: one from the Department of Justice and another from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fraudulent bond transactions during Regalado's tenure as commissioner."
The Justice Department took the unprecedented step last month of having a federal judge monitor the Miami Police Department after concluding its officers engaged in a pattern of using excessive force in several police-involved shootings.
On the heels of yard signs that have cropped up across Miami, the flier is a sign that the mayoral campaign is in full swing as the summer comes to a close and voters are expected to start paying more attention to the Nov. 5 election.
The SEC charges and and Justice Department findings were bound to become political fodder in the race between Suarez and Regalado. Suarez, who has far outraised Regalado and other candidates in the field, has repeatedly criticized Regalado's leadership over the past four years.
In addition to mentioning the feds, the flier notes other controversies that have plagued Regalado's administration: the revolving door in the city's administrative ranks, the loss of unused federal funds and legal spats over gaming machines known as maquinitas.