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Longtime MDX board member resigns over treatment of Mike Fernandez by Gov. Rick Scott's campaign team

Gonzalo Sanabria, a longtime Miami-Dade Expressway Authority board member, resigned Thursday from his post to protest the “disparaging and disrespectful” treatment of Mike Fernandez, the former co-finance chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign.

“Since he has been treated in such a disparaging and disrespectful manner by your [campaign] staff and ignored in his advice, it is obvious that there is a great deal of dysfunction and disconnection of which I want to have no part nor can I render my support any longer as you are governing from a weak and flawed platform,” Sanabria wrote in an email he sent to Scott’s staff and shared with the Miami Herald.

Sanabria, who also quit his leadership post with the Republican Party of Miami-Dade, said his resignation was “mostly due to your perceived insensitivity to loyal supporters and our Hispanic community in Florida.”

Fernandez quit his position as top fundraiser for Scott’s campaign last week. Three of his emails, obtained by the Herald/Times and Politico, showed Fernandez repeatedly questioned the judgment of Scott’s advisers and the quality of his campaign ads and his Hispanic outreach.

He also complained about a lack of access to Scott and accused unidentified campaign aides of mimicking a Mexican accent in front of his business partner, a charge the campaign denies but will not discuss in detail.

Fernandez, who lives in Coral Gables, is a highly successful health care billionaire entrepreneur who came to the United States as a poor young boy from Cuba — an ideal symbol of a successful pro-businessman who could help Scott court Hispanic votes.

The political tit-for-tat with Sanabria began Thursday morning when Sanabria, 65, a real estate broker and investor who lives in Coral Gables, announced his resignation in an email that he sent to the Herald.

Scott’s office, without mentioning Sanabria’s resignation, then issued a short press release announcing that Javier Vasquez, a 50-year-old attorney from Miami Lakes, would be appointed to the MDX board.

Later, Scott spokesman Frank Collins issued a terse and blunt statement saying that Sanabria was upset at the governor’s decision earlier that morning to not reappoint him.

“We called Mr. Sanabria just after 11 a.m. today to let him know that he would not be reappointed to the MDX Board due to his votes to raise toll fees on the people of Miami-Dade,” said Collins. “Mr. Sanabria, an appointee of the previous administration, later sent an email upset about not being reappointed.”

Read entire story here


- Sergio R. Bustos, State/Politics Editor, Miami Herald


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Billy W.

Campaign is going full speed ahead. Not a problem in this campaign. Says everyone who reports to Melissa Sellers and Adam Hollingsworth.

I found it interesting that the campaign still found a bunch of lemmings (yes Brian Ballard) to support this train wreck and trash Fernadez. It really makes me think there is an underlying move to ensure Scott loses.

Is it lost on anyone that Sellers motive may be to lay the groundwork for a Jindal 2016 campaign. She is bringing a lot of his people on board this campaign, I hear with the promise of a quick transition in 2015.

Jack Thompson

This republic primary voter reminds the GOP that it is long past due that we pull the plug on this disaster of a campaign of the scumbag Scott, who has insulted our hispanic citizens, packed his staff with racists from out of state who are doing a terrible job and are dragging the whole GOP ticket down. It's time to move on from this horrible man and put in place a candidate for governor that can win. Otherwise, the all the republic candidates down the ticket are jeopardized by this scumbag Scott and his racist staff.

Ed Jenkins

The readers have repeatedly stated that they have no interest in gossip such as this that they expect to find in supermarket tabloids. they also know that people have hurt feelings all the time which does not qualify as a news event. They request that when personnel changes are made that the departing party and new employee be named but no further information is required by them beyond that.

Seth Platt

So I checked the voter identification database and there is only one registered Democrat that votes in Primaries from Miami-Dade County with the name Ed Jenkins.
A 71 year old male living in Miami.
I have the phone number of this individual that I believe you are impersonating.
What do you think they will say when I tell them some Right Wing Troll is using their name, to besmirch Democrats and fawn all over Republicans on a daily basis in a major newspaper?
Post in this name again and this will escalate to the next level.
If you believe what you espouse and like to call people names then do it in your own name coward.

Highly paid Republican operative

Just another turncoat disgruntled Hispanic.

Ed Jenkins is a hero!

El Tiburon

Cue Team Scott to now trash Sanabria's reputation because he had the courage to stand up against racism.

Hey, geniuses, do you realize how much damage you're doing to the Governor with Hispanics?

Can't take anymore

Shark Guy, Rick Scott is confident his whiz kid advisers and $100 million ad campaign budget can overcome any obstacle to his re-election. All he really has to count on is that lots of Democrats and Hispanics don't bother to go vote in this coming off year election. It happened in 2010 and probably will again.


I'm reminded of the old adage, "If you lie down with the dogs then you'll get up with their fleas." Score.


Shut the hell up you welfare mom. No one wants to hear you begging for more money to lead your irrresponsible worthless life.

Will Foote

When are Hispanics Republicans gone to learn that their party really does not share their values, especially on immigration and voting rights. Repeatedly Northern Florida rednecks use Hispanic (primarily Cubans) Republicans to vote against their own people and interest such as the federal investigation of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, which has disproportionately excluded Hispanic youth!
Wake up...... before you destroy your own Hispanic (Cuban) community!


Seems CANF is busy again. Got to love those Batistas.

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