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Cava's salary at charity becomes attack-ad fodder


A committee backing Miami-Dade Commissioner Lynda Bell's reelection effort wants voters to be wary of challenger Daniella Levine Cava's salary from her recent job as director of Catalyst Miami, a non-profit she founded 

"Her partially tax-funded foundation paid her over $500,000 in salary,''  warned the ad by Good Government Now, which has raised about $130,000 of Bell's $585,000 fundraising total. "Money that was supposed to go to her charity went into her pocket."


Fine print on the screen shows the $500,000 figure came from 10 years of federal tax returns. The reference is to Catalyst Miami, a social-services organization that Cava left before running for Bell's District 8 seat.  The two most recent tax returns for  Catalyst (officially called the Human Services Coalition of Dade County) record Cava earning $38,900 in 2012 and $55,593 in 2011. This year, Catalyst is slated to receive a $110,000 grant from Miami-Dade. 

In a statement issued Friday, Cava's campaign accused Bell  of "distorting" Cava's record with an ad funded by "deep-pocketed special interest groups." Bell "has resorted to attacking Daniella Levine Cava’s nearly two decades of service at Catalyst Miami to thousands of Miami-Dade families,'' the statement read. 

 If Catalyst paid Cava $500,000 over 10 years (the ad says "over $500,000") that would be an average of $50,000 a year. As commissioner, Miami-Dade paid Bell $50,549.92 in 2013, according to county payroll records. 

Bell, her campaign manager and representatives of Good Government Now were not available for comment Friday afternoon. 

The full statemtent from Cava's campaign:

 “Lynda Bell is clearly afraid to showcase her extreme record and pay-to-play politics as a county commissioner. So she has resorted to attacking Daniella Levine Cava’s nearly two decades of service at Catalyst Miami to thousands of Miami-Dade families. These ads are financed by deep-pocketed special interest groups that want to protect their number one ally on the county commission by distorting the facts about Daniella’s exemplary record. Miami-Dade residents are ready to shake up the status quo at county hall and the voters of District 8 will choose a proven leader like Daniella Levine Cava, who has been a true champion for South Dade.”