« Miami judicial races get cash influx from auto insurance political committee | Main | Scott meets with experts but would not say if he still denies climate change »

Miami congressional candidate accuses political blogger of pay-to-play

@PatriciaMazzei  Edited

Congressional candidate and Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo has accused a local political blogger of asking him to advertise on her website in exchange for friendly coverage.

Curbelo provided a cell phone text message from Elaine de Valle, who writes the Political Cortadito blog, in which she notes his campaign has paid to advertise on the conservative Shark Tank blog.

"So! $1,000 for Shark Tank and nothing for Political Cortadito?" says de Valle's message, dated Friday. "I think that's going to cost you... votes that is. Lol!"

De Valle, a former Miami Herald reporter, said she meant only what she wrote: that Curbelo will lose votes by not advertising to her readership. She says her blog has more than 100,000 monthly page views.

"He's just trying to discredit me," de Valle said, pointing to her tough coverage.

Curbelo's communications director, Wadi Gaitan, said the campaign "will not be extorted by agents of other campaigns posing as journalists."

"Under no circumstances will we purchase ads on her page for favorable coverage, nor will we respond to her petty propaganda," he added.

Bloggers have had to wrestle with how to report news, analyze politics and sell advertising, blurring the traditional divide between editorial and advertising content. De Valle said she has an advertising manager who handles sales, but acknowledged clients sometimes reach out to her.

That doesn't slant her coverage, according to de Valle. Curbelo doesn't answer her calls or texts, so she poked at him with her message: "I was being my flippant, sarcastic self," she said.

On Sunday, Curbelo objected to WPLG-ABC 10 reporter Michael Putney for having de Valle as a roundtable guest on This Week in South Florida. The discussion took place immediately after a debate among Curbelo and the four other Republicans vying to challenge Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia.

De Valle then wrote that Curbelo was trying to get her off the show.

At least one of Curbelo's rivals has bought ads on de Valle's blog: Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall's firm, ChoiceOne Companies, had an ad on the site this week.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

New leadership

I am no fan of Curbelo's dog and pony show, parading all of these endorsements around town like trophies, but yes, I know that De Valle can be bought just like every other political want to be taste maker in this town. And yes, I have read her blog post in the past and it can be pretty amusing at times, but I stopped reading after she started censoring what she perceived to be negative comments that did not align with her infomercial… err... Spin...errr...Political coverage in order to protect her advertisers. Pretty Low journalistic ethics. Good thing you fired her from the Herald when you did!
By the way, take a little visit to her site right now. You'll see advertisement for Daniela Leyva Cava. Try to find one negative blog posting written about this candidate. Pay to play, baby!
It's the ol' Miami hustle!


This is a problem on the blogs now, but it always has been a problem on Cuban radio. If you dare not to buy enough ads on the Kernel Martias Farias, you can guarantee that he is going to blast you. Not hard to figure who he bashes. Just take a look at the hard and soft money reports. Will take a little homework but would blow the socks out of a cottage industry that is disingenuous at best,and is rarely dine in the communities best interest.


I am glad someone finally exposed that sad excuse for a journalist. She's a pig.


Its so blatant who her allegiance is to and tries to make it seem like she doesn't coordinate with MacDougal. She blatantly omits facts to make her arguments. sad excuse for a "journalist" only reason she's still around is because shes found a way to monetize her ability to write interesting stories off of her theories. She isn't held accountable like paper writers. I totally see her using ads to sway her coverage. Hopefully her streak of picking losers continues because obviously "Mac" has the wrong people on his camp. Curbelo had the guts to expose her even with the negative heat it may bring.

Mike Pagle

Let it be known that Wadi Gaitan joined Curbelo's team as communication director just this month in August. But two years ago he was the War Room Analyst - Spanish Media for Romney for President. (I voted Romney, too and nothing against the guy, much better than the current President we have in office in my opinion).

Elaine De Valle wrote not too long ago an article on her website entitled, "Did Carlos Curbelo pay for Mitt Romney endorsement?" I won't go into the details (that's Elaine's story), but my own humble opinion is this was a tit for tat kind of response.

Why didn't the Curbelo campaign bring this up when it first came out? Why bringing out the big gun endorsements now, is his campaign in trouble?

In addition, why with all that warchest Curbelo has did he advertise on Shark Tank, which largely focuses on Broward? I tell you, I have seen some major miscues from his campaign and have a lot more respect for Carlos Curbelo himself, his family, and the army of volunteers at many polling locations (well-behaved of the ones I came across), but the middle management of that campaign is something else in my opinion.

And why is it that Ed MacDougall (who with nowhere near the staff nor $$$ (and $$$ largely his own)) is giving Curbelo fits. Perhaps knocking on 14,000 doors works?

This reminds me of the Dave Brat vs. Eric Cantor campaign.

And up until recently, I could read the Herald and not even notice that anyone but Curbelo was running.

I applaud Ms. Mazzei for actually mentioning the other candidates running in her stories, something many journalists and bloggers don't do out there.

Golden B.

It is incredible how far and low Curbelo and his advisors can go. But voters are watching real close. His communications director, Wadi Gaitan, goes as far as saying the campaign "will not be extorted by agents of other campaigns posing as journalists." What? Extortion? Agents of other campaigns? Wow!! it is news to me that Elaine was a double agent. Ha ha ha!!

As anyone can see, Elaine being the competent and intelligent reporter she is, specifically said in her e-mail "I think that's going to cost you... VOTES that is. Lol!" She is very good at what she does as she is used to dealing with scum politicians. She always covers her back. All of those that know Elaine and read her articles know that Curbelo is only trying to shift the focus away from Capital Gains, the company he changed to his wife's name and now he doesn't need to "by law" show who his clients are. If Curbelo thinks that is going to work, he is in for a surprise.

New leadership

Wow, that was quick! It didn't take Miss "not for sale" long to Cook up another hit peice on Curbelo. Told you so...
Hot off of the extortionist blog…


The comments to this entry are closed.