August 15, 2016

Libertarians Gary Johnson, Bill Weld coming to Miami

Ohio Elections Libertarians

The Libertarian Party presidential ticket is getting a piece of the political campaign action in South Florida.

Nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, will host an event for supporters Wednesday at Miami’s Florida International University. It will be their first local appearance since their nomination in Orlando in May.

The event, titled “An Evening with Govs. Johnson and Weld,” will take place at 7 p.m. at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St. Johnson is a former New Mexico governor; Weld is a former Massachusetts governor. Both are former Republicans.

For now, Johnson’s top goal is to make it into a televised presidential debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, but that's a long shot. He needs to reach 15 percent support in several key polls to qualify.

The latest Florida polls show Johnson with as much as 9 percent support (in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll) and as little as 5 percent support (in aCBS/YouGov online poll). The other significant third-party candidate running is Jill Stein, the Green Party’s nominee.

More here.

Photo credit: John Raoux, Associated Press

Taddeo releases 2nd TV ad in Miami congressional race



Joe Garcia, who?

Annette Taddeo released her second TV ad Monday -- and, like her first spot, it ignores her Democratic rival for Congress and takes aim at the Republican presidential nominee instead.

"Our kids are counting on us to ensure working families can thrive, to protect healthcare for moms and daughters," Taddeo says in the ad, "and to take a stand against the offensive rhetoric from Donald Trump that hurts so many of us."

Trump won't be on the Aug. 30 ballot when Taddeo and Garcia face off in the Democratic primary for Florida's 26th congressional district. They're vying to challenge Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo -- a Trump opponent -- on Nov. 8.


August 11, 2016

No suspense here: Rubio sweeps Miami-Dade GOP straw poll


Not even the chairman of the Miami-Dade County Republican Party pretended the results of Thursday night's U.S. Senate straw poll would be a surprise.

"The very difficult tally," Nelson Diaz joked when executive committee members returned from counting the votes.

Hometown Sen. Marco Rubio won 58 votes. Rival Carlos Beruff won three. Four people left their ballots blank.

None of the candidates were present, though Rubio sent Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera in his stead. But Rubio called in to say thank you once the vote was in. 

"I don't even think I can get 95 percent in my own house, so I'm very grateful for that," he said.

He explained his absence by saying he was campaigning in Naples and taking one of his daughters to an event.

Photo credit: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

Trump: 'It means nothing' that Miami Republican politicians aren't backing him

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Miami is a hub of Donald Trump skepticism among Hispanic Republicans. But Trump told the Miami Herald on Thursday that bothers him none.

"You have some friends here in Miami who are Republicans who are not supporting you, including the mayor of the county, who you've golfed with, a couple of members of Congress," the Herald asked him. "What does that say about them?"

Trump responded specifically about Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican seeking re-election to a bipartisan post. Gimenez met with Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in Miami on Tuesday. Her campaign has been courting Gimenez's endorsement. Gimenez's son Carlos J. Gimenez is a registered lobbyist in Doral for Trump National Doral golf resort.

"I didn't even know he wasn’t supporting," Trump said of the mayor. "It doesn’t mean anything to me, it means nothing. I did -- when I won the primary system nobody supported me. I was an outsider. I'd rather be an outsider. I didn’t even know the mayor wasn't supporting me. I don't imagine he's not supporting me. Maybe he hasn’t endorsed me, maybe he's got some political reasons. Seems like a nice guy but it makes no difference to me.

"We're going to win. We're going to win Florida, because I'm going to bring back jobs, because I'm going to bring back security. We're going to win Florida. I think we're going to win Florida big."

Trump to home builders: I'm one of you

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@PatriciaMazzei @alextdaugherty

Donald Trump gazed out at his business brethren — home builders assembled at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on Thursday — and reminisced.

“My father built houses, and he did it beautiful,” he said. “He’d go up to the houses, and he’d check for nails. And, see, the bigger companies don’t do this. But the individual guys, that do one or two or eight or 10 houses a year....”

A few minutes later, still talking about the nitty-gritty of home construction, the Republican presidential nominee acknowledged he’d gotten a little carried away.

“That wasn’t gonna be part of the speech. I don’t know why I free-wheeled that,” he said. Immediately after, he seemed to summon an answer: “Because I’m so comfortable.”

A subdued Trump showed up to the National Association of Home Builders conference the morning after a raucous Broward County campaign rally Wednesday night. In front of a nonpartisan, buttoned-down audience, Trump found little taste for the red meat he delivers from the stump.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually get along with Russia?” he floated at one point, to utter silence.

He stuck by his completely unfounded assertion from the night before that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama are the “founders” of the terrorist group ISIS.

“They’re the founders,” Trump said. If ISIS were a sports team, he continued, Clinton would be named “most valuable player.”

More here.

Photo credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald staff

Cher to host Hillary Clinton LGBT fundraiser on Miami Beach


Cher will host an LGBT fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Miami Beach Aug. 19.

Clinton is not expected to attend the event which has a minimum donation of $250.

"I think Cher is a universal gay icon," said Tony Lima, executive director of the gay rights group SAVE Dade. "She is loved by many generations of LGBT folks. She is a strong woman and very in tune with the mantra of the gay community and being an individual and having a loud voice and being strong."

Cher's son Chaz Bono is transgender.

Clinton is a supporter of gay rights and announced her support for same-sex marriage in 2013 two years before she launched her current bid for president.

Politico reported about the Cher fundraiser earlier today.

Photo by the Associated Press.

August 09, 2016

Attack flier ties Miami-Dade mayor to Trump over 'sweetheart' golf proposal



Donald Trump has become fodder in the Miami-Dade County mayor's race, where a political committee backing chief challenger Raquel Regalado is attacking incumbent Carlos Gimenez by linking him to the Republican presidential nominee.

Gimenez is a Republican. So is Regalado. But neither supports Trump. And in blue, Hispanic Miami-Dade, tying a politician to Trump could be politically toxic.

A flier mailed by the pro-Regalado group shows a photograph of a baseball-cap-clad Gimenez walking next to Trump.

"Republicans Carlos Gimenez and Donald Trump must be stopped!" it says. "While Gimenez and Trump were golfing, they schemed a sweetheart deal to give away the county owned Crandon golf course to Trump."

Gimenez and Trump once golfed the county-owned Crandon Park course on Key Biscayne. The New York developer inquired about buying the property. Gimenez said no but suggested a management deal was possible. Trump briefly tried to take over golf course but, facing local political resistance, dropped the attempt before launching his presidential candidacy.

The other side of the flier shows a campaign-finance report record of Trump's $15,000 contribution, on Jan. 26, 2015, to the political committee backing Gimenez, Miami-Dade Residents First.

Continue reading "Attack flier ties Miami-Dade mayor to Trump over 'sweetheart' golf proposal" »

Clinton gives Zika presidential-campaign treatment in Miami

Clinton borinquen

Miami’s Zika outbreak got the presidential-campaign treatment Tuesday, when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton visited a local health clinic and urged Congress to meet in an emergency session and find money to fight the mosquito-borne virus.

“I am very disappointed that the Congress went on recess before actually agreeing on what they would do tp put the resources into this fight,” she said at Midtown’s Borinquen Health Care Center, a community clinic in the roughly one-square-mile outbreak zone. “I really am hoping that they will pay attention.”

It’s the unexpected political side effect of Zika: bipartisan agreement — among politicians in Florida, at least — that federal lawmakers failed to act before local mosquitoes started transmitting the disease.

Clinton is the most high-profile political figure to call for Congress to reconvene, but she’s hardly the only one. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has repeatedly asked for leaders of his own party to do more to fund prevention and treatment efforts at the state and local levels.

He reiterated the request Tuesday when the Florida Health Department confirmed four new Zika cases in Wynwood — smack in the middle of Clinton’s Borinquen visit.

More here.

Photo credit: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Miami-Dade's Republican mayor isn't endorsing Clinton, but...


Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is not endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

But he is meeting her for the first time Tuesday when the Democratic nominee tours Borinquen Health Care Center in Midtown. And his appearance was promoted by the Clinton campaign -- because Gimenez is a Republican.

"Right now, I am the mayor of Miami-Dade County," he told reporters at the clinic ahead of Clinton's arrival. "I'm not going to endorse anybody."

Gimenez is running his own Aug. 30 re-election race. Even if he wins then, he said he doesn't plan to throw his support behind any presidential candidate afterward.

Still, Gimenez made sure to keep a distance from Republican nominee Donald Trump, telling reporter he "hasn't seen" Trump address the mosquito-born Zika virus.

"Trump hasn't been down here, as far as I know," Gimenez said, praising involvement from members of Congress such as U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (a Republican), Bill Nelson (a Democrat) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (a Republican). "I'm glad to see that the secretary is worried about it and wants to be informed about it."

That other Republicans have refused to endorse Trump -- or outright backed Clinton -- is "not surprising at all," Gimenez said.

"There are some thing that he has said that have offended Republicans," he said, noting he returned a $15,000 Trump donation to his political committee after one of Trump's early controversial remarks.

Miami-Dade mayor plans to join Clinton on Zika-clinic tour



When Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tours the Borinquen Health Care Center near Wynwood on Tuesday, she'll have a Republican guest in tow: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Clinton's campaign invited Gimenez to join her, and he agreed, according to the mayor's office. Clinton plans to push for Congress to approve funding to fight the Zika virus.

The Clinton camp has been trying to win over Gimenez, who backed Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio for president. Since Rubio's exit from the race, the mayor has stayed out of presidential politics. He's up for re-election Aug. 30; the mayor's position is non-partisan.

Photo credit: Carl Juste, Miami Herald staff