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Carlos Gimenez lobbyist pal does survey on SOTC address

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It looks like Miami-Dade Carlos Gimenez is trying to get some feedback on the directions and priorities he announced last week at the State of the County address. Not from the people, really, but from the special interests.

Carlos Gimenez, Jorge Luis LopezThat’s why he had one of his favorite lobbyists do it. Jorge Luis Lopez, who went to Europe and visited the Pope with Gimenez last year, sent an email Sunday that urged readers to fill out a survey ranking the priorities and issues that the mayor mentioned last week.

At first blush, the personalized email from Lopez’s law firm linked to the survey may look like he’s taking a true pulse of the people. Asking to find issues or projects — like development of the airport and seaport — either “very important” or “should NOT be a priority” or more lukewarm options in between.

But think about it. Lopez isn’t sharing this on a larger scale with everyday people. Why isn’t the mayor going directly to the county website to take a people’s poll himself? Well because he doesn’t care what the little people think. The little people are not on the Jorge Luis Lopez email list. That list, however, is full of other lobbyists, news media, elected officials, business people with business at the county and other movers and shakers.

Oh, and clients. So Lopez can look like the right hand man to the mayor.

“The email list is made up of friends, clients, and colleagues.  There are many business contacts who have subscribed to his periodic emails and others who are part of his personal contact list,” said Mayra del Rio, an assistant of Lopez’s who answered Ladra’s email to him.

“The email and survey were meant to be informal and the plan is for them to deal with rotating topics – the state of the county was the relevant topic due to timing,” she said.

Here is the email text:

Dear Elaine,

As you know, Mayor Carlos Gimenez delivered the State of the County Address earlier this week.  The well attended address, which was held at Milander Auditorium in Hialeah, highlighted where our County has been in the last year, and where our Mayor sees it going in the future. For those who missed the address, you can watch it here or read a transcript of the speech here. You can also read Mayor Gimenez’s OpEd in today’s Miami Herald or here.

While we all know where Mayor Gimenez thinks the County stands, I want to know where you think it stands.  Please share your opinions with me in this very brief confidential survey.  If you share your opinions, we’ll get back to you in a few days with the overall responses of all participants.
Please take our survey here: Survey.
Thanks again for your feedback- I’ll be sure to get back to you soon!
Warmest regards,
The links are his, not Ladra’s. And since the State of the County address was so much like a campaign speech, maybe Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 11.06.22 AMthis survey email should have come with a disclaimer.

The questions on the survey are also interesting. It seems to Ladra that these are the areas where the the most money is to be made: Development of the seaport and airport, a Miami convention center instead of one just in Miami Beach, public private partnerships, the proposed Baylink light rail, housing projects, traffic reduction.

Funny… there’s no mention of the water and sewer system and the much needed upgrades there or the redistricting for precincts, which Gimenez wanted to hold off and got much political pressure on, or anything about his battle with employees.

In fact, you don’t see Gimenez taking the public pulse on the library issue or how to spend the Jackson Health System bond monies approved by voters last year. You don’t see the mayor of the 10th largest county in the U.S. using the website he bragged about so much last week and/or even his group of lobbyists to survey the real public on issues that really matter.

Because that would provide real direction from the people on the street, Joe and Juana Voter. And he doesn’t want that.

The king would rather hear solely from the royal court.

4 Responses to Carlos Gimenez lobbyist pal does survey on SOTC address

  1. No a fan Reply

    March 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    So this is what his million dollar brain trust looks like at work? Pretty creative. My guess it’s not on the county website so no peaky public record requests. Otherwise it looks suspiciously like a type of push pull. Strong responses in one area or another could win you a personal follow-up for “help” related to your concerns.

  2. Daisy Reply

    March 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    On the surface it appears as though you may have an ethics violation here. Why is our elected mayor assigning a task that clearly should come from government to a private individual such as Jorge Luis Lopez? This report speaks volumes of the dark processes that our carried out by Gimenez. If anything, the meeting between Gimenez and Lopez where this task was assigned should be done in the oper air, where citizens can have an imput and learn about future governmental steps. This poll is insulting to the common citizen. It implies that only the well connected and the powerful have a right to decide our future. If anyone is near the Commission on Ethics Office at 19 West Flagler, please give s shout to Joe Centorino. He is fast asleep on the 8th floor.

  3. Pingback: And the survey says: Ka-ching for lobbyist turned pollster | Political Cortadito

  4. KmierdA Reply

    March 17, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Ladra…. Too bad u don’t believe in free speech.
    You seem to filter out the comments you don’t agree with.
    This has not only happened to me but to several tastemakers who have left honest comments. Tuning out for now until you become a little less “Castro-like”..
    Sad day in the hood : ( Bye bye

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