Carlos Gimenez submits late night campaign check (10:20 pm)

Carlos Gimenez submits late night campaign check (10:20 pm)
  • Sumo

For all his exaggerated experience as a manager and fiscal expert, it’s ironic (and somewhat funny) that Miami-Dade GimenezMayor Carlos Gimenez would pay his re-election qualifying fee with a bad check.

That’s right. His original check was no good; it was back dated more than a year. The mayor was allowed to correct this with a “replacement check” — and yet nobody asks if this doesn’t render him unqualified to run our county’s $7 billion budget. Imagine that!

Gimenez, or whoever writes and/or signs his campaign checks for him, intended to qualify for the race on June 17. That’s when he presented his qualifying documents — a sworn oath, his financial disclosure with a net worth of $1.5 million — along with a check for the $1,800 fee. Only it was dated June 10, 2015 — more than a whole year earlier. Is he living in the past, or what? Someone at Elections must have noticed this before it went to the bank because they called and notified his Gimenez checkcampaign that the check would likely not be honored — you know, banks have a thing about checks that are older than 90 or 180 or 365 days — and that they needed a new check with a more recent date if the incumbent wanted to qualify.

It was like a “Head’s up!”

The deadline to qualify was at noon the next day. But, apparently, Gimenez couldn’t wait. Who knows? Maybe he was playing golf that morning. Because someone delivered the check right after 10:20 p.m. the night of the 20th, according to a stamp on a copy of the replacement check at the Elections Department.

That’s right, again! His second check was time stamped at 10:20-something p.m. You can’t really see all of the last digit on the time stamp, but it looks like a 1, like 10:21 p.m.

Deputy Elections Supervisor Carolina Lopez told Ladra that the same head’s up would have been given to anyone who writes a year-old check, even though nobody did. She also said that nobody had to come in on overtime just for the mayor. The office was already open and employees were already working to file qualifying documents online late into the night, Lopez explained. She said they would accept a check or missing qualifying documents from anyone, not just their boss, if someone came in the middle of the night.

That’s the time they are doing their quality control, Lopez said. Any and all candidates are notified when a deficiency is found. Usually, it’s a notarization issue. The document isn’t notarized or the notary commission is expired. Other times they forget to sign the oath or they sign the wrong oath for the wrong office.

“I dealt with many a candidate after 5 o’clock,” said Lopez, who is, indeed, extremely responsive after business hours and who reminded me that there were about 600 candidates on the ballot when you include all the party committee people.

Okay, I didn’t check 600 of them. But a cursory review of time stamps on dozens of other candidate qualifying checks — from judicial races to community council wannabes — shows that they all presented payment during business hours. Only Gimenez got a time stamp on his check after 5 p.m. Waaaaay after 5 p.m. What does that say about his ability to manage a $7 billion budget? What if he mistakenly backdates a grant application or something? Or doesn’t complete the paperwork on time?

Ladra is being sarcastic. Because obviously the competent Miami-Dade employees will take care of it. Proven by the eagle-eyed staffer at the elections department who noticed the backdated check and took care of the mayor’s mistake. So, at best it’s a sign that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. At worst, it could be an abuse of power. Because Ladra can’t understand why Lopez wouldn’t tell anybody who might be given a head’s up to please come in the next day. After all, we are busy working late into the night with the paperwork we already have! Even if there were a dozen employees there in some back room filing paperwork, the front door to the Doral Elections office wasn’t unlocked, was it? Someone had to call to get inside. The intake window wasn’t manned. Someone had to stop what they were doing to get the mayor’s new check right before 10:30 p.m.

“We do not provide any preferential treatment to anybody,” Lopez told Ladra, and I can understand why she might be upset at my doubts but it’s not about her. “Most of my calls are after 5 p.m. because that is when I have a chance to review the files,” she said. “In order to give our candidates the proper level of service, I give them every opportunity and entertain many calls after 5 p.m. I’m on 24 hours a day.”

Well, if this is a privilege allowed to everyone, I urge candidates in the next election cycle to beat the rush and go in the middle of the night on the eve before the deadline. Call Carolina. She’ll open the door for you.

The issue has become more relevant now because, even if there was no abuse of power, there is certainly a double standard being applied here when the mayor refuses to instruct the elections supervisor to start counting 127,000-plus petitions from voters who want campaign finance reform. A delay in verifying the signatures could mean the measure is not on the November ballot and the activists have sued the county to make it happen.

So maybe Gimenez is simply selfish. He moved hell and high water to make sure he was on the ballot to keep his gravy train seat but he won’t lift a finger to get the campaign reform measure requested by more than 127,000 voters on the ballot. Because he doesn’t represent them. He only represents himself.

By the way, that is more votes than he got for mayor in 2012.

But Gimenez is not known for sticking to process, is he? Look at what happened with the Liberty Square Rising redevelopment bid and the water and sewer infrastructure bid and a number of other business contracts in which he has impacted (read: meddled in) the process. Why wouldn’t he violate the process to keep his job? He has a history of thinking the rules don’t apply to him.

This should be investigated. The State Attorney’s Office and the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust should ask for video tape from the cameras in the lobby and sworn statements from everybody involved in procuring or receiving the replacement check, including whoever wrote the receipt for the second check and corrected the date from the 21st to the 20th. Because the first date hand-written on the receipt for the check was June 21 and the 1 was changed to a 0.

So did the mayor even qualify on time? When was that exactly? Did he get the replacement check in at 10:21 p.m. on the 20th, as indicated by the time stamp, or on the 21st, as indicated in the hand-written receipt? An investigation would end any speculation about what happened.

Because, at worst, Carlos Gimenez used his position to get an unfair advantage in the electoral process. And, at best, he doesn’t know how to write a check.

Voters deserve to know which it is.

28 Responses to "Carlos Gimenez submits late night campaign check (10:20 pm)"

  1. AmyS   August 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    He dated the check June 10th, so it either took 10 or 11 days to catch the “error”. I wonder what would have happened if they would have let it through and the bank returned it? Would he NOT have qualified on a “technicality?” Would the elections department employee been fired and Gimenez allowed on the ballot anyway? I wonder. An investigation is merited.

    Reply
  2. Not Thrilled With That Illegible Signature of His, Either!   August 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Gimenez and Co. are true incompetents. I hope the press grills him on this. This would be so hilarious if it weren’t that he was in charge of a $7 billion county budget and may have abused his clout to get the Elections Dept. to accept his check. Smells VERY fishy to me…

    Reply
  3. Got-A-Point   August 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Yes Ladra your client is losing so let’s try to have him disqualified is your best answer to prevent that from happening. So lets all pay attention to this, but ignore the fact that Raquelita Regalado committed Homestead Exemption Fraud.

    You want people to understand Raquelita’s Homestead Exemption Fraud situation and to give her the benefit of doubt when she explains her situation, but not extend the same courtesy to Carlos Gimenez.

    Perfect scenario is to have both candidates disqualified. However, that is not going to happen. So all we have is this. By default Carlos Gimenez wins!

    Reply
    • Ladra   August 16, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Nobody has conceded anything. Ladra thinks this goes to a run-off.

      But it is interesting that NOW you want to give the benefit of the doubt. NOW you want to say people make mistakes that don’t really mean they are unqualified for the job. NOW you say that.

      Post justified.

      Love, Ladra

      Reply
  4. Got-A-Point   August 16, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ladra,

    Correction you are hoping for a run-off. My public opinion polls shows that Carlos Gimenez has the lead by a 58% to 32% margin, with 10 % undecided. Furthermore, the only one who is giving anybody the benefit of the doubt is you. I clearly stated that my preferred scenario is to have them both out of the race. But what is good for the gander is good for the goose. There should be no preferential treatment here. Let’s treat them equally There are both scumbags. Let’s defer to the voters and have them decide who is the lesser of a scumbag. I can assure you they will be agree with me and you will be on the losing side.

    Post would have been great, if it meant anything!

    Love,

    Your Best Friend

    Got-A-Point

    Reply
  5. Alicia   August 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Got-A-Point must have learned polling from Professor Moreno. The math conveniently adds up to 100. Maybe Gimenez and the other four candidates combined will top 50%. But poor Carlos, after blowing $4 Million, will not have a majority on August 30th. Ladra is on target. In this primary, Raquel will be about even with Carlos. In November, “I’m with Her” will mean a fresh face in County Hall.

    Reply
    • AmyS   August 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

      How many names are there on the ballot running for county mayor?

      I think there is going to be a run-off also. Then again, there might be some surprises. Some voters are done with the “status quo” EVERYWHERE.

      Reply
  6. Got-A-Point   August 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    You are all dillusional. I have no skin in this game. Calling it the way it is. We Millenuals are sick and tired of the trickery and spinning of the facts politics.

    We don’t trust our government and we dispise the media. We know there is no independence between the two no longer. This why bloggers are so important. However, we know see that certain bloggers have no values, ethics, independent and integrity.

    Reply
  7. Teresita   August 17, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Got-Point has a hole in the middle of his forehead and it probably say’s Gimenez lives here. Maybe his mind is so full of Gold that he can’t think pass the fact that maybe the goose is wounded. WHAT A DISGUSTING BUNCH like over ripped bananas THROW THEM OUT.

    Reply
  8. Lee ardent animal rescuer and defender of truth   August 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    He’s only written 7 checks from that account in over a year’s time? INVESTIGATION WARRANTED exactly as Ladra states! Come on Kathleen Fernandez Rundle DO YOUR JOB! Throw the lying, deceiving, democracy stealing Fidel Castro wanna-be bum OUT! Disqualify him to run! YES!! SAVE THE DOGS AND CATS LIVES IN MIAMI DADE COUNTY FROM THIS MASS MURDERER WHO PREFERS KILLING TO FUNDING OUR VOTE! HALF A MILLION STRONG VOTED TO FUND THE PET’S TRUST HE SAID QUOTE/UNQUOTE THAT WE ‘DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WE VOTED FOR!’ And don’t throw that straw ballot bullshit at us … we voted to tax ourselves because there was no other way in 2012. NOW THERE IS! Taxes don’t have to be raised to fund the $20 million for high volume spay/neuter surgeries and education! You and every commissioner are on tape saying ‘I will support and implement the will of the people.’ AND you included funding in your 2013 budget only to axe it because you think like Trump that YOU ALONE KNOW BEST! Well YOU DON’T you arrogant dictator. You are a virus with shoes who will walk out of the mayor’s office on our vote and this time our vote WILL count!

    QUALIFYING DATES: 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 7, 2016, through Noon, Tuesday, June 21, 2016
    [Miami-Dade County Charter, Article 3, Section 3.04(A)]

    Reply
  9. Amneryss   August 17, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    The Miami-Dade Election Department is open Monday-Friday to the public from 8 am. to 5 pm. After that time its CLOSED to public.

    Reply
  10. Got-A-Point   August 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Besides me it is quite obvious all of the other comments are Ladra’s alter ego. Ladra how do you keep all of these different characters in your head?

    Oh Sybil are you Ladra or Ladra are you Sybil?

    Sincerely,

    MEOW

    Reply
  11. Got-A-Point   August 17, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Ladra,

    It is a damn shame that you work for a crook. Once again Al Crespo reveals what a liar and criminal Raquelita is. Read all about it below.

    http://www.thecrespogram.com/just-when-you-thought-there-was-nothing-else-mobile-.html

    Reply
    • Ladra   August 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Al’s just late to the party, as usual. He likes to ignore anything that goes against his position and so just regurgitates the same nonsensical narrative. The property appraiser’s office already said there was no fraud.

      http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article96276717.html

      There’s nothing to see here. Move along. The concerted, intentional efforts were just a distraction and a smear to provide Carlos Gimenez with a good, if completely false, robocall. Mission accomplished. I hope it backfires.

      I work for myself. I consult Raquel Regalado, who will become the first female mayor of Miami-Dade and bring transparency and accountability to local government. I stand with her. All you do is throw baseless general aspersions without so any respect for context or truth. Just like your favorite blogger. But do you really think she would have brought me on board, she would make me a close confidant and adviser if she were not honest and transparent and above all the pay-to-play corruption that Gimenez has institutionalized at County Hall? Of course not. She knows I don’t tolerate shenanigans. Remember, I supported Gimenez in 2011… but I began to get critical after the absentee ballot fraud in 2012. And then the threat to fire cops and firefighters. And then the closing of libraries. And the Dolphins Stadium. And the sweet Heat deal. And ignoring the Pet’s Trust. And trying to give the Key Biscayne golf course to Donald Trump. And the backroom megamall deal. And balancing our budget on future CRA funds and housing grants… and…

      Whew! I’m running out of breath but I have an idea… I should post a story on all the reasons why we shouldn’t vote for Carlos Gimenez. You know? Remind you and everybody why this election should be a referendum on him.

      In fact, here’s something to make your argument moot, pointy. Naturally, I hope you and all my readers vote for Raquel. I think she is the best qualified of all the candidates running. But frankly, for me, it’s always been about the ABC. Anyone But Carlos. If you really hate Raquel that much for whatever personal reasons, then vote for BJ Chizar or Alfred Santamaria. Just don’t vote for Gimenez, okay? Because we really can’t afford four more years of him enriching his friends and family on our backs. It will be even worse this time because he has nothing to fear: He can’t run again.

      Love, Ladra

      Reply
  12. Teresita   August 18, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Clarification Mr Got-A-Point, I am myself a no one else is my mouth piece, probably difficult for you to recognize because you always speak for some one else.

    Reply
  13. Got-A-Point   August 18, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Ladra,

    The choice here is between the lesser of two evils. Don’t try to divert the attention from where it needs to be. A vote for somebody else, but Carlos, is a vote for Raquelita. You think mama raised a fool.

    Dale que tu puede votar for Carlitos!

    Honest, transparency, and accountability is no longer part of Government and Media. Look at you and look at Raquelita.

    Your points will be counterpointed by Got-A-Point because the same way you reached your conclusions about Carlos Gimenez (which is all true and I agree with) is the same way I came to my conclusion about you and Raquelita.

    Reply
    • Ladra   August 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Counterpoint my ass! You say nothing except that she is the same. When all her actions and everything she says indicates that she is completely the opposite. Kinda like you and me. Because while I provide tons and tons of documented examples and details about why Carlos Gimenez should not be re-elected, you provide zero examples/details on her supposed transgressions.

      Because there are none and you are just a troll doing his bidding.

      BTW, on that note, fact is Mike would, indeed, make disparaging marks about Gimenez to defend him because he, like me or any good media person, knows that makes it more credible. Plus, if you know Mike, he really doesn’t like his boss all that much. He has a family to take care of and it’s a great paycheck. But he’s had one foot out the door since Day One, applying for Team Hillary and now for the Greater Miami Chamber and who knows what other jobs we don’t know about? So, it could be you Mike. And, if so, you might wanna get back to those “Wanted” ads.

      Woof!

      Reply
  14. Mangitovagito   August 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Ladra why did the elections department disqualify the Miami Gardens Mayoral Candidate because of a check issue, they didn’t do him no service or heads up, they just waited and wrote him the disqualifying letter. Enough with these corrupt SOB the Feds need to come in, if elections is going that far for Carlos imagine how far they can really be going on the votes and machine issues?

    Reply
  15. Mangitovagito   August 19, 2016 at 9:08 am

    They could have called his campaign and told him there was a check problem with his bank, not a money problem. Guess maybe it’s the way this county wide mafia does things. They looking to screw anyone or group that’s not on the party wagon. You can bet your ass if any other candidate had this issue like carlos there would of not been any heads up or phone calls. Plus the number change clearly indicates the heads up came in late as usual, so if charter rule is what it is then he’s disqualified just like the Sweetwater mayor was. To sad carlos you loose on your own cheating ways, Pack your shit buddy time to move on.

    Reply
  16. Mangitovagito   August 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Ladra the question is will Raquel file a suit to have Goldenboy disqualified, I do believe election laws are solid and very much enforced. By your account of the digits being change does suggest a malipulation of government documents and not only should he be disqualified but everyone involved should be facing termination as it would be a clear violation of county ethics rules. It would demonstrate Mr Mayors access and hands being in every department thanks to the minions he’s appointed regardless of experience or merit which is evident since his and his buddies push for taking office in 2011.

    Reply
  17. Rita Schwartz   August 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Carlos Gimenez is not accustomed to writing checks. He only knows how to TAKE them!!!

    Reply
  18. 111 watchdog   August 19, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Got a point talks ally like mike Hernandez to me- just saying

    Reply
  19. Mangitovagito   August 19, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Laura ??? Will she sue ???

    Reply
  20. Dick G   August 19, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Rita made me laugh… Isn’t that anyone running a campaign?

    Reply
  21. Gimenez HATER   August 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Great comment by Rita.

    Besides the fucked up check….the cronyism is real, tangible and far exceeds the $4000 that a bank screwed over Raquel. She proved no intent.

    Mayor Gmenez made a big deal when he cut his salary from $300,000 to $150,000 four years ago.

    What he didn’t share was that his best friend then got a County contract that can earn him $18 million as a connected paper pusher.

    Best friends share. That’s intent for ya!

    “A firm owned by the finance chairman of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s reelection effort could collect up to $18 million over 12 years for work on a 2014 county sewer-system contract, according to information released this week.”

    Reply
  22. Please sue   August 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    This is sweet! I so hope he gets disqualified. I won’t stop smiling for a year.

    Reply
  23. Sue sue sue   August 20, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    After being disqualified from the Miami Gardens mayoral race, former candidate James Wright is fighting to get back in the race through a lawsuit.

    Wright filed a lawsuit against the city and clerk Ronetta Taylor Thursday in Miami-Dade circuit court and is asking a judge to reinstate him for the city’s Aug. 30 election.

    “Voters of the city are being prevented from considering [Wright] as a viable candidate for the office of mayor of Miami Gardens based on a technical ‘glitch,’ ” the complaint reads.

    Taylor disqualified the former Opa-locka police chief June 20, citing Florida Statute 99.061. She said in a letter that the check Wright used to pay his qualification fee was returned to the city because the bank couldn’t find his campaign’s account number. Taylor said the city was notified about the issue by Wells Fargo on June 16.

    “Unfortunately, qualifying ended June 2, 2016, therefore you are hereby disqualified,” Taylor wrote to Wright.

    Wright said he was shocked by the city’s decision. He argues that the check he used to qualify was never presented to his bank for payment.

    “There is no record of my check being presented for payment against my account,” Wright said.

    “The fact is, on June 1, 2016, I presented all of the necessary documents to qualify for mayor including a check for $620 in a timely manner.”

    In his complaint Wright also notes that he was never charged fees for insufficient funds or returned items by his bank. He said other checks written on the campaign account had cleared without any issues.

    The race for mayor includes two other challengers — political newcomer Clara Johnson and former councilman Ulysses Harvard — and the incumbent mayor, Oliver Gilbert.

    Wright was Opa-locka’s top cop from 2005 until he was fired in 2008. He also unsuccessfully competed in 2004 for the County Commission seat currently held by Barbara Jordan.

    The Aug. 30 election features three other races for city council seats with a mix of new and familiar faces. Voters have until Aug. 1 to register for the election.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-gardens/article86938812.html#storylink=cpy

    Reply
  24. Law suit   August 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Even better from 8/17/2016

    http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202765317741/High-Court-Tapped-in-Case-of-Mayoral-Candidate-Booted-From-Ballot?slreturn=20160720151954

    The Florida Supreme Court was asked Wednesday to decide whether Miami Gardens acted legally when it disqualified a would-be mayoral candidate from the Aug. 30 election because his filing fee check was returned.
    Wells Fargo sent James Barry Wright’s $620 check back to the city, saying it could not locate his bank account. Wright and the city agree he had ample funds and that the bank had honored previous checks from the same account. But he was too late to make up the amount with a cashier’s check within the qualifying period.
    Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Bronwyn Miller denied Wright’s request to be put back on the ballot. The Third District Court of Appeal agreed, finding that state elections law clearly calls for the disqualification of candidates whose fees aren’t paid on time.
    “We recognize the statute produces a harsh result in this case,” Third DCA Judge Edwin Scales wrote in Wednesday’s opinion, with Chief Judge Richard Suarez and Judge Ivan Fernandez concurring. “When an unambiguous statute plainly requires a particular result, though, courts are powerless to fashion a different result under the auspices of fairness.”
    But because of the appellate judges’ “tremendous distaste for the result,” the panel asked the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether the law requires disqualification when a check is returned due to a banking error outside the candidate’s control.
    The high court returns from summer break the week of the mayoral election.

    Reply

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