Bruno Barreiro makes Congress bid official; Dems celebrate

Bruno Barreiro makes Congress bid official; Dems celebrate
  • Sumo

Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro — who was chairman when the Marlins Stadium deal was voted on and sort of ushered the process along — announced officially Monday morning, as expected, that he would be running for the congressional seat vacated next year by a retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Immediately, one could hear a soft cheer throughout the 305. Those were Democrats. Because, let’s face it, Barreiro as the Republican nominee in a post Trump election would be like the elephant giving the donkey a gift. Wrapped. With a bow.

Sure, both Barreiro’s commission district and his House district — District 107 from 1992 to 1998 — are squarely within congressional District 27, but he’s never ran in large swaths, including Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. And that’s the least of his problems.

Read related story: Raquel Regalado vs. Bruno Barreiro for Congress?

Barreiro is a soft, easy target for anyone and a dream opponent in an increasingly blue-leaning District that went to Hillary Clinton in November by 20 freaking points. He’s never run a real race, except against former State Rep. Luis Garcia who forced him into a runoff in 2012 that Barreiro won with 52% of the vote, and Ladra would say Garcia botched it. Barreiro had almost been recalled in 2011 with former mayor Carlos Alvarez and former Commissioner Natacha Seijas after the Marlins money mess, but activists fell 35 petition signatures short.

As state rep, Bruno was one of the least effective legislators — nicknamed “el mudo,” or “the mute” by collegues —  and his time in Tallahassee is marked by nothing except conflicts of interests and questionable deals. His family’s struggling Little Havana medical clinic suddenly got a juicy state Medicaid contract after he was elected and was later sold to a larger conglomerate for $10 million. A Miami New Times story from when he was made county commission chaiman says that Barreiro made $200,000 off the deal. And he became very close to the man who bailed the struggling clinic out, former Sen. Al Gutman, who made half a million as a “broker” and was forced to resign as part of a plea deal in 1999 after being caught in an unrelated Medicaid fraud scheme.

As commissioner, Barreiro — who is also the Republican State Executive Committeeman for Miami-Dade — sees nothing wrong with the fact that the county paid his family between $30,000 and $40,000 a year rent for at least a decade so he could have his district office in their building. He called it a savings coup. And, despite a spotty attendance record for public meetings, he urged the Florida legislature in 2007 to abandon the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law that prohibits electeds from talking in private about anything they may vote on in the future.

He was re-elected unopposed last year, but still managed to spend almost $140,000 in campaign contributions, much of them from contractors who do business or want to do business with the county. Among his expenses in an unchallenged race, before he donated the rest to organizations: $31,000 in consulting and campaign work, $3,000 for supplies at Costco, $4,370 for Apple computer (that’s two laptops, right?) and almost $17,000 in printed campaign materials from Image Outfitters and Alina Sportswear (that’s a lot of t-shirts for someone who didn’t have to run). Among the organizations that got donations from the leftover funds was the Barreiro Foundation, which got $10,000.

The negative campaign mailers write themselves.

Read related story: Bruno Barreiro’s district digs, mortgage raise questions

“Bruno Barreiro is one of the most self-serving politicians in Miami-Dade. And that’s saying a lot,” said Juan Cuba, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democrat Party.

Then there’s the matter of his energy. Bruno might need a job when he is termed out in 2020, but he has neither the media presence nor the campaign stamina to match up to someone like Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez or Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, who are the two most likely to succeed in the Democrat primary. There’s no fire in his belly. There never has been.

But why not? There’s no risk in running because he doesn’t have to resign. If he loses, he can stay on as county commissioner. Maybe he just needs another laptop or more seed funding for his foundation?

Barreiro — whose wife Zoriada Barreiro is running for Miami city commissioner — said in a statement Wednesday that this opportunity was a longtime dream of his. If you will recall, his name was floated in a poll for Congressional District 26 four years ago.

“Throughout my years as a public servant, I have witnessed first-hand how my efforts can positively contribute to the growth and well-being of our residents in South Florida. It truly would be an honor and a privilege to serve our community, and our country, as a United States Congressman,” Barreiro said in a statement released as another Republican, former Miami-Dade School Board Member and county mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado, met with GOP leaders in Washington, D.C. Ladra bets Democrats would be much more afraid to run against her.

“I have a pulse for the needs of our community, and understand the importance of having a strong advocate for South Floridians in Washington D As Congressman, I will work in a bipartisan manner to bring to the table important issues for our residents, such as economic prosperity, improved infrastructure, modernized and efficient transportation alternatives, affordable housing, viable healthcare options, and so much more,” Barreiro added.

Did you hear that? Sounded a little like a distant crowd. Cheering.

14 Responses to "Bruno Barreiro makes Congress bid official; Dems celebrate"

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz   May 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Everything Ladra is right BUT he has worked with every group under the sun and his allies in the Cuban-American community both non-profits n business is wide n deep. Frankly how many of Kristen Rosen Gonzalez’s Cuban-American or even American Jewish allies owe Barreiro? He’s carried a lot of water for others while Kristen Rosen Gonzalez is all about Kristen Rosen Gonzalez. Let’s not assume Miami Beach is Kristen Rosen Gonzalez country.

    • Jim Deland   May 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Nonsense. All nonsense.

  2. Juno   May 11, 2017 at 1:23 am

    I think his quiet manner works to his advantage. The southern voting districts are more less dense. The Dems think they have it, but they often forget to show up for midterm elections. In South Dade, the traffic is so bad that they might not be able to make it out to vote… Barreiro does need to start campaigning down there or at least visiting …. it is refreshing to see someone not in a perpetual campaign run… However, it would be good if he would step out of his usual circles…
    Raquel is a great person for office, but I don’t think this is her race. Perhaps she is too clean when it comes to campaigning? She would probably make a great judge actually…

  3. watchdog111   May 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Raquel should run for Bruno’s seat on the commission. that would make Gimenez squirm

  4. Victor   May 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Raquel would be good on the Commission… Gimenez would be fine, but there would be a lot more accountability…

  5. Bruno made Loria a billionaire   May 11, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Bruno Barrerio has the Marlins deal. Remember that? Taxpayers out $3 Billion. Marlins keep 100% of all revenues. Jeff Loria pockets $1.3 Billion for sale of contract.

  6. Tony Bello   May 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Hey dog,
    The Republicans lost that seat a long time ago when Iliana became a Democrat in Republican clothing.

  7. Food for thought   May 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    When will you announce that you’re working for the Regalados again?

    • Ladra   May 11, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      When and if I work for Raquel Regalado again, everyone will know, just like you knew last year. But that is not the case now and I won’t work on this campaign because I really like a Democrat in the running. I live in District 27 and Raquel doesn’t even have my vote yet so what the heck are you talking about?

      I lent my considerable talent to Raquel in the mayoral race to put my sweat equity where my mouth was in trying to unseat a mayor that I had been critical of for years and who I know is corrupt and compromised and who doesn’t respect the will of the people and says one thing and does another and who committed absentee ballot fraud. There were lots of reasons for me to help Raquel unseat Carlos Gimenez. Those reasons don’t exist in this race. Lets say I’m not as motivated.

      That said, I continue to be a big fan. Whether in this seat or in Bruno’s seat on the commission or, my personal favorite, the mayor’s race in 2020, I think Raquel Regalado is a good and necessary public servant and community voice. Always have. Maybe I won’t always will but I still do today, despite the fact that we didn’t always agree on the campaign and I didn’t have the best experience (which should tell you that I honestly like her politically). She is certainly better than Bruno Barreiro for this seat (perhaps any). I have every right and, indeed, an obligation to continue writing about her campaigns and aspirations and I will.

      Who are you working for?

      Love, Ladra

  8. SAMMY   May 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Though choices. I think Regalado has a good chance in primaries but not sure will win the full election. She would need some changes. I did like most of her platform.

  9. chino   May 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Let cut through the BS…1st – Ladra will work for Raquel, who now will care about federal issues, a few months ago she cared about county issues, and who knows tomorrow she will care about state issues…..whatever position is available.

    2nd – I would expect, but it will never happen, the Ladra will blast the Regalado family for nepotism in the same way she would badger Bruno.

    3rd – The only reason the seat is Republican is because IRL morphed on social issues. Gay rights, sea level rise, abortion, etc…

    4th – Ladra will work for Raquel

    • Ladra   May 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Chino, all you do is talk BS. So let’s address your BS one by one, shall we?

      1st — All politics is local. Issues in our campaign last year included housing, transportation, climate change. The county’s position on immigration came up after. And education has always been a strong point of hers. I believe that Raquel Regalado could work on county, state or federal issues and make things better. So what? Is she drifting away from the seat she originally sought? Sure. Would I rather she run for mayor in 2020? Maybe. Depends on who else is on the ballot. At least she ain’t running for city of Miami mayor like all of you thought. I told you then you were wrong. Where are my props?

      2nd — The Regalados as far as I know, do not rent any property out to the city of Miami for twice as much as they pay in taxes on it. If they did, then yes I would write about it. But really, that is the least of Bruno’s problems.

      3rd — I may agree with you on this one. I think the Dems have a leg up. But the only reason Raquel is a good match for this particular seat is because she, too, “morphs” on social issues, same as IRL. So it may still be a contest. But maybe not. The only thing I know for sure is that, IF the Republicans want to stand a shred of a chance against the Dems in this race, they would do better with Raquel than with Bruno. I stand by that truth.

      4th — Nope. I mean, wait, let me not say no straight off. It would have to be a lot of money. Way more than last time. And I would have to reserve the right to VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Because, like I’ve said a few times, Raquel DOES NOT HAVE MY VOTE yet in this race. I live in District 27. And this is not the same as the mayoral race, where she would be replacing a corrupt thug who thrives on cronyism and palanca. There is a good Democrat running. I like her. A lot. I’m still on the fence but, get this, I am leaning toward the Democrat. So how do you like them apples?

      Go feed your BS to someone else. We don’t need it here. This is a BS-free zone, thankyouverymuch.

      Love, Ladra

  10. eye ball   May 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Free BS zone ???……. Ladra, 75% of what you write is BS, you know you make stuff up all the time.

    As for Raquelita, she is like her dad a pure demigod. She is thinks she is the sharpest knife in the drawl, but we know better. Gimenez beat her because she didn’t have a mandate. She latched on the courthouse issue that was a gifted to her by the mayor, after Bovo and Zapata had warned against it.

    Bruno is DOA

    The ROS seat will go democrat and become more liberal as time goes by.

  11. Mireya Geilin   October 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Congressional District 27 will go Democrat, since Republicans have NO WORTHY REPRESENTATION!!


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