Former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo, in a runoff Tuesday for his brother’s city commission seat, dropped a mailer Friday that indicates he is being endorsed by both his brother, Commissioner Frank Carollo, and Zoraida Barreiro, another commission candidate — and wife of Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro — who came in third in the Nov. 7 election.
But it doesn’t look like a real endorsement and actually stinks of fake news.
The mailer doesn’t explicitly say that that his brother and the Barreiros support Carollo. Instead, it uses photographs of the families and really vague language that certainly leave that impression.
“The Barreiro and Carollo families are united to keep working together in our community,” reads the front, with pictures of the Barreiro family and Frank Carollo’s family flanking a photo of Joe Carollo and his wife.
The other side of the mailer, paid for by the Miami Firefighters political action committee, says “Years of service to the community cannot be forgotten. While others just finished moving to our area promising villas and castles, the Barreiro and Carollo families have a long tradition of working for our community.”
Carollo was forced into a runoff with Alfie Leon, his brother’s former policy aide, after he failed to get more than 30% of the vote. He already got the endorsement of the two last place finishers, Alex Dominguez and Jose Suarez. But they didn’t even get 10% combined. A nod from Zoraida Barreiro, who got 20%, (and, by extension, Commissioner Bruno) could certainly give him an edge over Leon. And he needs it because everybody else is working against Crazy Joe.
Calls and texts to Commissioner Bruno Barreiro were not immediately returned. But he had told Ladra earlier this week that he and his wife would not be endorsing or supporting Carollo.
Freddy Delgado, president of the Miami firefighters union, did not immediately return a call and text from Ladra. He might be dodging all journalists because of the four firefighters that got fired for harassing a black colleague.
It is entirely possible that the picture of the Barreiros and their two children, as well as the photo of Frank Carollo’s family, was used without their explicit permission. The mailer’s language is vague and general enough and it doesn’t say they are endorsing him, although it does say they are “united,” but, since it is in Spanish, that could mean that they are both involved in helping the community — not that they do it together.
Certainly one would think that if Carollo had the official Barreiro seal of approval, the campaign and/or the firefighters PAC would put that out front and center and use more specific words, like “endorse” and “support.”
So this looks like an intention to fool the voting public.
Unless both Carollo’s brother and the Barreiros are — wink, wink, nod, nod — helping him without explicitly saying they are helping him by just looking the other way. After all, if they were not supporting him, one would also think that Commissioner Barreiro — who is running for Congress and could have made a deal — would not wait to say so.