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ON JANUARY 20TH, FRANCIS SUAREZ GAVE KATHERINE FERNANDEZ-RUNDLE A KEY TO THE CITY, AND PROCLAIMED JANUARY 20TH HER DAY. AS HE LEFT, HE WAS SEEN WIPING THE SHIT FROM HIS NOSE
NUMBER 5 - FEBRUARY 26, 2018
Months after Francis Suarez's first run for Mayor in 2013, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle did Mayor Tomas Regalado a big favor by seizing all of Suarez's campaign records when she went after his cousin Steve and his Operation's Manager Jose Pablo Baggini, over accusations of Absentee Ballot Fraud. The accusations resulted in Steve and Jose being forced to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges, and allegedly it also forced Suarez to hurriedly drop out of the race, over what has since been rumored as the claim that Fernandez-Rundle threatened to charge him with a crime if he didn't drop out.
You would think that that incident would have left a bad taste in Suarez's mouth, and there are people who, with far less cause, would consider Fernandez-Rundle totally undeserving of any sort of proclamation or recognition.
Yet, 66 days after becoming the Mayor of Miami, there was Francis Suarez at Bayfront Park giving her a Key To The Key and a Proclamation declaring Katherine Fernandez-Rundle Day in the midst of a big Puerto Rican Festival.
Like so much else that happens in the City of Miami, the decision on why, or how it came to pass that Suarez decided to give Fernandez-Rundle a Key To The City and name a day after her is a mystery.
When I wrote Suarez and asked for the,"email exchanges between Fernandez-Rundle and her staff and you, or whoever put together the language in the Proclamation," Suarez's Chief of Staff and Katherine Fernandez-Rundles's office both denied that there were any exchange of emails or any other documents that would provide any explanation for how this all came about.
Yet we know from past experience that Fernandez-Rundle and her staff have never shied away from feeding her ego, or engaging in a little political quid-pro-quo, as in their efforts to get the Miami City Commission to allow a portion of SW 12th Avenue to be named after her.
The Florida Legislature had initially approved the naming of the street in 2008, but several of the Commissioners at the time didn't like Fernandez-Rundle, and refused to allow the item to come before the Commission.
FROM THE CRESPOGRAM ARCHIVES
During this same time period, now City Commissioner, but then former Mayor of Miami Joe Carollo, had gone to the State Attorney's Office with a claim that Tomas Regalado and his daughter Raquel, had engaged in campaign finance violatons.
As an example of how the Family and Friends Plan works, first Regalado succeeded on March 10, 2011, in getting 3 of the 5 City Commissioners to approve the naming of 12th Avenue for Fernandez-Rundle - even though the City Charter required a 4/5th's vote.
Then in late November of 2011, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle's Chief of Public Corruption repaid Regalado's efforts by allowing the statute of limitations to run out on a possible criminal prosecution of Regalado and his daughter over the campaign finance violations. I was able to expose how Fernandez-Rundle's office manipulated the law in my story about this incident.
Because nothing happens in Miami without a back story, the question is what's the real back story behind Suarez's decision to give this Proclamation and Key To The City to Fernandez-Rundle.
One possible story lies in where this presentation took place. Instead of City Hall, or her office, the presentation took place at a major Puerto Rican Festival.
Fernandez-Rundle's boyfriend is an attorney named David Effron, who is from Puerto Rico and who is standing next to Fernandez-Rundle holding one side of the Proclamation. In years past, Fernandez-Rundle received over $115,000 in campaign contributions from Puerto Ricans, allegedly including donations from non-existent businesses or addresses. So maybe the decision to do this at this Puerto Rican festival that was supposedly broadcast to Puerto Rico and Orlando has something to do with the fact that Fernandez-Rundle is considering a run for Florida Attorney General and there are tens of thousands of new Puerto Rican voters now living in Florida.
Then again, maybe once Fernandez-Rundle does you a "favor" by not charging you with a crime, you're indebted to return the favor for life?
IT WAS GROUCHO MARX WHO FAMOUSLY SAID: "I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WOULD HAVE ME AS A MEMBER." NOT SO MIAMI CITY MANAGER EMILIO GONZALEZ, WHO REVEALED ON TWITTER THAT HE HAD BEEN INDUCTED AS A MEMBER OF THE SPANISH ORDER OF ISABELLA THE CATHOLIC. MEMBERS OF THE ORDER HAVE INCLUDED NAZI'S, FACISTS, DICTATORS, MASS MURDERS, AND NOTABLE POLITICAL KLEPTOMANIACS. SO WHAT DID EMILIO DO TO BE GIVEN THE SECRET PASSWORD AND HANDSHAKE
For a guy that has only been on the City of Miami's payroll for less than two full months, it would seem that Emilio Gonzalez is not only on his way to becoming a Crespogram favorite, but a guy that folks in the city might need to pay close attention to, because Emilio has the possibility of becoming the next contender for the title of Clueless in Miami.
Last week I wrote about Emilio strolling around the city styling and profiling and making sure that someone on the city's payroll was taking photos of him suitable for posting on social media.
Days after that story, Gonzalez posted the photo above, which all the suck-asses at City Hall were quick to repost on their social media sites The message that accompanied the photograph declared:
The Order is described by Wikipedia as:
When I said that the Order included Nazi's, Dictators, Mass Murders and political kleptomaniacs in their membership rolls, I wasn't kidding. Here's just a partial list of all the fine folks that Spanish Kings and Queens have considered worthy of inclusion into the top ranks of the Order.
Joachim von Ribbentrop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nazi Germany
Saddam Hussein (1974), Vice President of Iraq (later President)
Juan Perón, President of Argentina
Rafael Trujillo, Generalissimo of the Dominican Armies
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil
Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt
Marcos Pérez Jiménez, President of Venezuela
Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines
Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay
Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of Mexico
Imelda Marcos (1974), First Lady of Philippines
I can only speak for myself, but Catholic or no Catholic, I damn sure wouldn't join any outfit that included murderous thugs and kleptomaniacs like those above, even if the fancy ribbon and metal came with an offer of lifetime blowjobs from the Queen and a million dollars.
But Emilio it seems, is a big joiner of quasi-militaristic Catholic groups because in addition to this latest group, he's also a member of the Italian Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, the Knights of Malta, and the College of Nobles of the Principality of Asturias. (I could not find any web links or explanations for this group on the internet.)
The interesting thing about Isabella The Catholic is the requirement that to become a member of the Order it requires providing, "services that benefit the country,"
Clearly it can't have been anything he's done since he's been City Manager, because he's only been here less than two months.
So, inquiring minds who read the Crespogram I'm sure would like to know just what it is that Gonzalez did that benefited Spain and prompted the the king to invite him to become a member of this Order besides being Catholic.
This is important, because when you read Emilio's reverential biography, you'd be left thinking that he was the latest in a long list of supposed rocket scientists touted as being able to forcefully seize control of the unwieldy and on occasion batshit crazy organized criminal enterprise that passes for municipal government in Miami.
Unfortunately this vision of Gonzalez might be more a case of smart self promotion then of reality because when Emilio left his job as the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the New York Times ate him a new asshole, for the way that he managed that agency, and when he left the job as Director of the Miami International Airport, the rumor was he he was hot footing out the door before being fired.
So, I'm not necessarily ready to drink any Kool Aid about Emilio Gonzalez's skills when it comes to becoming more than a placeholder while Francis Suarez plots and schemes in an effort to get the residents of Miami to support his claim that he deserves to become a strong Mayor.
Miami for a while now has sat at the top, or near the top of the various lists detailing the worst American cities to live in, and while horrible traffic, income inequality, and corrupt politicians are among the things that people most often cite for this dubious honor, the fact of the matter is that when it comes to municipal governance, a real measurement of how good or bad a city is being managed can often be measured simply by its cleanliness.
If you want to get a real feel for what is actually going on in Miami today, ignore all the happy talk coming from Francis Suarez, and all the self-promotional photos that Emilio Gonzalez is having his staff post on Twitter and Facebook and spend some time driving around all the various parts of Miami, and definitely on the west side of Miami Avenue, and you soon realize that Miami looks shopworn, unkept and just outright dirty.
To deal with the many facets of that problem will take a lot more than posing for photographs and happy talk about resilience, and I doubt that Gonzalez has any inclination of tackling any of that, if for no other reason that he came in as a short timer whose eager to go sailing.
But, since Emilio seems to be a guy who likes being a member of quasi-military religious orders, I'm thinking about creating a new quasi-military group called, The Sacred Military Order and Knights of Political Bullshit and Phony Self-Promotion.
Just for Emilio, I'll make sure the medal is big, shiny and made out of tin.
For the 9 years that I've been covering the City of Miami, it was always possible to go to the city's website and click on the Live Stream link to watch the City Commission meetings, and/or any of the other meetings held in the Commission Chambers such as the annual Mayor's State of The City address.
Not this year.
This year the only way to watch the address was through the Twitter app, Periscope. For whatever reason, it was totally unstable, and maddening experience. Here is a short video clip that I shot hand-held that illustrates what I mean.
IN A CHAMBER FULL OF CITY EMPLOYEES, POLITICIANS FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES AND THE USUAL COLLECTION OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A DEAL FROM THE CITY, MIAMI'S MAYOR TALKED ABOUT MAKING MIAMI A CAPITOL FOR TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIVEMENT. BEFORE THAT HAPPENS HE NEEDS TO SEE TO IT THAT THE CITY USES A STABLE PLATFORM TO BROASTCAST HIS SPEECHES.
When I first linked on there were 52 viewers, by the time I quit out of frustration, there were 23 viewers.
It was a maddening experience, that I will not repeat.
For a Mayor who is full of happy talk about all the wonderful things he envisions for the City, the inability of people interested enough in listening to him to do so without repeatedly having to reclick in order to have the video play is a sign that if his administration can't get the small shit right, then forget about the big shit, and instead figure that he's just full of shit!