Sunday, November 9, 2008
FLA Politics: FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart Goes From Smearing Joe to Insulting Veterans
FLA Politics: FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart - The Last Throes of a Desperate Incumbent
Miami-Dade Dems: Disgusting TV ad from the slime machine of Mario Diaz-Balart
Saturday, November 8, 2008
My family and I are deeply humbled by the overwhelming outcry of support we have received from our community.
Almost a year ago, we began a conversation with South Florida about the issues affecting our families. We walked dozens of neighborhoods, knocked on tens of thousands of doors and listened to countless of stories. The one thing that remained consistent all throughout this long journey, and which never ceased to amaze me, was the decency of the people of South Florida.
So many of you opened your homes, welcomed us in and made us a part of your family. I will never forget the people I met along the way who touched my life and inspired me every step of the way. People like Pablo, a single dad from Miami Lakes, who worked hard and played by the rules, but still couldn't afford healthcare for his seven year-old son. Or folks like the man from Kendall who invited us into his home and had a picturesque family, but was on the verge of losing his house.
Your stories became my stories and your struggles converged with mine -- and I will always fight for you and stand up for our families.
We always said this campaign was more than just about winning an election. It was about moving South Florida forward and creating a vehicle for your hopes and dreams Although we may not have won on election night, our campaign accomplished what so many thought was impossible in South Florida: we spoke about the issues that affect all of our lives, free of the demagoguery that had characterized our politics for far too long. We could not have done this without you.
Our work is far from finished. In fact, it has just begun. I will never forget you.
Thank you so much for everything you have done and for changing my life.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Garcia camp is properly aroused and asks us all to pull out all stops to spread the word among District 25 voters. Read more about it on Daily Kos. And please take action. My email network is starting to hum.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
See the post just before this for one of the examples of dirty politics the brothers practice -- a TV ad intended to boost the fortunes of Mario Diaz-Balart. But Mario, how are you going to explain this at the Pearly Gates? What about the Commandment to Bear No False Witness? His elder brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart has been almost as bad in his noir TV ads against Raul Martinez.
Thanks goodness that the Miami New Times has seen its way through all that crap to write that this year is the "end of the dynasty" for the Diaz-Balarts. Would that the Miami Herald had been equally perceptive.
Anyway, please make a cup of coffee and sit down for a lengthy read through the thinking that will put at least two more Democrats in the U.S. House from South Florida.
Joe's campaign rightly calls for help to combat this travesty of politics. Join up at joegarcia08.com or at ActBlue.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Alcee Hastings (D), 92%
Ron Klein (D), 92%
Timothy Mahoney (D), 92%
Kendrick Meek (D), 92%
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), 92%
Bill Nelson (D), 91%
F. Allen Boyd (D), 85%
Corrine Brown (D), 85%
Kathy Castor (D), 85%
Robert Wexler (D), 69%
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), 69%
Vern Buchanan (R), 62%
Gus Bilirakis (R), 38%
Ginny Brown-Waite (R), 38%
Mario Diaz-Balart (R), 38%
C.W. Bill Young (R), 38%
Mel Martinez (R), 36%
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), 31%
Ander Crenshaw (R), 15%
Ric Keller (R), 15%
Connie Mack (R), 8%
John Mica (R), 8%
Adam Putnam (R), 8%
Dave Weldon (R), 8%
Tom Feeney (R), 0%
Jeff Miller (R), 0%
Cliff Stearns (R), 0%
I want you to tune in tomorrow morning to the final debate between Joe Garcia and Mario Diaz-Balart and encourage your friends and family to watch as well.The truth will win. Gotta listen to know the truth.
Here are the details:
Sunday, October 19 at 10 AM
Univision 'Al Punto' with Jorge Ramos
(A version with English subtitles will be available online shortly after)
The differences in this election are clear:
- Joe Garcia will fight for economic relief for families and small businesses -- Mario Diaz-Balart will give billions in tax give-aways to the big oil companies that fund his campaign.
- Joe Garcia has a plan to make healthcare more affordable and accessible -- Mario Diaz-Balart wants to deregulate insurance companies and do to healthcare what he and George W. Bush have done to Wall Street.
- Joe Garcia will bring a safe and responsible end to the Iraq War -- Mario Diaz-Balart will vote to prolong it.
The Miami Herald and the New York Times today reported that Republican fundraiser Harry Sargeant cost taxpayers $180 million by inflating profits on contracts to provide fuel to the U.S. military in Iraq. Sargeant, who is the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party, has given Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart $18,400. [Miami Herald, 10/17/08; New York Times, 10/16/08].
“Mario Diaz-Balart needs to return the thousands he got from Harry Sargeant immediately,” said Andy Diaz, spokesman for Joe Garcia. “Then Diaz-Balart needs to explain to the people of the 25th District the extent of his relationship with Harry Sargeant, who scammed American taxpayers out of $180 million.”
In August, the McCain campaign returned $50,000 in donations from Harry Sargeant after it was discovered that Sargeant was funneling money from Mideast Oil interests into American campaigns. Mario Diaz-Balart has refused to return any of Sargeant’s contributions. [Miami Herald, 10/17/08]
Monday, October 13, 2008
Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser III
Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser II
Daily Kos: FL-18, FL-25: Bushraiser
Ybor City Stogie: Mario Diaz-Balart Blames The Iraq War On Bill And Hillary Clinton
Miami-Dade Dems: DailyKos takes up donation drive for Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo
Ybor City Stogie: The Three Amigos vs. The Dynamic Duo
Eye on Miami (SunshineUnderground): Congressional Race: The terrorism smear you can only find in Miami!
Down With Tyranny: South Florida: 6 Candidates Debate And 1 Gets Caught Up In A Major Bribery Scandal
Daily Kos: House Race Roundup
Ybor City Stogie: Mario Diaz-Balart: Typical Washington Politician
Ybor City Stogie: CBS 4 Joins in the Mario Debunking Fun
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Bill Nelson, 100
Allen Boyd, 100
Corrine Brown, 100
Kendrick Meek, 100
Robert Wexler, 100
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 100
Alcee Hastings, 100
Mel Martinez, 60
Jeff Miller, 66
Ander Crenshaw, 66
Ginny Brown-Waite, 66
Cliff Stearns, 66
John Mica, 66
Ric Keller, 50
C.W. Bill Young, 66
Adam Putnam, 66
Connie Mack, 66
David Weldon, 66
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, 66
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, 66
Tom Feeney, 66
Mario Diaz-Balart, 66
Notice a pattern here? All of the Dems have 100%, while none of the Republicans has anything better than a mid-range "D." So much for supporting disabled troops.
Bill Nelson, A+
Allen Boyd, A
Corrine Brown, A
Kathy Castor, A
Timothy Mahoney, A
Kendrick Meek, B
Robert Wexler, A
D. Wasserman Schultz, A+
Ron Klein, A+
Alcee Hastings, A
Mel Martinez, B
Jeff Miller, B
Ander Crenshaw, B
G. Brown-Waite, B
Cliff Stearns, B
John Mica, B
Ric Keller, A
Gus Bilirakis, A
C.W. Bill Young, B
Adam Putnam, C
Vern Buchanan, B
Connie Mack, B
Dave Weldon, C
I. Ros-Lehtinen, A
L. Diaz-Balart, B
Tom Feeney, B
M. Diaz-Balart, B
Republicans do a little better on this one, with Keller, Bilirakis and Ros-Lehtinen all getting an "A." Dems still do better, Meek has the lowest grade on our side of the aisle, and he still has a "B." The only "A+" grades amongst Florida's delegation are Dems and the only grades below "B" are all Republicans. Again, which party actually supports the troops?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In an event sponsored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Mario Diaz-Balart today blamed the Iraq War on Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“Mario Diaz-Balart is so out of touch with the truth and reality that he thinks the Iraq War was started by Bill and Hillary Clinton,” said Andy Diaz, spokesman for Joe Garcia. “Does he also think the current economic crisis was caused by the Clintons, and not the failed Bush economic policies, which he unconditionally supported?”
Monday, October 6, 2008
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart has procured millions in federal funding to benefit a small Miami-Dade defense-contracting group that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to his political campaign and that of his brother, fellow U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.
Medley contractors Locust USA and Mark Two Engineering began contributing to the Diaz-Balarts' campaigns and political action committees in 2001, the year Locust secured its first small defense contract. Through this year, those contributions totaled more than $67,000.
Locust was awarded $20.8 million in Pentagon research and development contracts from 2001-2007, federal contracting records show.
At least 44 percent, $9.2 million, came through Congressional earmarks sponsored by Lincoln Diaz-Balart, The Miami Herald found. The largest -- $3.7 million -- came in 2006.
''My work on behalf of Locust USA is meant to add jobs to our local economy by putting our community at the forefront of military technology development,'' Diaz-Balart wrote in reply to Herald questions.
Campaign spokesman Carlos Curbelo said there's ''no relationship'' between the earmarks and political contributions. ``We have a very strong firewall between our campaign and the government office.''
I'm calling bullshit. There's no way that there is a "firewall" between something this big. Any member of Congress that didn't know he was getting this kind of money from a contractor would know that turning around and securing earmarks for that very same contractor would be a conflict of interest. An honest and ethical member of Congress would recuse himself from that particular earmark process. But not a Diaz-Balart.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Very proud, the Martinez campaign announced a promotion by one of the handicappers on Tuesday. No longer “lean Republican” to the Rothenberg Political Report, this race in FL-21 now is “Pure Toss-Up.”
” The race's inclusion as one of only ten races in the country ranked as ‘Pure Toss-Up’ signifies that this race is more competitive than ever,” the Martinez campaign said.
That doesn’t make it easy. Incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Balart has run an ad about as sleazy as they come, and Raul Martinez is asking donors to help in the stretch to Election Day. You can see how Miami’s Channel 10 skewered the ad in a post a few days ago on this blog.
And at Joe Garcia’s shop – also contending with gross distortions from Mario Diaz-Balart’s ads – they’re announcing good news from another of the handicappers, Real Clear Politics, which is calling the race in FL-25 one of the most competitive House races in the country.
This race, according to the Rothenberg Political Report (linked above), is still in the “lean Republican” category. But there’s yet another piece of good news for Joe Garcia. Mario DB is polling below 50%, which is a classic sign of trouble for incumbent members of Congress. If I recall correctly, this has been true for several months, so the incumbent has not done himself any good with his crummy ads (also linked in the same post as for Raul Martinez).
Here’s part of a statement from the Joe Garcia campaign:
A poll that was conducted by a non-partisan firm was recently released that shows Mario Diaz-Balart is only getting 45% support, and that Joe Garcia is polling within the margin of error. As you know, “polling under 50 percent generally spells trouble for incumbents.” [Rasmussen Reports, 9/22/2008].Don’t forget that Joe needs money, too.
This explains why MDB is running scared and has resorted to lying about Joe Garcia's record of fighting for Florida's families. The fact that a career politician like Mario Diaz-Balart is polling below 50% provides proof that South Florida is ready for a change. The poll also states that Joe Garcia's favorability is higher than Mario Diaz-Balart’s.
Speaking of momentum, my favorite Congressional candidate, Annette Taddeo in FL-18 where I live, is advertising on radio and TV, so I expect her to start taking big bites out of incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Taddeo is getting help from the national Democratic Party establishment, having been promoted to the Red to Blue list of top Democratic challengers, and her internal polls have shown for months that the incumbent has meager support. Once voters see and hear the ads for Taddeo, they will realize there’s a powerful challenge and bid Ros-Lehtinen an unfond farewell.
Taddeo has been getting coverage in the Miami Herald and in the Florida Keys, so the word is getting out. Now it’s time to step on the gas, and that’s what the campaign is doing. You can pitch in with money and time. Sign up at Annette2008.com.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Ybor City Stogie: Joe Garcia: Ask Him A Question, And Take A Seat
MyDD: New Joe Garcia Ad: "Downward"
Eye on Miami (Sunshine Underground): A lie is a lie is a...
Miami-Dade Dems: FL-25. The incumbent the social climber
Ybor City Stogie: Local 10 Debunks Mario Diaz-Balart's False Ad
Eye on Miami (Sunshine Underground): It's Gonna Get Ugly
Eye on Miami: Guest Blog: Diaz-Balart Brothers that's who!
Miami-Dade Dems: Good prospects for three Democrats in South Florida congressional races
Ybor City Stogie: Joe Garcia: When Will Diaz-Balart Debate Me?
(Miami, FL) – Today, the Garcia campaign announced the release of its latest web ad titled "Beckham." The ad highlights how Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Euro) has the wrong priorities on healthcare. Diaz-Balart (R-Euro) has been quoted as saying he thinks our healthcare is just fine because athletes, celebrities and members of royal families can afford to get treatment in the United States.
"Mario Diaz-Balart believes our healthcare system should work for rich athletes, celebrities and members of royal families, instead of the 14,500 kids in our district whose healthcare coverage he voted against," said Giancarlo Sopo, New Media Director for Joe Garcia. "The people of the 25th District don't need a healthcare system that works for David Beckham, they need it to work for us."
The recording featuring Mario Diaz-Balart is from an August 22, 2008 event in Miami. See below for transcript.
Mario Diaz-Balart on Healthcare:
MDB: When was the last time that any of you heard an athlete (British soccer player, David Beckham), a celebrity (Mexican crooner, Luis Miguel), a royal family member (Prince Charles), who has a serious medical issue and they can pay, they can go wherever they want. Where do they come? Here!
Donate money to Joe Garcia
Monday, September 22, 2008
The Miami Herald is today reporting that Mario Diaz-Balart has been using tax-payer dollars to campaign in South Florida against BlueMajority candidate, Joe Garcia:
City taxpayers in Homestead footed the bill for nearly $500 worth of posters touting federal projects Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has championed, city officials acknowledge.
Though the poster boards didn't bear Diaz-Balart's name, they were displayed at a fundraiser for the congressman whose district includes Homestead -- and were ordered up by the city mayor.
Apparently, this isn't the first time Mario Diaz-Balart has campaigned using tax-payer dollars.
I am pretty sure it was 1990 or 1991. Our second meeting was the only time I have broken bread with Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart. The place was the old Centrust Tower in downtown Miami. There was a little restaurant on one of the floors, halfway up the building. That's where we met.
The Centrust no longer exists. The building now carries a Bank of America sign. Lincoln and Mario no longer serve in the Florida legislature. They are now both members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Let me back up a bit. At the time I was a real estate broker. I was working with two Colombian investors here in Miami. They were father and son. Their last name was Pinsky. They were looking at properties to buy in Miami. They also represented a Colombian group who wanted to build a hotel in Costa Rica.
It's funny, but you never know where life, or in this case the possibility of a business, will lead you. I had mentioned the Pinskys to my father, who was then trying to enjoy his first retirement from Consolidated Bank. He put me in touch with wealthy investors from Miami who said they had connections to some people with strong ties to Costa Rica. They set up a first meeting with whom they termed as friends. We would be having coffee. Invited to the meeting were the Pinskys and my father, who were there with me, and the persons with the connection to Costa Rica, whose identity remained a mystery until the meeting. We had been told they had "incredible" sources. One of them, I was informed, was a Florida state senator.
Sitting down at our table when we arrived were Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart. Not good, I thought. We proceeded. Lincoln was then a Florida state senator and Mario a young and recently elected state House member. I must be fair and tell you that although my insides kept sending warning signals, the informal and quick meeting went well -- it was actually pleasant. The conversation centered on the Pinkys’ plans.
A lunch meeting was then arranged for a couple of days later. It was like night and day. The two brothers were there again. But this time, I saw the real Lincoln show up -- aggressive, as if almost mad. And Mario, as would become so usual, simply stared and nodded his head as his older brother spoke.
Anything was possible in Costa Rica, we were told by Lincoln. Their father, Rafael Diaz-Balart, would be able to handle any and all requests. He had, we were told, a very close friendship with the Costa Rican president. We were led to believe they were almost business partners.
Lincoln then threw down the gauntlet. He may have even hit the table as he addressed the Pinskys. Toward the end of the lunch, with neck-veins popping, red-faced and squeezed-together eyes, he demanded, "For this thing to happen you have to show good faith. You must deposit $100,000 in an escrow account under our control," he told my clients.
No deal ever went through. It was the last time any of us sat at a table with the Diaz-Balart brothers. Later on I was to find out that Rafael Diaz-Balart was under investigation in Spain for money lost by European investors in some kind of scheme.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Close readers of this blog may remember back on Sept. 10 when there was a post reporting at least two debates scheduled between the rubber-stamp incumbent and the Democratic contender for FL-21's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The post quoted from the Miami Herald column by Channel 10's respected political reporter Michael Putney, who was himself to be moderator or co-moderator of two debates between Martinez and L. Diaz-Balart.
Sorry to report now that the Martinez campaign says it's all off. As I suspected back on Sept. 10. Too good to be true. The Diaz-Balarts never have the fortitude to meet a challenger.
Last night I was at a fundraiser for Annette Taddeo, challenging Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in FL-18, and a welcome guest was Joe Garcia, who's running against Mario Diaz-Balart in FL-25. No surprise to hear both Annette and Joe report no luck in enticing their opponents to debate. They may hint at this date or that, only to pull back.
Why do they do this? My guess is that they may fool some few voters who will approvingly remember the little news story saying the Republicans had agreed to debate, but not see the one reporting the debate had been called off.
Thanks to the Raul Martinez campaign for rounding up links to various news stories about the "debates," as follows:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Eye on Miami (SunshineUnderground): Rubber Stamp
Eye on Miami (SunshineUnderground): A post Republicans will like
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Some history lessons leap out at you with road signs. Well, today it was a sidewalk sign saying this building in the center of Kendall’s Miami-Dade College was the Dante Fascell Conference Center, and this was where Sen. Bob Graham was going to issue his endorsement of Joe Garcia for Congress in FL-25.
Joe Garcia is fighting to oust Bush rubber-stamp Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and he was reminded repeatedly during the endorsement ceremony that he has very large shoes to fill since one of his predecessors would be the late Dante Fascell, congressman from South Florida for 38 years until 1993.
Most prominently, said Garcia’s former teacher Patrick Collins, Fascell stood alone as a Southern congressman who refused to sign the racist Southern Manifesto in 1956. That manifesto opposed the 1954 Supreme Court decision mandating an end to school segregation. It must have been like a profile in courage for a first-term Florida congressman to take that stand.
We shall hope fervently for Joe Garcia to be as principled and brave, and Collins suggested it was possible, since the young high school student developed “a zeal to ask penetrating questions and to question long-standing assumptions.”
Next speaker: Francisco “Pepe” Hernandez, president of the Cuban American National Foundation, hired Garcia right out of UM Law School and let him loose on a project that united thousands of far-flung Cubans with their families at no cost to the federal government.
“I am going to do my best” to elect Joe, said this pillar of the Cuban American community.
State Sen. Larcenia Bullard fired up the SRO crowd of students, supporters, reporters and six camera crews with chants of “Yes we will!”
The next speaker, Braulio L. Baez, said he’d always be for Joe despite being a “confirmed Republican” who had been appointed twice by Republican governors of Florida to head a state agency. He and Joe have both had the title of chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission. And both had their hair cut by Joe’s mother.
Bob Graham, former senator, former governor, onetime protégé of Dante Fascell, took the stage after having spent an earlier hour of the morning doing a conference call with the media for the Barack Obama campaign, focused on veterans’ issues. (I know, I was listening to it on my cell’s earbuds while driving to the Joe Garcia event.)
Graham blamed excessive partisanship as the main reason for “Washington is broken” but said “relief is on the way” in the form of the Obama campaign for president and Joe Garcia’s drive for congress.
“I am pleased to join you in endorsing Joe Garcia to be congressman from District 25,” Graham said, then introducing Garcia, who complimented him saying that this country would have been much better if John Kerry had selected Graham as his running mate in 2004.
Speaking to reporters after the event, Garcia ripped into his opponent for not being willing to ease restrictions on helping people in Cuba suffering from two disastrous storms, Gustav and Ike. “My opponent’s position is absurd, it’s patently cruel,” Garcia said. “We want the U.S. government to get out of the way and let people help their family and friends.”
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Discourse.net: Joe Garcia at the DNC
Ybor City Stogie: Diaz-Balart Brothers: Out of Touch
Miami-Dade Dems: Commentary in El Nuevo Herald hints at win for Joe Garcia
Miami-Dade Dems: Glory day at Denver convention for SoFla Congressional candidates
Miami-Dade Dems: Joe Garcia campaign strides along without opponent
Miami-Dade Dems: Mario Diaz-Balart as Bush puppet in Denver
Ybor City Stogie: Joe Garcia at the Convention
FLA Politics (Mark Lotwis): 21st Century Democrats endorses Garcia, Jennings and Martinez for Congress
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The entire piece is quoted hereunder, and this link goes back to the original Spanish.
It's not hard to guess why Mario Diaz-Balart prefers to avoid Joe Garcia these days. He doesn't want to bump into him at social gatherings at the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, much less on the radio, television or here in the Herald. Things happen when, after so many years of a family holding political power, all of a sudden, there is fatigue of the repeated speeches, the passing of days, generational shifts or the moment of political realignment in the country sounds several alarms that warn that the trendy word, change, is not only coming to the White House, but to the Congress as well. And this is going to happen to good ol' Joe.
Let's go piece by piece. Nepotism, regardless how nice the brothers of a dynasty may be, creates antipathy, whether it be in Florida, California, Texas, China or Vietnam. You also have to add that the same anti-Castro focus of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, no longer resonates in 2008. On the contrary, there is a boomerang effect, and you can no longer duck your head or use the same old story that generated votes in the past. Cuban-American voters clearly want change in their homeland, along with liberty and democracy, so they can once again breathe the breeze that stayed behind in Havana's piers. There is no disagreement on this issue, but alongside this exiled voting bloc, there is now a new voter. There is the young Cuban American that was born in the United States, and despite the love he may have for the grandparents and uncles he may or may not have met, he has a different vision of the problem. His origins may be in Cuba, but his school, university, wife, kids and future are in the United States. His first language is English, and he almost doesn't understand the rhetoric that dates back four decades of exiles talking about the death of the tyrant or the fall of the regime.
These young Cuban-Americans are affected by the drama of their peers, and the nostalgia less than 90 miles from Florida, but what they're more interested in is that a young politician, that speaks their language, is ready to solve their daily problems here in the United States. This has been the focus of Mr. Garcia's campaign. Aside from this generational dilemma, the Diaz-Balarts' and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen's problem, is that their Democratic opponents for Congress have surfaced while the country has been inspired by the optimistic change that Barack Obama signifies. During such a political climate, the standard-bearers of exile politics represent the exact opposite.
Some things happen when a candidate arrives that was born on Miami Beach; has longer hair; is known for being a good guy; is linked to the University of Miami; is well prepared; and close to various groups of Cuban Americans, prefers to speak less about the 'Cuba libre' we all want, and focuses more on speaking to voters, whose lives are committed to the country we live in, about pocket-book issues and their daily lives.
I'm not sure if there will be a electoral dethroning of the congressional Republicans, but what is felt in forums, letters to the media and in polls is that change is not only a perception, but rather a real possibility, with a candidate that shows personal respect toward his opponents and thinks they are not efficient and that the time for another option is now. Certain things happen when a veteran politician that follows the line of Diaz-Balart begins to understand that we find ourselves in a year where China changes, and that Florida will not be an island in this cry for change, and that's why he'll find every possible excuse not to be in the same place where he may have to debate, confront or analyze his rival. Joe Garcia is here to win.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Also fascinating is that in this supposedly solid Republican district, FL-21, Barack Obama is even with John McCain. This is bad news for any Republican incumbent, and I'd suspect that Joe Garcia will be shown soon to be whuppin' Mario D-B in FL-25.
Friday, August 22, 2008
This post replaced an earlier version on another blog in which my eyes had seen Mario in a news release reporting that Lincoln Diaz-Balart was going to be on Republican hatchet-man duty in Denver. Call it Mario Fever, I guess. The erroneous stuff did not appear on this blog.
Where’s Mario Diaz-Balart? So they’re asking – for months, now – over at Joe Garcia’s campaign. The FL-25 incumbent rubber-stamp is dodging all invitations to community forums or joint appearances on television, always having to “check the schedule.”
“The voters deserve to hear from the candidates,” said the Garcia campaign. “Apparently, Mario Diaz-Balart disagrees. After a disastrous record rubber-stamping George Bush's agenda in Washington, it is no surprise Mario is avoiding an honest debate.”
Joe Garcia, already judged the Best Politician of 2008 by Miami’s New Times weekly, is meanwhile looking better and better. The Cook Report, the Beltway insider guide to candidates, has just upgraded Garcia’s chances in FL-25. It changed the district from “likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”
The Cook Report on FL-25 said:
“As Democrat Joe Garcia embarks on his campaign to portray GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart as a consummate insider, both money and polling suggest that this race will be competitive. The fact that Garcia outraised the incumbent $513,000 to $392,000 during the second quarter of the year indicates that Democrats will be able to seriously go after Diaz-Balart on district airwaves for the first time in his congressional career. A June poll taken by Democratic firm Sergio Bendixen and Associates (not associated with the Garcia campaign) showed the incumbent leading Garcia by just five points, 44 percent to 39 percent.
At the end of the day, this district's GOP-leaning non-Cuban precincts closer to the Gulf Coast should provide Diaz-Balart with somewhat of a cushion. Garcia enjoys some goodwill from Cuban voters from his years as an official with the Cuban-American National Foundation, and will need to hold down Diaz-Balart's margin among Cuban-American voters to low single digits. But he will also need unprecedented turnout on the part of non-Cuban Hispanics and other Democratic-leaning voters in the eastern portion of the district to win. Although the 21st CD race still represents Democrats' best takeover opportunity in South Florida, this race is not far behind.
Don’t forget to check out the good news for all our Democratic challengers in the voter registration statistics, covered here and on DailKos earlier.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
This is the DailyKos Link. We all should study these numbers as we campaign our hearts out for our three congressional candidates, and the DailyKos article is the best place to get it in full detail and nicely laid out with hyperlinks to the official sources.
For this blog I’m only going to report the three districts’ Democratic deficits and show how they’ve shrunk.
- District 18, where Annette Taddeo challenges long-time Republican rubber-stamp Ileana Ros Lehtinen. The Democrats are only behind 7,129 souls, much better than the deficit of 18,006 in January.
- District 21, where Raul Martinez has what Kos regards as the hardest role to oust Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Democrats are behind 24,643, against a deficit of 31,045 in January. It sounds like a big deficit until it’s clear that Republicans always have voted like crazy for Raul Martinez in the district, where he was mayor of Hialeah for many terms.
- District 25, where Joe Garcia is taking on Mario Diaz-Balart (he who brags untruthfully that our two Democratic congressmen won’t support Garcia). Here the margin has narrowed the most of the three districts, down to 3,624 from 13,348 in January.
Along those lines, I have to say I was sent out to canvass for Annette Taddeo last Saturday and the kit handed to me did not include voter registration forms. There’s no excuse for that. At least a couple.