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4 posts from June 2, 2013

June 02, 2013

National Democrats: Rep. Joe Garcia took 'quick action' in absentee-ballot investigation


After national Republicans and the heads of the Miami-Dade Republican and Democratic parties weighed in on the fraudulent absentee-ballot investigation involving the office of Congressman Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat, we reached out to national Democrats to hear what they had to say.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sounded supportive of the response by Garcia, who dismissed his chief of staff after another one of the congressman's employees and a former campaign aide were served with search warrants in connection with the investigation.

"Joe Garcia has taken quick action to hold these staffers responsible and local investigators have stated they do not believe Joe Garcia was involved or even knew anything about this incident," David Bergstein, the DCCC's southern regional press secretary, said in an email Sunday to The Miami Herald.

"Thankfully these ballots had zero impact on the election," Bergstein added. "Congressman Garcia has already distinguished himself as a leader for middle class families and will continue to be a strong champion for the values of south Florida residents."

Why the Florida Democratic Party, and Charlie Crist, need Nan Rich


The Florida Democratic Party knows it needs Nan Rich.

And, perhaps, so does former Gov. Charlie Crist, who could face her in next year’s Democratic primary for governor if he decides to run against her.

A long-shot for governor, Rich’s background is an inverse of Crist’s: a committed liberal and a longtime Democrat, but a virtual unknown. Rich, a former Democratic leader in the state Senate, represented Weston until 2012.

If Crist runs, which looks likely, the Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat will have to face her in a 2014 primary where only registered Democrats can vote.

Continue reading "Why the Florida Democratic Party, and Charlie Crist, need Nan Rich" »

U.S. Marshal's tough-guy talk is a government slogan: "Get the fu--- outta here."


Four black youths sat in the middle of the street as police swarmed around them.

I went to take a picture from the sidewalk. An officer said I couldn’t.

“I’m a reporter with the Miami Herald.” I said.

The response, delivered from a U.S. Marshal: “Get the f--- outta here.”


If there’s a slogan for how some in the federal government sometimes view the press and the public, it’s that: Get the [expletive] out of here.

After being sworn at, I insisted on remaining and started shooting video. But neither that Marshal nor another would give his name as we exchanged not-so-friendly words.

Ostensibly, the dispute looks like a case of over -policing Miami Beach’s Memorial Day weekend. (In a separate caught-on-camera moment, Miami-Dade Police cuffed and applied a choke-hold to a black 14-year-old, whose resisting-arrest charge came after officers said he looked threatening and gave them, according to CBS4, “dehumanizing stares.”)

On another level, the confrontation between police and press is a window into a secrecy-obsessed unaccountable government. It’s particularly common in the federal system, and not just with the Marshals.

The agency that houses the Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, has seized phone records of more than 100 staffers at the Associated Press. DOJ also accused a FOX News reporter of essentially being a spy and went so far as to obtain his parents’ phone records.

To explain himself, Attorney General Eric Holder offered an off-the-record meeting with some media organizations. Some declined the invitation, only to have a Democratic National Committee spokesman say this on Twitter to the press: “Kind of forfeits your right gripe.”

Translation: Get the expletive outta here.

Column here

A Twitter gap in Miami mayoral race


Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado is an expert communicator on TV and radio, the traditional media he worked in for decades as a journalist, but he has less experience with online social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and doesn’t expect to use the social networks to promote his reelection campaign.

“I really see social media more as a way to communicate with residents rather than on a campaign,” said the 66-year-old Regalado, who said those who use Facebook and Twitter aren’t really the same as the elderly Hispanic “super voters” who traditionally turn out for Miami’s November elections.

His opponent, Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, plans to invest “significant” resources in campaigning online with the goal of drawing in younger voters to the race.

“We wanted to do something different than the way campaigns are typically run in the City of Miami, which are focused on certain segments and basically ignore others,” said Suarez, a 35-year-old attorney.

That’s why Suarez’s campaign has hired the creative social media marketing agency, The brpr Group, to manage and produce his digital social content for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The strategy includes buying ads on Twitter that target users in Miami who mention words such as “tech” or “Regalado,” said agency co-founder Gerard Bush.

His campaign is also producing a series of short online videos, including one that highlights how easy it is to order absentee ballots online.

Suarez isn’t the first candidate who tries to leverage social networks and the Internet to motivate voters, although few at the local level have put this much effort into their online campaigns.

The strategy was pioneered in 2008 by Barack Obama, who won the presidential elections with the help of the youth vote and millions of dollars in online campaign contributions.

More here.