Tag Archive | "Joe Martinez"


Does Zapata still have Martinez’s nod? Depends who you ask

Juan Zapata with Joe Martinez

Published: june 14, 2012

Republished June 18, 2012

By: PoliticalCortadito.com

A view of local Miami-Dade County politics from accomplished investigative reporter and Political Cortadito Blog administrator Elaine De Valle:

While Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, who has left his seat to run for mayor, has publicly supported former State Rep. Juan C. Zapata‘s bid to replace him, his staff and campaign supporters are throwing their weight behind another man in the race.

And political observers have raised their collective eyebrow.

Manny Machado is a police officer at Miami-Dade Police (the Hammocks District detective is on leave from his $55,000-a-year job since April), where Martinez also worked, and will likely have the support of the PBA, which Martinez also counts with. Machado is working with campaign consultant Sasha Tirador, who is working on the Martinez campaign. Machado is also getting help from Al Sotero, a longtime friend and campaign worker for Martinez who is also managing principal at Falcontrust Air, located at the Kendall Tamiami Airport in District 11. Machado is also getting contributions to his campaign from some of the same people who gave to Martinez. That’s how a political neophyte can amass $45,000 (as of the last reporting deadline March 31) in little more than a month.

Zapata said Ladra was not the first one to ask him about the seeming conflict.

“A lot of people ask me that question,” he said when I asked if Martinez had switched horses. “Joe told me he’s supporting me and that’s all I need to know. I take him at his word.”

The former state rep is aware that there are all these signs — and I am not talking about just the Machado yard art popping up all over next to the blue and white Martinez for mayor signs.

“I told him, ‘Machado is putting us signs next to yours and telling people you support him.’ He’s not happy about it,” Zapata told me a couple of days after he had lunch with the chairman.

“It’s a big concern. I’m not happy about it,” Zapata said. “I talked to him about it and he said, ‘Listen, I can’t do anything about these things.’ He can’t tell his people who to support.”

While political observers have said that “his machine is working for Machado,” Martinez told Ladra he was sticking by Zapata, despite any appearances to the contrary — which, at least, he did not deny.

“That’s a coincidence,” Martinez told me in a telephone interview when confronted with the rumors and the connections between his campaign and Machado’s.

“Mr. Machado is a very nice guy, his family is very nice, but I gave my word to Representative Zapata and I am standing by that,” Martinez said.

But the veteran pol also gave himself an easy way out, perhaps: “And until he tells me he doesn’t need my support, I’m supporting him. If he tells me one day, ‘I don’t want your support,’ then we’ll see.”

Then we’ll see? Sounds like cold feet to Ladra.



Posted in Elaine De Valle, Miami-Dade PoliticsComments (0)

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