Why I Passed on Carlos Gimenez

Categories: Luke's Gospel
lukesgospel.jpg
Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. Six days after his controversial endorsement of Julio Robaina, Luke issues the last word on his decision.

The spin doctors are hard at work because I am endorsing the candidate the media dislikes. Now everybody in the press corps is trying to misconstrue my hourlong video interview with New Times and only taking the part about me suggesting that Pierre Rutledge is someone both candidates should hire because he is a squeaky-clean guy who will make sure they do the things that need to be done to help the community. What the fuck is wrong with that?

Don't we all have suggestions about who would serve in county government for the good of the people? Now everyone wants to falsely claim that my campaign was just about getting this man a job. So much for transparency and honesty. Rutledge is doing fine work as director of operations for the Miami-Dade County School Board. He doesn't need the job, but he is one of the few individuals in civic affairs whom I trust, so excuse me for trying to make sure that either Robaina or Gimenez does right by the community.

If I was about getting paid, then when Gimenez supporter and Homestead City Councilman Jimmy Williams offered me a $40,000 appearance fee for a restaurant that had not even opened, I would have taken it. Williams made the offer after we concluded a 1 a.m. meeting on June 7 with Gimenez inside the Snapper's at 800 Ives Dairy Rd.

Williams is the same guy who signed off on the press conference with Gimenez before I had even made up my mind. He is the guy who sent me a press release the day before the scheduled press conference with statements attributed to me that I did not say, putting words in my mouth. I don't operate that way. No one can put words in my mouth, and it certainly has never been about the money with me.

Since the May 24 special election, I've had several extensive conversations and face-to-face meetings with Robaina and Gimenez about the issues affecting Miami-Dade. I thought long and hard about the ramifications of giving my endorsement. The easiest thing I could have done was stay out of the race, but that would be a disservice to democracy and the 20,000 people who voted for me.

But I wasn't just going to endorse Gimenez over Robaina because Miami Herald editor Myriam Marquez or Michael Putney or plain old conventional wisdom expected me to. Yeah, I attacked Robaina on the campaign trail. I hit him harder than any of the other candidates. But I also hammered Gimenez, not only calling him a "soft-money whore" but also pointing out his son is a lobbyist who represents companies doing business with the county. Yet I don't think I'd be getting so much flak had I supported Gimenez.

For me, Gimenez and Robaina are the establishment candidates. Unfortunately, more voters decided to go with the two establishment candidates in the runoff.

But despite the things I said and wrote about them, both candidates put egos aside to meet with me and convince me that one of them is capable of uniting this community and fixing county government over the next 17 months. I put my ego aside to listen to what they both had to say about moving Miami-Dade forward.

My endorsement was never contingent on Gimenez or Robaina giving Pierre Rutledge a job. I made my decision based on several factors. Being a political novice, I figured I'd ask both guys how they would feel about a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama situation, where I could have input in their administrations and I could suggest -- not strong-arm -- hiring good, squeaky-clean people who will do the right thing for Miami-Dade's deprived communities, economic development, youth programs, and the arts. Robaina was cool with doing that, while Gimenez wavered.

The former county commissioner also wavered on his position about Miami's community redevelopment agencies. When we initially met, he was adamant about eliminating the CRAs and putting the millions of dollars that both generate annually back into the county general fund. That was a problem with me. A strong mayor needs to tell the CRA to get its act together before abolishing it. If the county has no say, the mayor needs to demand a seat at the table, provide more county oversight, and prepare a blueprint for creating jobs in the most blighted neighborhoods in Miami. When I told him so, Gimenez backed off his stance, but he didn't seem genuine about it.

As part of my research, I went to the West Grove, where African-American community activists told me Gimenez was largely absent during his seven-year tenure as county commissioner. When people are telling me he has never been to the Goombay Festival and has never created an economic development plan for one of Miami's oldest African-American neighborhoods, that tells me Gimenez is not for all of Miami.

Furthermore, during this campaign, Gimenez has not spent a quarter to court the African- American vote. He has not spent a dime on any minority-owned media outlets or taken the time to visit black neighborhoods. His strategy has largely been focused on getting elitist, wealthy Republicans and know-it-all Anglo Democrats.

This was a long, hard informed decision for me. I spent a lot of time talking to people I trust, folks who I know are not going to bullshit me. Yet everyone wants to paint a For Sale sign over my head. I'm making it clear that under no circumstances was my endorsement for sale.

Robaina never offered me a quarter. I fought for constitutional rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And now all of sudden I am going to sell out the voters to get a friend a job? C'mon, man. I endorsed Robaina in exchange for the promise of thousands of jobs for Miami-Dade residents, not for just one individual.

I believe Robaina -- even though he is hated by New Times, the Miami Herald, CBS4, WPLG, and every no-name political blogger in town -- has the best shot at putting people to work. If that is criminal, throw my ass in jail.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
My Voice Nation Help
54 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Another lowlife
Another lowlife

Pierre Rutledge.Rutledge never attends any meetings at City Hall. He never attends community meetings. Just another poser who wants something for nothing.

Now the School Board should fire his ass for "conduct unbecoming".

Does the School Board really want to pay lowlifes?

Sunshine 305
Sunshine 305

Julio Robaina political career is over!  Congras Gimenez!!!  You now Have My VOTE!  Thanks Uncle Luke for keepin’ it real!!!

Uncle Luke, I understand the concept you were trying to do by building an “Administration Team”; however, you guys (Luke, Robaina & Rutledge) could NEVER duplicate the Obama/Clinton Administration Team.  Simply because you’re inane and talk too much!!!  You’ve done a great job destroying yall’s reputation & careers.  And if Rutledge continues to hang around you, then he’s the fool!  Its time you leave politics alone and reach out to your five (or six) children you’ve abandoned.  I checked out “YOUR” biological children on YouTube telling the world how you’re a Deadbeat Dad.  SHAME ON YOU!!!! 

Pierre Rutledge, why do you continue to be Luke’s puppet?  This is not the first time Luke used you for your brains.  No one feels sorry for you because you were in on Luke’s scheme from the beginning.  You hurt yourself by attending Luke’s press conference for Robaina.  Your presences at the press conference clearly confirmed a job was offered to you and you ACCEPTED it.  I strongly recommend you NEVER run for office again.  We will remember this!  Mr. Rutledge ran for the City of Miami Commissioner District 5 seat twice (1997 & 2010).  And yes, he lost both times.  So who’s laughing at Spence-Jones now?

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Does it really matter this close to a 2012 mayoral election ?

Ltdiaz
Ltdiaz

The only job Robaina is going to give Luke and his "boy" Pierre is to pick cotton.

Jtgonzalez
Jtgonzalez

u guys r mad because luke did not endorse Gimenez not because you think he is a sellout, or because you think he got fooled by robaina

lmmd
lmmd

he did get fooled by robaina - just wait because luke is screwed

Knowbetter
Knowbetter

Gimenez is the lesser of two evils. The problem with Robaina is that he is just a bad person. He has a mafia in Hialeah. He is not necessarily killing anyone, but he is just a bad person. Behind the scenes Robaina does not care who he crushes. He'd make a good bad guy in a movie. Luke has no idea what he got himself involved with. What is Luke gonna do when Robaina delivers nothing.

Yulie
Yulie

Tel it like it is gimenez had a chance to help his black community and did nothing

WHORWEKIDDING
WHORWEKIDDING

Gimenez is the worst guy for the job he has always voted to hire pay for government employees that make big salary like himself, he was horrible with our black community in the grove one of his districts, and his son has been all over town looking for employment as a LAWYER LOBBYIST CHARGING UP TO 750.00 AN HOUR BECAUSE OF HIS CONNECTION WHICH IS HIS FATHER. NOT FAIR

lmmd
lmmd

you obviously haven't done your homework - look at robaina's dealings.  Just what MD county needs - NOT - if he's elected will be really funny if the feds swoop in and immediately indict him

Knowbetter
Knowbetter

Lots of strong words here. Mostly aimed at Luke and Robaina. I know who I am voting for. I knew what kind of man Robaina was before he was Mayor. I do not live in Hialeah, but I know a lot of Hialeah. I am happy I don't live in Hialeah. It's not a very good place anymore. The idea that Robaina may become Mayor of Miami Dade County is a scary though. You guys thought Alvarez was bad? Watch out if you guys vote Robaina in.Luke, everyone will have their own opinion on what they think about your endorsement. I'm not sure how Robaina will treat you if he becomes elected. he may keep promises he made to you, he may not. If he doesn't, then we can all say "We told you so". If he does keep the promises, you will be sure that Robaina will have screwed innocent people to make sure he keeps his promises. He wont care how many people he lays off. He won't care. Ask his buddy Julio Ponce. Ask Robaina what he had to do to get him his new cushy job. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and be ok with that, then what kind of person are you? If you do not think Robaina isn't calling you a stupid "racial slur I wish not to mention" then you are sadly mistaken. him and his friend Arza a laughing behind your back. Newborn politicians such as yourself learn the hard way. May this be a learning experience for you. If you continue your endeavor as a politician you will do much better next time. Just stay away from Robaina and anyone associated with him. Your sleeping with the Devil himself.

guest
guest

Now in addition to a sellout, you are a liar. For shame...(wait, maybe you don't know what "shame" means).

nevernot
nevernot

You sir are now officially a sell out to your city and race. Best take what's left of your self respect and leave.

lmmd
lmmd

how can anyone possibly believe anything this man says.  Luke the Puke has lost all credibility and he's just trying to divert attention from his little deal making with Robaina.  What you don't get Luke? if robaina wins, you'll see his true colors because you will be screwed and all your little dealing making out the window.  Count on it.

Hotg
Hotg

Luke is not as stupid as u racist think, he is trying to better his community as feels that robaina is the better man.

nevernot
nevernot

 Have you been to Hialeah lately? Robaina destroyed it. He ran up huge deficits, put slot machines in gas stations which have attracted more organized crime and prostitution, the streets are filthy, businesses are folding, the people aren't happy, and he placed his family members in positions of power over elderly. Why do you think the despite being hated in Hialeah based on phone polls he managed to get the highest voter turnout ( in absentee ballots) and the vast majority of absentee ballots were for him?

Secwrap1
Secwrap1

Finally some one that has the fucking guts to tell it like it is. But, don't sit back, you want change in tue poorest of communities? Get a hold of me, I have a plan that will knock your fucking socks off. As for Henry R. @ Ribaina's camp. Thought you were another flake, glad you've proven me & bunch others different. By the way, fuck all those assholes blogging here with negative bs, you've done what you though was best, period.

lmmd
lmmd

tell it like it is? I'd say telling it as he wants to see it NOT as it is.  Robaina isn't going to follow through with henry? you people are kidding yourselves.

Dfosdjfoi
Dfosdjfoi

"But I wasn't just going to endorse Gimenez over Robaina because Miami Herald editor Myriam Marquez or Michael Putney or plain old conventional wisdom expected me to"This has to be the best line on here. You're so stupid you put yourself down and call yourself dumb - i.e. you have no "conventional wisdom"

Common sense is not so common

Dfosdjfoi
Dfosdjfoi

Here is my problem with this. It is not your position to "suggest" candidates for positions that are not available yet. You suggest something to someone is already mayor, but since he will not listen to you, you are making your "suggestion" beforehand to make sure that your contingent votes for him.  Again, you say that you made a "deal" because Robaina will provide "hundreds of jobs" - I'm sure that many of those jobs will go to your crooked-ass friends. Weren't you the dude that Cause UM to be on probation for that latter part of the '90's? You are as crooked and corrupt as they come. I see a nice place for you in politics in the future - you will fit right in. A real politician who cuts these types of back room deals is much more quiet about it. You need to learn to shut-the-fuck-up. I live in Hialeah and Robaina has been the WORST mayor this city has ever had. 

Luke is an idiot
Luke is an idiot

I always thought Luther Campbell was a racist and stupid. Now it is confirmed.

By the way, Luke, the CRA's are designed to steal money from white people to give to connected white people. If you had done any research you would have known. No, they ain't letting you or that idiot Pierre Rutledge any where near the real money.

Why the hate?
Why the hate?

Luke, Jimmie Williams is an African American. Why are you throwing a black man under the bus at the first opportunity?

Canero110
Canero110

 Thank You Luther, for caring about the people. I am a cuban american and I will vote for you next time.

lmmd
lmmd

won't be a next time.

Fred
Fred

Seems to me the Hialeah Cubanos have cleverly divided the Black and non-Black Democrats and have used lies and bribery to do so. If you believe the load of shit Robaina is handing you, I have an interstate flyover in Overtown you'd might be interested in buying. Don't worry, it won't hurt the neighborhood.   Also, I would like Luke to name the Grove activists he spoke to. Gimenez's right hand man was from the West Grove, but died of a heart attack. The West Grove has a CRA from the city of Miami. Heck, Gimenez's office was in the West Grove. Luke, did you go to Goombay?

Popthatpussy
Popthatpussy

Y did they take my comments off. I thought Luke believed in the first amendment. Smdh.

Ernie
Ernie

Luke, we saw the video. You insisted that your buddy Pierre Rutledge be hired. Gimenez wouldn't go for it. Robaina did. You can't hide what you said immediately after your press conference in the New Times office.

And if anyone tried to give you a bribe for your endorsement, why wouldn't you go straight to the police? Or at least mention it to the New Times editor? I am sorry, but that story is simply not credible.

I believe the candid (and perhaps tipsy) Luther Campbell on the video. Not the one in this column who is trying to cover his tracks and protect his new buddy Robaina.

FloydIan4ever
FloydIan4ever

While I'm not going to state who I'm voting for, I do have to admire Luke for putting it out there in print that he was offered a bribe in exchange for his endorsement. So whether he actually wrote the article or used a ghost writer is irrelevant Luke is standing by what he said and damn the consequences. Does any once care that Giminez will probably just become a silent partner in his sons lobbying firrm so he can keep squeezing on the County $$ tittie in the background? Why not take a look at what monies he walked away with when he resigned his County position?let his financial statement be online just like Robainas and let the people decide

lmmd
lmmd

do you really believe that luke was offered a bribe? yup and pigs fly.......

Popthatpussy
Popthatpussy

Luke, you are so full of shit. You can tell your illiterate ass did not write this. Stick to rapping, I liked you much better in that capacity. Can't believe anyone would vote for Robaina with all all the skeletons in his closet. That motherfucker has a cemetery up in there. Why don't you go ask if any of his former employees would vote for him. He has caused many people to lose cars, homes, and relationships because of his crappy administration.

Hugh J.
Hugh J.

The fact that you and Bradley endorsed Robaina is reason enough for my family and me to vote for Gimenez.  Both you and Bradley are morons.

Fight For Florida
Fight For Florida

Who is writing this for you Luke? C'mon you did not write this, give me a break, I like the real Luke the one on the Video, the REAL Luke not a ghost writer.

RyStop with the bs
RyStop with the bs

U guys r mad because Luke is not endorsing gimenez a know racist and identical to Alvarez giving himself and his boys big salaries we need someone to help the not so well to do communities and Luke feels it's robaina who is better for the job

Ry
Ry

You guys r made at Luke cause he is not supporting gimenez, a known racist who will be the same as Alvarez, Robaina is not perfect but a lot better then gimenez

KingChiefGator
KingChiefGator

Wow...I think this just changed my vote from Gimenez to Robaina.

nevernot
nevernot

Why, do you hate gay people, approve of loan sharking, politicians who don't pay taxes, massive deficits, and a filthy dysfunctional city covered in slot machines? Robaina has a couple federal investigations, one state investigation, and a new elections investigation pending. That's four severe criminal investigations at once, does that constitute Mayoral material to you? Would watching our newly elected Mayor do the perp walk for loan sharking make Miami proud?

Luzguarda65
Luzguarda65

Luke, screw all these haters and campaign bloggers. You did the right thing for the community. All we need you to do is run for county commissioner in miami-dade county commission district 2, you will win. then you can put robaina in check if he fails the black community.

Mmht55
Mmht55

Good job, i knew you were no sell out. And to the guest blogger, what are you saying? that Unlce luke can't speak? Sounds lik one of them Gimenez supporters. And by the way, 40K from Gimenez? What's up with that shit.

guest
guest

So Luke, when did you get so articulate and stop using words like "ain't." This reads an awful lot like a professional writer did it....

bornalive
bornalive

Damn, that was some shit I needed to hear, I was pissed off on your decision before, but now that shit makes sense. Politicians are stil liars though, but at least you seem to still keep it real.

Mingercat
Mingercat

I'm sorry I voted for you.  You are a sellout, just like all of them.  At least Gimenez had the integrity to turn you down.    Put a fork in it Uncle Luke, you have no credibility left

Nor74bloom
Nor74bloom

Mingercat. GIMENEZ has integrity??? He just bribed Luke 40K for his vote and Luke said no. If Luke took the money and supported Gimenez would that have been ok with you. Luke has more credibility than Gimenez for coming out and saying that Gimenez offered a $40K bribe.

Ernie
Ernie

Luke has credibility? You must be joking. We already have Campbell on tape saying one thing and then denying it later. At this point, I won't believe a thing Luther Campbell says until I see him hooked up to a lie detector test.

I'm not Gay or Black
I'm not Gay or Black

As a "Know It All" Democrat that voted for you, you have greatly disappointed me. I thought you were interested in doing what was best for the ENTIRE community. You do know that Robaina does not support Gay rights. The fact that you did convinced me to vote for you. But I guess that's okay to deny others their civil rights as long as the Black community gets what YOU want it to get.

Fuck you. The wedding is off.

Felizvida1979
Felizvida1979

No, fuck you, I am a Democrat and still support Luther. The community needs people like him to get his community working. I guess you would have preferred he go with the $40K bribe, then with Robaina huh???  Amazing. Gimenez offers a bribe, he gets away with it. Robaina supports getting the black community involved in his administration and your disappointed. Again, FUCK YOU.

blahblah29
blahblah29

You sold out, PERIOD!   You claim that Gimenez doesn't care about the African-American Community, but did you ever ask Robiana, why he is paying a known Racist to work on his campaign?  Ralph Arza is man who is banking off the Robaina campaign and here is an excerpt from a Miami New Times article -

In 2006, then-state Rep. Ralph Arza of Hialeah was accused by another Cuban-American state legislator, Bruno Barreiro, of calling the Miami-Dade schools superintendent a "nigger." Arza was also investigated by a House ethics committee for allegedly calling the schools chief a "negro mierda," which translates to "black piece of shit." Arza denied making the racial slurs, but he subsequently resigned and was criminally charged for making threatening phone calls to Barreiro for snitching. In one of the calls, Arza said, "You ain't nothing but a bitch, brother, my nigger."

Explain that, UNCLE LUKE!

Nor74bloom
Nor74bloom

blahblah is a Gimenez operative, pay him no mind. Expalin the 40K bribe from the Councilan. Where is the State Attorney when you need her??? 

blahblah29
blahblah29

Perhaps you need to learn to read: "If I was about getting paid, then when Gimenez supporter and Homestead City Councilman Jimmy Williams offered me a $40,000 appearance fee for a restaurant that had not even opened, I would have taken it."  He states that it was for an appearnance fee, punto!

Fernandezj
Fernandezj

Luke is not sell out. You keep bloggin on behalf of Gimenez and his failed, corrupt campaign, If he had gone with your candidate and accepted the 40K from Gimenez's bagman that would have been ok right? In fact, asswipe, Gimenz has some explaining to do!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...