Mayoral candidate Carlos Gimenez might have hoped the now-nefarious Luther Campbell nod would have been enough to let him concentrate on his core constituency of supporters. But when that went south, he started doing other things and spending time (and money) in the black community.
Last weekend, he visited several African-American and Haitian churches and suddenly (because the poor guy was always left back at the office before) his sharp, handsome and black campaign aide Jeve Clayton is everywhere with him.
Today, Gimenez will be endorsed by former Congresswoman Carrie Meek at his outreach center in North Miami, opened to focus on the "central and northern communities of Miami-Dade" -- which is politispeak for the 'hoods.
Congresswoman Carrie Meek! Take that Uncle Luke!
Campbell has not returned any more calls from Ladra after two voice mails he left last week. But a little bird told me that she overheard Julio Robaina -- who reportedly stole his endorsement with a job promised to a Campbell crony -- tells his new fetch boy which reporters to talk to and who to ignore. Guess who is in the latter. Tsk, Tsk, Luke. He's also closely guarded, it seems, by Robaina's campaign manager, Ana Carbonell, who sat next to him and "interpreted" at a WQBA radio show. Ladra can't help wonder why the radio hosts, Roberto Rodriguez-Tejera and Helena Aguirre Ferre, particularly, did not mention that to listeners. It is totally relevant. But their coverage has been somewhat questionable. (Guess we know who their boss is also.)
But the Luke endorsement -- while becoming a big media mess -- doesn't carry that much weight in the very community it is supposed to matter.
"Who the heck cares about Luther Campbell? When did the black community get so damned desparate that we look at a man whose highest achievement was to be the porno king of South Beach as the voter broker in the black community," asked political consultant Barbara Howard, who, granted, is pissed off that Robaina did not hire her and hired Dewey Knight instead.
"When did we get so shallow where someone who becomes known for being as nasty as he wants to be and for wanting to 'pop that coochie' is who we look to for political guidance?"
Howard, who did support Robaina up until the Campbell endorsement offended her, says black voters are not fooled and that his 20,000 votes on May 24 will not transfer over to the former Hialeah mayor. "Ask yourself, 'Who were those people who voted for him?' Was it the super voters? The elderly? The college educated? No. And this is who you want to get out the black vote for you?"
She said Robaina should have gone for a T. Willard Fair (he and Jeb Bush are chummy, we hear, so I suspect that Fair supports Robaina) or Dr. Marvin Dunn.
Howard did not mention State Rep. John Patrick Julien (DEM, District 104, North Miami Beach), who is also expected to give his endorsement at 2 p.m. today at the former commissioner's North Central HQ office, 665 NW 119th St. Ladra thinks that endorsement may ruffle the feathers of the influential women who met with Gimenez for breakfast last week (more on that next).
Although the press release says it goes on until 3:30 a.m., his people assure me it is a typo and it is not that kind of open house.