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BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER - THOSE IN THE KNOW EXPECTED IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE MANOLO REYES DID A FAVOR FOR HIS LOBBYIST SON MANNY. THAT DAY FINALLY CAME
Since the day that Manolo Reyes was sworn in a lot of folks have been wondering how Manolo would deal with Joe Carollo, and with his son Manny, who is a local lobbyist in town with the enviable opportunities provided in having a father who has become a city commissioner?
It seems that contrary to all the advise that he's been given about keeping Carollo at arms length, Manolo has found himself in a very precarious position of being Carollo's gofer on too many issues and is now beginning to be seen as Carollo's butt boy - Reyes will no doubt scream, holler and pound the table that this is not so, but unfortunately not only appearance but actions say that it is so.
Carollo's reputation of being a user of people who he discards when they are no longer of use is unfortunately one that Manolo Reyes has refused to accept or comprehend, and there are any number of people who are sitting on the sidelines with a bag of popcorn waiting to see the show when Carollo turns on him, like he has on so many others.
All of that is expected to come in the future.
This story however, is about how Manolo's current dealings with Carollo have put him in harms way, and also provides an answer to the question regarding how long would it take Manolo to do something that would benefit his son lobbying activities financially.
ONE MORE THING
At the end of the very contentious commission meeting on February 14th, after all the allegations, name calling and accusations by Joe Carollo about Bill Fuller, Mayor Francis Suarez, City Manager Colonel Klink, the police department, the new Code Compliance Director and her employees, you would have figured that Carollo would have run out of gas, and allowed everyone to go home to celebrate was was left of Valentine's Day.
He still had one more item that needed to be addressed and resolved before the meeting could be adjourned, and that item dealt with the decision made by the City Manager last December to choose a new lobbying firm to represent the City in Tallahassee.
In 2018, the city had used the lobbying services of the law firm Becker/Poliakoff, and for this year's efforts to get money from Tallahassee, Colonel Klink decided not to renew their contract but rather to hire another lobbying firm.
When questioned by Carollo, Colonel Klink explained that he had exercised the same "standard practice," previous City Managers had done in exercising his managerial authority to change lobbying firms, and had not bought the issue before the Commission for approval because the contract was for $25,000, an amount that he is entitled to spend without seeking Commission approval.
Carollo would not have any of that, and once again for the umpteenth time, remind the Colonel and everyone else that things like that did not occur the last time he was an elected official in Miami - he often makes it sound like he was only gone a couple years, but in fact he was gone 16 years, and a lot of things have changed in the world during that time for good and bad - and vowing to return Miami to the days when things were done the Carollo way, whether they like it or not.
In any event, Carollo browbeat Colonel Klink into submission, and into agreeing to rehire Becker/Poliakoff.
Why is this a problem?
Because, young Manny Reyes is financially tied to Becker/Poliakoff as a subcontractor.
Below are documents showing 3 specific instances where Reyes is listed as a subcontractor to Becker/Poliakoff lobbying contracts representing the Village of Pincrest, MDX and the City of South Miami.
But before we get to those documents, it's important to look at how Joe Carollo decided that this lobbying issue was one that needed his immediate attention, especially in light of the claim that he made midway during his discussion with Colonel Klink on the time when he claimed that:
"Becker/Poliakoff - Let me be clear, while I know some
people there, you probably know more people there than
I do. They certainly if anybody had any questions were
not friendly towards me. They had other people that they
liked much more than me. So this is not a question that
I'm trying to get somebody in there that's friendly
Joe Carollo is the most transactional politician in Miami. He doesn't do anything, or support any issue that isn't in some way beneficial to him, so the notion that he would claim that he was raising the issue of getting Becker/Poliakoff rehired as a matter of principal, or even of good governance and not because there was some sort of personal benefit on behalf of either himself, or someone he was doing a favor for is laughable.
What I believe happened - and this is speculation - but speculation on 10 years of watching Carollo and others up close is that Manolo Reyes during one of the numerous lunches and dinners that it seems he and Carollo have been rumored to be having, told Carollo about Becker/Poliakoff being fired by the manager, and that Carollo, either knowing about young Manny's business relationships with Becker/Poliakoff, or being told of them by Reyes, saw an opportunity to raise this issue as a favor to Reyes, and as a way to boost young Manny's standing with Becker/Poliakoff, thereby creating a Reyes IOU.
Now, this kind of stuff goes on all the time, and while some might view this as sleazy behavior, it's actually just politics.
The real problem lies with Manolo not revealing during at the beginning of discussion that his son Manny was in business with Becker/Poliakoff, and that out of an abundance of caution, he was going to recuse himself.
Instead of Reyes recusing himself, he seconded Carollo's motion requiring the City Manager rehiring Becker/Poliakoff, and that, I do believe clearly resulted in Manolo Reyes violating Florida Statute 112.3143(3)(a).
Now, it is true that there is no assurance that young Manny will show up on the Lobbyist Registration in Tallahassee as a lobbyist for the City of Miami as a result of the vote by his father directing the City Manager of Miami to rehire Becker/Poliakoff, and in fact, after this story that definitely won't happen, but the fact that young Manny has 3 separate contractual relationships with Becker/Poliakoff to represent 2 other municipalities as well as the MDX, and that his Daddy was instrumental in getting Becker/Poliakoff rehired, certainly has to be seen at the very least as a strengthening of the relationship between Manny and Becker/Poliakoff - how many subcontractors can boast that their Daddy helped get their employer rehired?
In the real world, that translates into money, and that qualifies as another
It's Miami, Bitches story!
HERE ARE THE DOCUMENTS THAT SHOW THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MANNY REYES AND BECKER/POLIAKOFF
1. PAGE FROM MDX MEETING OF JANUARY 31, 2019
2. PAGE FROM CONTRACT WITH THE VILLAGE OF PINECREST THAT SHOWS BECKER/POLIAKOFF IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PEREIRA/REYES. PEREIRA/REYES IS COMPANY OWNED BY MANNY REYES AND HIS WIFE, WHO IS THE DAUGHTER OF THE LATE COUNTY MANAGER/LOBBYIST SERGIO PEREIRA, HIS FORMER CLIENTS BECAME THE BASE FOR THIS NEW COMPANY
HERE IS THE LOBBYIST REGISTRATION IN TALLAHASSEE
3. PAGE FROM CONTRACT WITH THE CITY OF SOUTH MIAMI. YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE CONTRACT IS JUST WITH BECKER/POLIAKOFF, BUT BOTH THE LOBBYIST REGRISTRATION IN TALLAHASSE AND CONFIRMATION FROM THE CITY INDICATE THAT PEREIRA/REYES WAS ACTING AS THE SUBCONTRACTOR TO BECKER/POLIAKOFF
HERE IS THE LOBBYIST REGISTRATION IN TALLAHASSEE
NUMBER 33 - MARCH 8, 2019
PHOTO OF THE DAY - WITH THE USUAL INCOMPETENCE THAT EVERYONE HAS COME TO EXPECT, IT SEEMS THAT FDOT FORGOT TO HOOK UP ALL THE FIRE HYDRANTS ALONG FLAGLER STREET, THEREBY REQUIRING THE SIDEWALKS TO BE TORN UP AGAIN
THE CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD HAS GONE COMPLETELY OFF THE RAILS - WHO WOULD TRUST A BUNCH OF "VOLUNTEERS" WHO THINK SO LITTLE OF PROCESS OR GOOD GOVERNANCE THAT THEY HAND'T HELD AN ELECTION FOR OFFICERS IN 10 YEARS THAT THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO RUN AROUND THE CITY WITH BADGES