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NUMBER 109 - OCTOBER 15, 2018
THE FIRST ANTI-SUAREZ STRONG MAYOR FLYER
IT'S CALLED DISASTER TOURISM, AND THE WORST OFFENDERS ARE POLITICIANS TRAVELING ON THE TAXPAYER'S DIME FOR A PHOTO OP, LIKE FOR INSTANCE, MIAMI CITY MANAGER COLONEL KLINK WHO DINGED THE TAXPAYERS $1709.49 FOR A 6 HOUR TRIP TO NORTH CAROLINA
I also wrote recently of how under Francis Suarez and Colonel Klink the City of Miami has seen an increase of politically affiliated individuals being hired in key jobs.
One of those individuals is Nikolas Pascual, who was hired shortly after the Colonel became City Manager.
Pascal's previous employment had been campaign manager and legislative assistant for Jose Feliz Diaz, who served in the Florida House of Representatives, from 2010 to 2017.
On September 20th, I posted a story that included the photo above questioning Miami City Manager Emilio "Colonel Klink" Gonzalez's decision to fly to North Carolina after the hurricane in what appeared to be nothing more than a self-serving photo op.
When I posted my story, I had requested, but not yet been provided with a copy of receipts for the trip.
I have them now, and true to form, Gonzalez dinged the taxpayers of Miami $1709.49 for airfare for him, and Nikolas Pascual, his Director of Intergovernmental Affairs to fly to Charolette, North Carolina.
They arrived at 8:29 AM, and were back on a plane to Miami at 2:27 PM, which means that at best they spent a grand total of 4.5 - 5 hours on the ground in North Carolina, posing for photos.
But wait, there's more.
When Diaz lost his campaign to become a State Senator, he did what so many other former legislators do, he became a lobbyist, joining the mega lobbying firm Ballard Partners.
Among his lobbying clients, Diax lists Miami Beckham United LLC. He also lists a handful of projects that are seeking major zoning changes from the city where having an inside connection to the City Manager would be a wonderful thing to have.
It all an interlocking system of connected insiders, who can be followed from campaign donations, to lawyers and lobbyists to favorable treatment and sweetheart deals like the Beckham deal.
The reason why these connections are so easily found is that the "real" news media either because of laziness, incompetence of just outright collusion refuses to report on these kinds of connections and their implications and potential impact on the city.
One result of this negligence and/or outright refusal to cover these activities as assaults on the public's trust and abuse of power is that it allows the City Manager to figure that he and his aide could fly off for a day trip to North Carolina to pose for a little self-serving photo op, and not a word about this junket would ever be revealed to the public.
And just so no one think's I'm just picking on Colonel Klink, here is City Commissioner Manolo Reyes, who somehow managed to show up in the Panhandle over the weekend.
What the fuck's up with that, Manolo? How much did this jaunt cost, and who did you take with you?
NOTE: I have just received word from Commissioner Reyes' office that he and his Chief of Staff paid their own way, which is fine.
If you pay for the trip, you can go whereever you want, whenever you want.
It's only when you ding the taxpayer that folks should get upset.
It's Miami, Bitches!