Lately it seems like there isn't a day that goes by with some sort of mention of the absentee ballot scandal that's rocked Miami Dade county. First we had the alleged Hialeah absentee ballot broker Deisy (wtf kind of name is that?) Cabrera get arrested for illegally collecting at least 31 absentee ballots in the August 14 election. Shortly thereafter we had Sergio "el tio" Robaina, former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina's uncle get arrested for allegedly filling out absentee ballots for voters and collecting several ballots which is against the law.
There's nothing new here, absentee ballot fraud has been going on for ages in Miami, in fact several of my friends who have run for elected office have told me about these people approaching them during their campaign and offering to deliver them x-amount of votes for a fixed price. Shortly after these two arrests we saw newly reelected Miami Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez, distance himself from these ballot brokers stating that...
"If I didn't hire her, how am I blamed for something that I didn't do? These ladies do not work for my campaign"
That's all well and good, it's entirely possible that Mayor Gimenez had nothing to do with these ballot brokers despite the various photos of them together floating around. Next we saw our State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, jump into the fire and recuse herself and her office from the absentee ballot fraud case after which Florida governor Scott resigned the case to Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz, as if that's really going to make any difference at all.
So here we are now nearly a month after all this ballot fraud noise started and it seemed for a brief moment that we might have a chance of getting some sort of real justice, that is until today. The first thing that struck me as being strange was the Miami Dade State Attorneys Office asking Judge Milton Hirsch to push back Robaina's arraignment. Now that struck me as bizarre for two reasons, first, considering that there's a major election looming just over the horizon, wouldn't you want to get to the bottom of the absentee ballot fraud as fast as humanly possible? The second thing that makes no sense is why is the Miami Dade State Attorneys Office asking for the arraignment to be pushed back (according to the Herald) when the Miami SAO was supposed to recuse itself from this case? What am I missing?
So here we are, is all this hoopla in the media about the absentee ballot bullshit just that, bullshit or is there really a meaningful investigation going on that will end up with some of the players behind this age old scheme going to jail? I was really hoping that it was the later, that is until I got a call today from one of my sources in the Miami Dade Police Department who gave me some really disturbing news. Before we go any further, I'd like to make it perfectly clear that what I was told has not been substantiated so until the time that I can confirm what I was told, treat what I'm about to tell you as unsubstantiated rumor, strictly fiction to amuse ourselves with. As I mentioned earlier, the absentee ballot fraud is pervasive and has been part of the Miami political game for as long as anyone can remember. In this most recent case, there's been talk about the scandal reaching up the chain to the highest circles of Miami politics, perhaps even going up as far as our county Mayor. In the most recent election, it seemed like the absentee ballots provided the razor thin margins that several of the candidates were able to win there seats with so it's easy to understand why some very powerful people are going to want this whole scandal to go away quietly.
Now, here comes the unsubstantiated rumor part. My source from the PD tells me that recently there have been moves made recently to transfer the Major in charge of Public Corruption in the MDPD out of his position and replace him with an old friend and lacky of Mayor Gimenez, a fellow from the Hammocks named Major Hernan Organvidez. Again, this is no way shape or form anything more than an unsubstantiated rumor, but consider for a moment if it was true. Who better to oversee a critical investigation into voter fraud that may affect you and your colleagues than an old friend? I don't need to elaborate on the advantages of this possible arrangement, you all have a good enough imagination to be able to figure out how things could work to your advantage when one of your friends is conducting a criminal investigation into you and your campaign workers actions coming up to an election.
So is the fix in? I don't know but with the SAO delaying Robaina's arraignment and the possibility of the Mayor's buddy taking over the MDPD public corruption unit, it certainly looks like it!