To make a long story short, some weeks ago a humble woman of Hialeah was arrested with some absentee ballots that apparently did not belong to her. As a result, a witch-hunt unleashed and brought a new word to Miami-Dade’s non-political slang: “boleteros” or ballot brokers. We coined it as a new word because now some people had learned and others confirmed the relevance of “boleteros” in local politics to choosing a candidate running for election.
“Boleteros” in Doral
Quantum Results, led by political strategist Al Lorenzo, has a long track record of political consulting for a host of candidates, among them, current Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and questioned State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
Quantum is at the center of a controversy because of the Hialeah “boleteras” scandal (Lorenzo has denied any ties with the arrested woman) and an employee named Jerry Ramos who has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for fraud, check forgery, credit-card forgery and grand theft, among others.
After learning about the news, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez rescinded his contract with Quantum. State Attorney Fernandez Rundle still keeps the contract but asked to remove Ramos away from her campaign.
Quantum has a $ 45,000-a-year lobbying contract with the City of Doral. According to City Manager Yvonne Soler, Quantum services have saved the City millions of dollars, “our working relationship has been fruitful. Before I came to work for the City, Quantum already provided consulting and lobbying services, primarily in Tallahassee.”
Soler explained that Quantum services helped Doral to eliminate the famous mitigation fee, which saved the City $ 10 million annually. That is a success.”
In one of his usual emotional outbursts, Councilman and mayoral candidate Luigi Boria attacked Quantum in El Nuevo Herald and threatened to propose cancelling its contract with the City at the next Council meeting.
Apparently Boria did not consult with Soler before making such statements. Otherwise, how can he intend to cancel a contract to a company that has saved his City $ 10 million annually because of a “scandal of “boleteras” and convicts” that we do not know yet if it is a “smoke screen” planned by some sectors to dismantle the Cuban-American vote.
“Boria should get down to work for the City and leave politicking aside, and stop using Council meetings for his political interests and clear intentions for public notoriety,” said mayoral candidate Frank Bolaños who hired Quantum for his campaign.
“Quantum operates in my campaign as an advertising, promotional products agency, etc.,” Bolaños said.
Do not forget that the “boleteras” arrived at Doral long ago and were brought by Boria, who since his first election hired political consultant Sasha Tirador, better known as “The Queen of Absentee Ballots,” according to Bolaños. Also remember that Boria, a stranger to local politics when he ran for his first election, won the absentee ballots with the help of this woman.
“It sounds then paradoxical that he criticizes the City or me for having hired Quantum, when he has Tirador. That is part of Luigi Boria double standard,” said Bolaños.
For his part, Pete Cabrera, also mayoral candidate, indicates that the Quantum case is not new but that he has never understood the role it plays in the City. “I have requested the reports on Quantum’s operation several times, but they have never been delivered.”
Cabrera acknowledged that there was a time when Quantum operated lobbying the City in the State capital, “but I believe that they have not traveled to Tallahassee for a long time. Honestly, I do not know what they do for Doral. “My task is to look after the interests of the City, but I do not see our interest in Quantum,” Cabrera said.
“This is shameful. I invite Boria and Cabrera to do their political campaign outside the City Hall. I encourage them to discuss the issues of interest for the City publicly, in front of our voters. It is time to stop taking political advantage of anything, just to make headlines as Luigi Boria does. I encourage both to debate, and in English, which is the language we have to speak when protecting and lobbying the City in Washington and Tallahassee,” underlined Bolaños, who concluded by ensuring that there is no room for pursuing particular interests in Doral, “Doral is not for sale, nor is negotiable.”
A word to the wise is enough.
By Lourdes Ubieta