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realclearworld

Luke Campbell: ‘Why I passed on Carlos Gimenez’

The Miami rap star and former candidate for Miami Dade mayor Luke Campbell has decided to endorse Julio Robaina over Carlos Gimenez for county mayor. In an article he penned for the Miami New Times, Campbell points to the less than genuine, highly questionable, and unscrupulous actions of Carlos Gimenez and his campaign as the reason why he decided to endorse Julio Robaina.

Why I Passed on Carlos Gimenez

The spin doctors are hard at work because I am endorsing the candidate the media dislikes. Now everybody in the lukesgospel.jpgpress corps is trying to misconstrue my hourlong video interview with New Times and only taking the part about me suggesting that Pierre Rutledge is someone both candidates should hire because he is a squeaky-clean guy who will make sure they do the things that need to be done to help the community. What the fuck is wrong with that?

Don't we all have suggestions about who would serve in county government for the good of the people? Now everyone wants to falsely claim that my campaign was just about getting this man a job. So much for transparency and honesty. Rutledge is doing fine work as director of operations for the Miami-Dade County School Board. He doesn't need the job, but he is one of the few individuals in civic affairs whom I trust, so excuse me for trying to make sure that either Robaina or Gimenez does right by the community.

If I was about getting paid, then when Gimenez supporter and Homestead City Councilman Jimmy Williams offered me a $40,000 appearance fee for a restaurant that had not even opened, I would have taken it. Williams made the offer after we concluded a 1 a.m. meeting on June 7 with Gimenez inside the Snapper's at 800 Ives Dairy Rd.

Williams is the same guy who signed off on the press conference with Gimenez before I had even made up my mind. He is the guy who sent me a press release the day before the scheduled press conference with statements attributed to me that I did not say, putting words in my mouth. I don't operate that way. No one can put words in my mouth, and it certainly has never been about the money with me.

[...]

Robaina never offered me a quarter. I fought for constitutional rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And now all of sudden I am going to sell out the voters to get a friend a job? C'mon, man. I endorsed Robaina in exchange for the promise of thousands of jobs for Miami-Dade residents, not for just one individual.

[D]uring this campaign, Gimenez has not spent a quarter to court the African- American vote. He has not spent a dime on any minority-owned media outlets or taken the time to visit black neighborhoods. His strategy has largely been focused on getting elitist, wealthy Republicans and know-it-all Anglo Democrats.

This was a long, hard informed decision for me. I spent a lot of time talking to people I trust, folks who I know are not going to bullshit me. Yet everyone wants to paint a For Sale sign over my head. I'm making it clear that under no circumstances was my endorsement for sale.

I believe Robaina -- even though he is hated by New Times, the Miami Herald, CBS4, WPLG, and every no-name political blogger in town -- has the best shot at putting people to work. If that is criminal, throw my ass in jail.

Read the rest of Campbell's article HERE.

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