“Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s story is Miami’s story. As the first South American immigrant elected to Congress, she has become a force in the halls of Washington. She has led the fight for economic relief for small businesses and her constituents during COVID-19, and she wrote the bill to make Medicare Advantage cover COVID-19 testing. Her leadership stands in stark contrast to Corrupt Carlos Giménez’s record in office of enriching himself, his family and his donors at the taxpayer’s expense, even as South Florida has become a coronavirus hotspot. With a record of delivering for her constituents, Mucarsel-Powell is well on her way to re-election.” – DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos
To: Interested Parties
From: Sarah Guggenheimer, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: August 18, 2020
Subject: The Case Against Carlos Giménez
Miami-Dade Mayor Corrupt Carlos Giménez has never had a constituent he wasn’t willing to sell out to the highest bidder. His record in municipal and county government is riddled with scandals and controversies where he used his position to line the pockets of himself, his family, and his corporate donors.
As he enters his first partisan election, Corrupt Carlos is bringing with him a record of ethics complaints, shady backroom deals, and self-enrichment, and won’t have the money to hide his record from his would-be voters in this Clinton +16 district. From his widely-panned response to COVID-19 to Giménez’s record of doling out county business to his lobbyist sons’ companies, Corrupt Carlos embodies everything that’s wrong with politics.
The first South American immigrant to serve in Congress, Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has always understood the importance of hard work. Working at a donut shop at age 15, Debbie earned a scholarship to college and then went to work at nonprofits and at FIU to improve health care for lower-income Floridians.
In her first term in office, Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has distinguished herself as someone who will work tirelessly to deliver for her constituents. She wrote the bill requiring Medicare Advantage to cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment and secured $1,200 checks for her constituents is fighting to pass transportation and infrastructure bills to create jobs and improve South Florida’s broken roads and bridges, and she’s secured $200 million for Florida’s Everglades and spoken out about gun violence —the cause of her father’s death.
Mucarsel-Powell’s record of results and deep connection to the community she serves is further evidenced by her massive cash on hand advantage. Put up against Giménez’s deep record of corruption, Mucarsel-Powell is well on her way to re-election.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
HEADLINE: South Florida mayors express frustration in Giménez’s response following COVID-19 rise in cases [WSVN, 6/9/20]
“Miami elected leaders are taking the fight over federal COVID-19 relief funds into the political arena by accusing Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménezof using most of $474 million in CARES Act money to boost his profile with voters during his congressional campaign.
“’I want to know if this is a political grab bag so that Mayor Giménez can direct funds to help people that he wants to help,’ said Commissioner Joe Carollo, once a close enough ally to Giménez that he was on the payroll for the county mayor’s 2016 reelection campaign.” [Miami Herald, 8/3/20]
HEADLINE: Gov. DeSantis, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez fumble on contact tracing [Florida Politics, 7/7/20]
HEADLINE: Opinion: Miami-Dade mayor deserves an ‘I told you so’ for botched coronavirus opening [Miami Herald, 7/10/20]
HEADLINE: Call for Second Look at Miami-Dade Monorail Project After Ethics Report [NBC6, 5/27/20]
HEADLINE: Homestead family stranded in Peru back home, thanks to congresswoman [WSVN, 4/2/20]
HEADLINE: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Wants to Expand Medicare Advantage Coverage of COVID-19 Treatment [Florida Daily, 5/7/20]
HEADLINE: Mucarsel-Powell wants $760 billion infrastructure plan included in coronavirus relief [Miami Herald, 3/19/20]
HEADLINE: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announces post-Irma FEMA award for Monroe, Miami-Dade [Florida Politics, 6/17/19]
Corrupt Carlos: El Gran Ladrón
MUCARSEL-POWELL FIGHTS FOR HER CONSTITUENTS, CORRUPT CARLOS FIGHTS FOR HIMSELF
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact in South Florida and Miami-Dade County —still reporting more than 1,000 new cases a day— more than almost anywhere else in the country.
Throughout this crisis, Debbie has been an exemplary advocate for her constituents. She wrote the bill requiring Medicare Advantage to cover the cost of treatment for the coronavirus. She led the fight to deliver $1,200 in stimulus money to South Florida families and increase unemployment insurance. She secured the first mobile testing site in South Florida. And she worked to increase transparency and make sure relief goes to small businesses not big corporations. Debbie is committed to South Florida and has been a leader who gets things done on their behalf.
Corrupt Carlos can’t say the same.
In fact, Corrupt Carlos’ economic legacy is one of staggering personal enrichment directly at the expense of his constituents. In his time in office, Giménez gave himself a 67% pay raise, and kept a taxpayer funded Mercedes while cutting $400 million in Miami-Dade jobs and investment.
And during COVID-19, Corrupt Carlos has been lambasted by restaurant owners, event hall owners, and Municipal Mayors (many, many, many, many, many, many times) among others for his mismanagement that has left them without the resources and economic relief they need to battle this pandemic.
Giménez has been criticized for treating CARES Act funding as a political grab bag by former allies, arbitrarily closing different industries for no reason other than political pressure, refusing to cancel Ultra Music Festival because, per Carlos – the risk is lower for young people, failing to shut down cruise ships in a timely manner, arguing that he’d “flattened the curve” at the height of Miami-Dade’s resurgence, then admitting he “can’t get [COVID] under control” just weeks later. Giménez even blamed the spike of cases on Black Lives Matter protesters instead of accepting responsibility.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Gimenez has praised President Donald Trump’s “strong leadership” during the crisis and called Governor Ron DeSantis’s handling of the pandemic “excellent.”
There’s no other way to put it: Corrupt Carlos has failed the people of Miami-Dade during COVID-19 and can’t be trusted in Congress.
A BRIEF, AND INCOMPLETE, HISTORY OF CORRUPT CARLOS’ CORRUPTION
For the uninitiated, Corrupt Carlos has spent his career betraying his constituents and skirting the law for his own gain. Here we’ve run down some of Corrupt Carlos’ greatest hits:
A wiped burner phone, an off-books luxury yacht trip in China paid for by a foreign infrastructure company on a taxpayer funded “trade mission,” and an ad filmed by Giménez in support of that infrastructure company’s unsolicited monorail bid, filmed weeks before the bid was submitted – that’s how Corrupt Carlos conducts deals. The details behind this absurd and James Bond villain-esque meeting are still being unraveled today thanks to ongoing accusations that Corrupt Carlos discouraged competition and paved the way for this foreign company to build a monorail. And this slow drip of news will continue to haunt Giménez’s campaign as new shady details come to light.
In 2018, a recently constructed pedestrian bridge collapsed, killing 6 people. After the tragedy, the company that built the bridge, Munilla Construction Management, came under fire after an OSHA report and the National Transportation Safety Board both found the company knew about the bridge cracking, but didn’t stop construction. Even so, Corrupt Carlos still asked the County to extend a $130 million airport contract to the same company a little over a year later. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Corrupt Carlos’ sons helped run the company.
But that’s not the only time Corrupt Carlos’ sons have lobbied for clients that then proceeded to get special treatment from the Mayor.
In late 2013, Giménez secretly began talks with Donald Trump about letting Trump buy a county golf course. The talks continued for more than a year off books before – surprise, surprise – Trump drafted an unsolicited proposal to take over the golf course. At the time, one of Corrupt Carlos’ sons admitted that he helped provide “guidance on legal and procedural issues.” And Donald Trump later hired Giménez’s son as a lobbyist.
This is how Corrupt Carlos conducts business in Miami-Dade, and South Florida voters already know that this is the type of excessive corruption he’s trying to bring with him to Congress.
CORRUPT CARLOS’ WANTS TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
For years, Washington Republicans have pursued a relentless agenda to hike health care costs and cut coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act – and all the while Corrupt Carlos Giménez has stood right along with them.
As Miami-Dade Mayor, Corrupt Carlos eliminated the county’s Healthcare Planning Department, which closed on the same day the ACA’s health care exchanges opened, making it more difficult for his constituents to enroll and get care.
And Giménez’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act extends even today, despite Florida’s devastating COVID-19 outbreak. Corrupt Carlos has clearly voiced his approval of Washington Republicans’ lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a global pandemic. Per his own campaign, Giménez supports “the right of the states to challenge federal laws.”
Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell has been a steadfast advocate for protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act. When she wrote the bill to allow Medicare Advantage to cover COVID-19 treatments, she proved she’s someone South Florida can rely on to advocate for their interests and be a positive force for change – lowering health care costs instead of raising them and building on the Affordable Care Act instead of tearing it apart.
PATH TO VICTORY
In her first term in Congress, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s immigrant roots, lifelong hard work ethic, and love of her community have served her constituents well. In this Clinton +16 district where Vice President Biden is poised to win by an even higher margin, Mucarsel-Powell has delivered real results to South Florida.
Corrupt Carlos Giménez is entering his first general election where he will be identified on the ballot as a Republican, and where he’ll be forced to answer for his years-long pattern of corruption, pay-to-play deals, and nepotism.
Giménez is also headed into the general election at a severe cash on hand disadvantage, having less than $900,000 compared to Mucarsel-Powell’s $2.7 million. And in Miami’s expensive media market, that disparity will have a clear impact.
In 2018, Mucarsel-Powell won her election because voters recognized her as someone like them – a hard-working immigrant ready to break barriers in pursuit of what’s right. Since then she’s delivered on her promises to her constituents – relentlessly fighting for South Florida, setting her up for re-election.