Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Schizophrenic Herald Endorsements

The Miami Herald today gave Mario Diaz-Balart its endorsement, praising him for his effectiveness as a legislator:

We recommend Mr. Diaz-Balart in this race, however, not for his position on a single issue, but for his overall record of engagement on policy issues and for delivering resources and jobs to the district. Mr. Diaz-Balart, 47, secured $100 million in funding for the Metrorail Miami Intermodal Center and helped Florida get billions more to improve highways and infrastructure. He helped to pass the Everglades Restoration bill and got $370 million more for a special water-delivery component of that project.

Mr. Diaz-Balart has been a dependable supporter of Israel, Latin American trade, Plan Colombia, the Mérida Initiative and protective rights for Haitians, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. He championed the Strive Act, the American Dream Act, Pell Grants and other education funding.
Then they turn around and endorse Raul Martinez instead of Lincoln Diaz-Balart:
Mr. Martinez is firmly grounded in reality. He has a broad agenda and a robust, hands-on style of leadership. His penchant for devising practical solutions to political problems would be an asset to the district.

These are some of the reasons that our recommendation is for Mr. Martinez. Under his leadership, Hialeah was transformed into a modern, more-livable community thanks in no small part to his energy and effectiveness. He has a popular touch and a record of delivering services to constituents.

Mr. Martinez won reelection in 1993 even though he was appealing a conviction on charges involving allegations of extorting money from developers in return for zoning favors. The conviction was reversed and two later trials ended in hung juries.

Mr. Martinez's candidacy represents an opportunity for voters to reflect the changing nature of South Florida, where the Hispanic community no longer is identified as a solid bloc always favoring the same political party.
I'm scratching my head here. I'd love to see how Lincoln Diaz-Balart's voting record stacks up to his brother Mario's. I'm sure that there weren't a lot of cases where they voted differently. So how can one get the endorsement and the other not?

And then there's that little thing about Martinez being extremely corrupt. The Herald itself investigated, reported on and denounced Martinez for his dirty dealings over the years. So now, because he beat the rap (never acquitted), we're supposed to forget all those articles, editorials and columns the Herald wrote about this scumbucket?

Yes, Raul was an effective mayor for Hialeah. But he also spit on people, bullied them, beat them up all while he lined his pockets and violated the public trust. If Raul is such a good mayor why doesn't he run for county mayor or mayor of Anders Gyllenhaal's municipality? I don't think Martinez' Luca Brasi act will go over very well in Washington.


who cares? said...

You have a point, but who or what the Herald endorses is essentially irrelevant. I certainly couldn't care less. Personally, I don't think it's appropriate for any news outfit to endorse any politician. For one thing, it's presumptuous.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Agreed. News outlets go through all sorts of contortions to display a patina of objectivity and then turn around and endorse candidates and policies. But my objective was to point out the Herald's own hypocrisy. They investigated Raul Martinez and found him seriously lacking in ethics. Regardless of how people feel about Lincoln Diaz-Balart's policies he's kept his nose clean and has been quite an effective legislator in building coalitions. Martinez is not only a thug, his temperament disqualifies him for this type of job.

Anonymous said...

Check out http://www.raulmartinez08.com/

seen it before said...

Raul Martinez's chief virtue may well be that he looks exactly like what he is. Of course, so does Hugo Chavez, and plenty of people were still stupid or perverse enough to support him, but I digress.

Cicumstances have obviously changed, and Martinez is no longer useful to the Herald the way he once was. However, he can now be useful a different way, or so the Herald thinks. This is a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

So let them make their little endorsement. Schizophrenia (or passive aggressive behavior) is hard to cure, even though it's clearly damaging.

Hmm said...

Gee, I wonder what Carl Hiaasen thinks of the Herald endorsing Martinez. I guess they didn't ask for his opinion, or maybe he figured that Martinez in Congress would give him plenty of fodder for his column. A perfect excuse for bashing "those people" by proxy.

wishbone said...

"Mr. Martinez's candidacy represents an opportunity for voters to reflect the changing nature of South Florida, where the Hispanic community no longer is identified as a solid bloc always favoring the same political party."

That's the money quote. Regardless of whether it represents reality or wishful thinking, it does reflect what the Herald would very much want to be true. It's just doing its part to make it come to pass.

Just what I want from a newspaper, to act as a political arbiter. After all, I couldn't possibly be expected to deal with these complicated matters on my own. The media always knows best. Lord knows it thinks it does.

spare me said...

Following the example of the Herald and other newspapers, I think I'll have cards printed with MY endorsements for all significant elections, so I can mail them to everyone I know (for their benefit, of course).

I'm sure everyone will be delighted to hear how I think they should vote, and will really appreciate my taking the time and effort to make sure they're properly guided.

I know I'm really glad our major newspapers are issuing endorsements like clockwork, instead of bothering with things like exposing a massive debacle in the making like Fannie-Freddie, so that maybe it could have been averted in time. Of course, now that the shit's hit the fan, there's no point following the culpability trail to make sure those responsible are called to account. That's just too messy and tedious and touchy, and besides, newspapers can't neglect truly useful functions like endorsing yet more dubious politicians. Makes sense to me.

Miss Manners said...

I trust the Herald was suitably impressed by Mr. Hialeah's display of class on election night. Oh, yeah, I trust the Herald's judgment, all right. Way to go.