Diaz-Balarts, Raul, Joe and Political Hardball!

Yep! it is getting good out there. Insurgent Democrats Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia are hot on the trail of the Diaz-Balart Brothers.  The Diaz-Balarts, Mario and Lincoln, are long time Republican U.S. Congressmen from South Florida. They along with Congresswomen Illeana Ros-Lehitnen were staging a press conference touting a bill they’d introduced which allow commuters a income tax rebate on gasoline used to get to work. Nice idea and certainly in tune with the times.  The event was sure to get TV coverage. But this is political season and not everyone in the crowd gathered at a gas station in Doral was on the Diaz-Balart team. 

The were young, polite, clean and neat, the had small but high quality video cameras and a brief case full of press releases.  They were working for Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez.

Meanwhile across town in Coral Gables Martinez and Garcia were involved in a lunch with a high ranking Democratic congressman who was in town raising money for the party and boosting Joe and Raul. Most TV stations had cameras there but not reporters. 

Back in Doral the Diaz-Balart Brothers finished their presser and started working the small crowd.  The Garcia/Martinez operatives quickly passed out a lengthy press release entitled “Garcia  Campaign responds to Diaz-Balart Energy Plan.”  The release essentially ripped the Diaz-Balart Legislation and documented campaign contributions the brothers have received from oil interests.

The TV reporters scrambled to get their photographers in Coral Gables to “get sound” from Joe and Raul. Garcia was ready with short concises responses, Raul got a couple of facts wrong but was able to claim that the Diaz-Balart’s should stop taking money from the oil interests and local gas dealers. Garcia charged that the Brothers were six years late getting into the gas price debate. 

At the end of the day Garcia and Martinez were able to elbow their way into the Diaz-Balart’s press confernce with strong sound bites and scored some free TV time.  

And by the way what about that video the young campaign worker were shooting? They will likely be at every Diaz-Balart event just looking for damaging sound bites to quickly post on YouTube. That’s the way the political game is played these days, just as one-time Presidental hopeful, Senator George Allen.

A minor battle victory for the Democrats? The Garcia campaign was primed to pounce on on the Diaz-Balart Presser, it looks like Martinez went along for the ride. But not bad for an early hit.

It is early on, November is a long way off and you can bet the Diaz-Balart boys have plenty up their campaign sleeves and they too know how to play hardball in the streets and it won’t wind up on YouTube.


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