Contact:Leroy Griffith or Brenda GarciaPhone:305-534-2000Fax:305-531-9160 October 15, 2013Email:email@example.comWebsite:www.clubmadonna.com
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
One afternoon in July 2010, my business assistant and I had a lunch meeting with a certainMiami Beach city commissioner.The meeting's purpose: to ask that commissioner for his help in bringing a proposal before theCity Commission to allow Club Madonna to serve alcohol.To my surprise, this commissioner brought along with him to our lunch his campaign manager, awell-known local political consultant and lobbyist.First, I need to determine where my colleagues stand on this issue, the commissioner told me.For that, I will require you to hire my campaign manager to conduct that research, he added.A heated argument ensued.Further research was unnecessary, I told the commissioner; I won't hire your guy. All I wantedwas for him to put the issue on the Commission agenda and let it come to a vote.If you don't hire him, the commissioner insisted, then I won't bring the matter up. You won'thave my support. And that will be the end of the discussion about alcohol at Club Madonna.The commissioner in question? Michael Gongora.His consultant? Randy Hilliard.When Mr. Gongora proclaims in his campaign for mayor that “experience matters,” votersshould consider his so-called “experience” very carefully.But let me tell you more about my experience with the one who claims to be the “experienced”candidate in this race. Not only did Mr. Gongora try, at that 2010 lunch, to extort me to hire his consultant-friendHilliard as a lobbyist, but a year before, during his 2009 re-election campaign for commissioner,Mr. Gongora accepted a series of six campaign donations from me, totaling $3,000.