Last Friday, just before leaving town for Spring Break, I had a phone conversation with Brad Rosenblatt, supplemented with his written statement yesterday, as quoted below.
Mr. Rosenblatt offers himself as someone who supports local business in everyone’s interest. “What I bring that is a bit different is that I have been active downtown since 2003.” It’s important, he argued, to “make sure downtown doesn’t underperform” because downtown’s performance affects everyone in the city. “It has a very clear link to the financial success of the whole city since they pay over 50%” of local taxes. “This affects the taxes that residents pay: when the downtown performs, it keeps resident taxes low, and services high.” Specifically, the city needs to maintain the garage, the elevators, the greenery, the sidewalks. “If people go elsewhere, it impacts everyone in Coral Gables.”
I asked if he had an endorsement in the Mayor’s race. “I know who I’m voting for. I’ll tell you April 12. I’m voting for someone has good experience to lead our city for the next two years.”
I asked Mr. Rosenblatt to reply to the allegations about him in the push-poll. He talked faster than I can type, so he kindly emailed emailed me a statement.
Recall that the push poll said something to the effect of
- He has a history of financial problems including an IRS lien for payroll taxes and filed for bankruptcy
- He was arrested for embezzlement and grand larceny and pleaded no contest
Here’s the formal reply:
A decade ago I helped my father with some financial obligations. Shortly thereafter he became ill and his ability to keep up with his obligations was affected. I did my best to take care of him but the burden became too great. At the advice of my attorney, I filed for bankruptcy. In the midst of this, I chose poor business partners who in retaliation for a hostile breakup, made false accusations against me. I have NEVER been guilty of anything. We settled the dispute and I was able to clear my good name and preserve my reputation. Since that time I have built a successful international business and have served my community. It is shameful that some of my campaign opponents choose to distort my record to win an election. I’m confident the voters will support me because of my qualifications and desire to be a public servant for our city.
During our talk, I asked about the Channel 10 article. Did Mr. Rosenblatt really think this wouldn’t come out in a campaign? That quote, he said, is accurate, but is ripped from context. He was 25 at the time. (Rosenblatt is 35 now.) He relied on his friend and business partner’s father, who was also an investor in the project and the project’s attorney. He “represented his son and me”. Then it started to go wrong. “I sued them. They made false accusation against me.” What Channel 10 left out, Mr. Rosenblatt said, is that the main witness against him ten years ago, the office manager, has since recanted. “They pressured her to sign a statement. … She provided a sworn affidavit ten years later that she was pressured … and I never did anything wrong.”
Mr. Rosenblatt says there’s a second witness too: “There was an operations manager at the time…he also has gone on the record…all monies were accounted for…there was backup for everything…there was no wrongdoing on anyone’s part.
“Coral Gables voters will be disgusted that someone will try to use something [like this]…they don’t have a tolerance for dirty politics, for slander.”
I asked if Mr. Rosenblatt had any idea who paid for the survey, but he said he did not, other than it had to be one of the well-financed candidates.
I hope to speak to the other candidates after I get back next week. Then I may offer some thoughts of my own about the race.
I fail to see where the slander exists – he was arrested for embezzlement and he declared bankruptcy. Do with the facts what you will.
“Another deadbeat candidate out for a paying job.”
This doesn’t rise to your threshold of slander?
This is the type of campaigning you endorse for Coral Gables?
The legal system, like the political system, can be used for both legitimate and malicious purposes, which is why we don’t automatically declare people guilty when they are accused. Business conflicts are routinely played out in the courts and the fact that two business partners sued one another a decade ago over a failed business venture doesn’t inspire the type of sensationalism that the smear ad attempts to concoct.
Shall we dig up dirt on all of the Gables candidates from a decade or more into their pasts and wallow in that mire every two years? Pay a political hatchet-man like Donner and you will get what you pay for, character assassination constructed out of anything he can dredge up: about Rosenblatt, about Sanabria, about you, about me. How far back do you want to dig – 20s? Teens? Grade School?
Brad Rosenblatt declared (or is it “committed”) bankruptcy ten years ago when he was 24 years old. You’re using this as a smear? Really?
Here are some other villains who committed the crime of filing for bankruptcy:
L. Frank Baum – Wizard of Oz author
King Edward II – 14th century English King
Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) – Author
John Connally – Former Texas Governor
Walt Disney – Film Producer & Theme Park Pioneer
Henry Ford – First two automobile companies failed
William Fox – Co-founder of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Charles Goodyear – Founder of Goodyear Tire Co.
Ulysses S. Grant – 18th U.S. President & Civil War General
Dorothy Hamill – Olympic Ice Skater
Henry John Heinz – Famous Condiment Manufacturer
Milton Snavely Hershey – Founder of Hershey’s Foods Corp.
Thomas Jefferson – American Founding Father and President
Larry King – Talk-show Host/Author
Bowie Kuhn – Former Major League Baseball Commissioner
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Famous Musical Composer
Immanuel Nobel – Father of Alfred Nobel (who founded Nobel prizes)
Debbie Reynolds – Actress/Singer
Rembrandt Heremenszoon Van Rijn – Famous Dutch painter
William G. Stern – British property mogul
J. Fife Symington – Governor of Arizona
Donald Trump’s Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Inc.
Johnny Unitas – Hall of Fame Quarterback
Oscar Wilde – Acclaimed Author and Poet
Tammy Wynette – Singer
Wow, what a bunch of deadbeats!
One sees what they want to see – “winning” and political gamesmanship has completely trumped civility.
Mr. Rosenblatt has a very short memory. He wrote bad checks to many of his employees including my uncle. My uncle is retired, on a fixed income and desperately needs the money Mr. Rosenblatt stole from him. My uncle contacted Mr. Rosenblatt when he found out he was running for CG Commission. He asked Mr. Rosenblatt to make things right and pay him the money he was owed.
Mr. Rosenblatt’s reply? FORGET IT. I was young and I made mistakes and I filed for bankruptcy in order not to have to pay you.
Keep in mind that all the time Mr. Rosenblatt was embezzling and writing bad checks and filing for bankruptcy he was driving a Porsche and wearing Rolex watches.
Coral Gables does NOT need a known thief in the Commission.
Vote AGAINST Rosenblatt!!!
I just had a very unpleasant run-in with Mr. Rosenblatt who jovially stepped out in front of my car while crossing the street. He then proceeded to call me an a&*hole. His over inflated ego and undeserved sense of entitlement says volumes about his character. If I were to guess, all of the above threads with statements about his character are most likely true. Anyone who has such little composure and uses such foul language does not have the character nor the self restraint to handle this position. I would urge anyone who was thinking about voting for this individual to meet him in person. He lacks character and class. If you have a choice choosing any of his opponents would be better than this loud mouth.