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Politics

Annette Taddeo, Why No African-American Consulting Firm?

July 21, 2014 - 6:00pm

Now that the story about a suspect contract Annette Taddeo, as chair of the Miami-Dade DEC, made with her executive director, Juan Cuba, is out, and while the likes of Pam Bondi, and whoever else, is looking into said contract (as well she should), I have a rather pressing question.

Why wasnt this contract, if it was legal and above board, not put out for an open bid? Why werent African-American political consulting firms given the opportunity to provide consulting services to the Miami-Dade DEC?

Florida Democratic Party shenanigans aside, when it comes to political consulting, African-Americans are all but shut out of getting a piece of that pie.

Annette Taddeo isnt the first, and wont be the last, to keep lucrative contracts away from African-Americans, while counting on us to provide votes, and giving these contracts to friends.

Taddeo gave a contract to her executive director. In fact, it appears as though this company, 537 Consulting LLC, was formed for the sole reason of not having to pay benefits to staff. All appearances of impropriety aside, and it does appear that there was impropriety there, where was this inclusiveness Taddeo speaks of? She didnt just not choose an African-American firm, she didnt even open it up for them to bid!

But she now wants our votes for Charlie Crist!

With the negative reaction minorities already have toward Crist, this isnt doing him any favors.

Really, Annette? I have to give you a big fat Bye, Felicia on that one!

Actions speak louder than words, and behavior such as Taddeos, and Democrats around the country, is screaming out: Hey, black people, we want your votes, but we arent going to spend money in your communities!

Aaron Blake did a piece for The Washington Post regarding the lack of money the Democratic Party spends with racially minority firms. It was sickening and sad.

Read it for yourselves.

The party that likes to talk about how big its tent is, how much more inclusive than Republicans it is, wont spend very much money on minority business enterprises.

They want our votes, but not our business.

Donna Brazille compared the consultant game to a racket in which minority-run firms are not being included.

I spoke to several African-American political consultants based in Miami, and they all said the same thing: We never expect these people to use us, except in the context of using us to help secure votes. They dont want to spend any notable amount of money with us.

Personally, I say African-Americans shouldnt continue to blindly and faithfully give their votes away, and get nothing in return. If our businesses arent good enough for these people, these people shouldnt be good enough for our votes.

I also say we have to start looking at those African-American leaders who are supposed to be representing our interests and ask ourselves: Is this person really looking out for our best interests, or is this person being a typical house Negro, and only looking out for himself so that he can curry favor with Massa.

Yeah I said it, and I meant it!

That slave mentality has to change.

It will only change if we change it. If our so-called leaders are afraid of not receiving crumbs if they speak out publicly, then I guess myself and other like-minded people will have to continue to do so. Look around you. If you are suffering, your businesses are suffering, and yet your representatives are living the high life, something is wrong.

Now this actually applies to anyone, not just African-Americans, but for now it is African-Americans I am speaking to, because it is in this community that the least amount of consulting dollars is spent.

Someone asked me why I dont just go Independent.

Im not leaving the Democratic Party, although Im sure there are those who want me to do so because they dont want me talking openly and honestly about their shortcomings.

What I am going to do, though, is continue to enlighten my people. Im going to continue to tell my people just how powerful they, and their votes, are.

Did you know that while the Democratic Party has so few minority consultants, minority votes accounted for 44 percent of President Obamas vote totals in 2012?

Now that figure includes minorities other than African-Americans, but we showed in 2008, as well as 2012, that when we turn out we are a force to be reckoned with!

Ive said it before, and Ill say it again. Democrats are taking our votes for granted, and have made us believe that they dont have to work to earn them.

It isnt true. It simply isnt true.

Leslie Wimes is a registered nurse who was working in cardiovascular intensive care until she decided to form"Women On The Move,"a South Florida-based networking group that promotes positivity in professional and personal areas. Her website of the same name and progressive but independent columns have thousands of readers not only in Florida but across the nation. This column is reprinted from the site with the author's permission.

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