Eviction lies in Miami District 1 race are rebuffed by woman in campaign ad

In the Miami District 1 race, candidate Mercedes “Merci” Labrada Rodriguez is fighting for a runoff spot against auto parts dealer Miguel Gabela, who four years ago forced a runoff with suspended Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who was arrested in September on public corruption charges.

Though he will likely be suspended by the governor again, Diaz de la Portilla — accused of bribery, money laundering, unlawful compensation and other charges — is running to regain his seat. And a recent poll reportedly has him leading with Gabela and Rodriguez behind, in that order.

So, they are attacking each other. Except the mailer from Gabela’s camp says Rodriguez is a puppet manipulated by The Dean. Which is true.

Rodriguez used the same attack that ADLP waged against Gabela in 2019 about evicting someone. She has sent a mailer that says Gabela — who owns and rents properties — evicted a woman and her two daughters from one of his apartments, tossed them right out onto the street. But that’s not true.

The woman who was supposedly evicted says that is a lie. The Gabela campaign reached out to her and she was so incensed by the use of her name and situation that she sent an immediate WhatsApp video denying the whole thing.

In fact, Rodriguez even got the gender of her children wrong.

“Good day. My name is Kathy Medrano. I am making this video because I saw that someone is making false declarations in my name,” the woman says to the sounds of a child playing in the background.

“Mr. Gabela, Mr. Miguel, never evicted me. I don’t have two daughters, I have two sons. And he never evicted me,” Medrano continues in Spanish. “On the contrary, he was very good to me and to my sons.

“I don’t understand why there is so much controversy, so much lying, so much stupidity. So please, because I am very annoyed, you are talking without making sense, please take my name out of your platform or whatever you are doing.

“Mr. Gabela and I have good communication. He never evicted me and my sons. I was never in a shelter, as you people say,” she says, seemingly directing her words to Rodriguez and her campaign. “So please don’t use my name for any of your dirty acts.”

She says porquería, which is better than dirty acts.

Rodriguez mailer is paid for by her new political action committee, Miami Moving Forward, which hasn’t yet had to report any contributions. We may not know who paid for these mailers until after the election. But the treasurer is Javier Baños, a Coral Gables CPA who has been tied to Carollo and is the commissioner’s appointment to the Bayfront Trust.

Las malas lenguas tell Ladra that Marjory Carollo is helping Rodriguez with her campaign materials, but this mailer looks a lot like an ADLP piece.