Sweetwater Mayor Jose M. Diaz is running for re-election this May in what has been one of the most controversial Sweetwater election matchups in a while.
According to public records, Beatriz Diaz, wife of Jose M. Diaz, was the Chairperson, Treasurer, and Registered Agent for Government For Transparency, an â€œElectioneering Communications Organizationâ€, which opened in late 2013 and closed in December of 2014. This political organization which funds the Jose M. Diaz campaign, has benefited from political donations by RRAC University Apartments, LLC, the developers of the 4th Street Commons residential bulding on 109 and 4th street in Sweetwater, as well as 109 Tower which sold in 2014 for 43.5 Million dollars to 109 Tower FL, an affiliate of a Tennessee-based real estate company Education Realty Trust.
Government for Transparency had its main address listed at the Diaz residence, 621 SW 104th Ave, Sweetwater, FL. Records show it paid the State of Florida $1,900 in fines due to late reporting of finances.
The biggest donors to Government for Transparency were Delant Construction, a Miami-based General Contractor involved with building 109 Tower, with a donation of $8,000 in July 2014 and Sun Sol Management Corporation based in Orlando, FL, with four donations totaling $8,000. The second-biggest donor was RRAC University Apartments, LLC with $7,000. Also among donors was Adonel Concrete Pumping ($5,000), one of the biggest companies located within Sweetwater city limits.
According to the Campaign Expenditure Report provided by the Florida Department of State Division of Elections website, Government for Transparency spent $40,100 during its brief existence. Its biggest expense was three payments totaling $9,344.20 paid to Moonstone Investigations LLC (listed as MSI, LLC) for â€œresearchâ€ and â€œprofessional servicesâ€. MSIâ€™s website lists one of its services as â€œPolitical Opposition Researchâ€ and â€œCampaign/Absentee Ballot Investigationsâ€. A quick search online led us to Private Investigator Kennedy Rosario, listed on Sunbiz as one of the owners of Moonstone Investigations. Kennedy Rosarioâ€™s LinkedIn profile lists previous employment with Miami Dade Police Department as well as the Miami Dade Commission on Ethics.
The second-biggest expense was two payments of $5,500 paid to PR Concepts, Inc, a company run by South Florida political campaign consultant Steven Ferreiro (officially Estaban Ferreiro). In addition, Government for Transparency also paid G&R Strategies, LLC $5,000 for consulting. G&R Strategies is a company owned by Sasha Tirador, a Miami political consultant and a former Governmental Affairs Consultant for the City of Sweetwater earning a salary of $1 a year.
Lastly, Government for Transparency paid $2,500 to Rodriguez, Trueba & Co, a longtime vendor in the City of Sweetwater and provider of auditing services for the City of Sweetwater.
Switch to Local Electioneering Organization
After closing the State Electioneering Organization with the State of Florida Division of Elections, Government for Transparency was opened as a local electioneering organization in Miami Dade County.