A Doral City Council candidate posted an image on Facebook that some people say suggests wrongly that she was endorsed by the Miami Herald.
Enza Mongiovi-Vera, who is running for Seat 1, filed a post late Wednesday with the words “The Miami Herald gets it. #Enza4Doral #Vote131.”
In a photo, she sits under a large Miami Herald banner and quotes from an editorial that endorsed a different candidate: “Enza is a former HOA vice president … has lived in Doral for more than 14 years … also said urban growth should be controlled and zoning laws improved.” Beneath that, her name is highlighted in bold letters.
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Mongiovi-Vera was interviewed by the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald’s editorial board in early October. However, both newspapers endorsed her opponent, Claudia Mariaca.
Several residents commented on the image with links to the Miami Herald’s endorsement story but some comments were quickly erased.
“What do they get? Stop trying to mislead people,” commented Radys Nader.
Raphael Hamilton of Doral later posted: “I am a little bit confused with this post … can someone explain who is endorsed by Miami Herald for seat 1?”
Anthony Bustamante, Mariaca’s campaign manager, told the Miami Herald on Saturday that he’s “not surprised.”
“I think that it’s sad that someone would stoop down to that level and mislead voters,” Bustamante said. “The Miami Herald goes through a thorough process, and rigorously vets every candidate. Voters trust who the Herald endorses; it’s a badge of honor. For someone to take advantage of that, well, it gives you a hint of how they would operate if they were elected.”
Pedro Diaz, Mongiovi-Vera’s political and media strategist, told the Miami Herald “the ad does not mention the word endorse, support or recommend.”
“How is the ad misleading? Was Enza not interviewed by the board? The ad only states what was published in the article above,” Diaz said. “For the record, the Miami Herald hasn’t had a great track record with their recommendations.”
Nancy Ancrum, the Miami Herald’s editorial page editor, said it’s not uncommon for candidates to pull content out of context.
“It is a hazard of our recommendations. There are times when we write something somewhat complimentary about a candidate or we merely relay what they said to us and they take those words out of context to convey that they have our backing,” Ancrum said.
“I would hope that she ceases and desists with the misuse of our word because we definitely did not recommend this person for this seat. It’s unfortunate that she’s being at the very least deceptive here.”