"Dirty Politics": A candidate for Miami-Dade County Commissioner starts an OnlyFans account.
Since February, when Martha Bueno, a hemp farmer, said she would run for the District 10 commission seat in Miami-Dade County that Javier Souto, who had held the seat for a long time, was leaving, she has had a hard time keeping up with her most dangerous opponent in the nonpartisan race.
As of this week, Bueno has raised $82,031 ($25,631 from individuals and $56,400 from her political committee, Bueno for Miami Dade). In comparison, Republican State Rep. Anthony Rodriguez, who has represented the 118th District since 2018, has raised about $1.4 million ($349,400 from individuals and almost $1.1 million from his political committee, A Bolder Florida). The other two candidates, Susan Khoury, a former federal law enforcement agent, and Julio C. Sanchez, the owner of an IT tech company, have made much less money than Bueno.
The recent support from the Miami Herald gave Bueno a little boost, but support doesn't pay the bills.
Since the primary election is coming up on August 23, it makes sense that the candidates would try to think outside the box in the final stretch. But if you think it will be a flood of emails or cheesy Facebook ads, you're in for something saltier.
Last week, Bueno made an account on OnlyFans, a site for which you have to pay a monthly fee and which has made a name for itself by hosting sexually explicit content.
In a phone call with New Times, Bueno says, "I think there are really only two ways to raise money in politics: either you sell out or you sell yourself." "So, this is how I'm going to sell myself."
Bueno, a Libertarian who used to be vice-chair of the party's Miami-Dade chapter, started the account on July 24 under the name @bueno305.
Screenshot from OnlyFans user Martha Bueno (@bueno305)
Bueno is a registered independent but calls himself a Libertarian. He used to be vice chair of the party's Miami-Dade chapter when he was a Libertarian. On July 24, he opened the account under the name @bueno305 and charged $4.99 a month to subscribe.
So far, she says, she has just over 20 people on her list (including New Times). Her profile has three videos that range from 30 seconds to about a minute and a half in length.
One video called "Dirty Politics #NaughtyBoy" shows Bueno lying in bed in a silk robe and pretending to be on the phone with Rodriguez while reading out loud a list of the political donations he's made in a voice that sounds like someone talking dirty during phone sex.
"I've heard that you've been a really bad boy during this campaign," purrs Bueno, before listing the names of her rival's donations to Democratic candidates. "I thought you were a Republican, though." That is so weird! You're such a bad boy! betraying your own political party to make money for yourself?"
Bueno's most recent video, "Running for office #Running," is a little less racy. It shows the candidate jogging along a local trail in a black sports bra and leggings while talking about why she wants to be Miami-Dade County Commissioner.
"I mean, I think the content on there is very scandalous, but it might not be scandalous in the way that people are expecting it to be," Bueno tells New Times. "I think it's another way to bring people's attention to things that matter to them."
She says that her campaign accountant told her to make a personal account on the platform instead of a campaign account because election law would have required her to keep track of each subscriber's name, address, job, and other information if she had used the campaign account. (She also says that OnlyFans doesn't have this option, and that it's likely that potential subscribers wouldn't want to sign up if they knew this.)
Her videos are about her run for office, but her OnlyFans bio just says, "A Miami girl trying to make the world a better place." (She does give a link that OnlyFans can use to an Amazon wish list with the title "People4Cuba Supply List: This is a list of things that Cubans need. All of the medicines will be sent straight to the people of Cuba. Thank you for helping us.")
Bueno sent out a press release Thursday morning about her new account. Bianca Padró Ocasio, a political writer for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, quickly shared the news on Twitter. It's not a surprise that the internet did what it does.
The U.S. news editor for Jewish News Syndicate, Kassy Dillon, said, "What the hell?"
The national director of civic engagement at the Hispanic Federation, Frederick Velez III Burgos, said on Twitter, "This is the best of Miami politics." "The only thing that could make this even better is if she took Miami Coin or Bitcoin as payment."
Bueno was elected chair of the Miami-Dade Community Council Area 11 in 2018. This area includes West Kendall and is in charge of making decisions about zoning and land use. A profile of the candidate from Florida Politics from last year said that he is a supporter of both cannabis and cryptocurrency.
She caused a stir on social media earlier this year when she seemed to poke fun at plus-size Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Yumi Nu. She told New Times she didn't mean to cause "pain or hurt." Photos posted online by the Twitter account Miami Against Fascism showed Bueno posing with at least one member of the far-right Proud Boys group. She said she didn't know who they were when the photos were taken and that, other than that one interaction, she doesn't know what the group stands for and doesn't support them.
The election on August 23 is for five of the 13 seats on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.
"You know, I've often said that politics is dirty as a joke," laughs Bueno. "And, yes, politics are making me dirty."