A great admirer of ex-governor Paulo Maluf (PP) and ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), Timóteo created political ties on the left and on the right. He grew up in the Chamber of Deputies in the 1980s with a labor discourse, but he also made conservative nods, reflecting on the period of the military dictatorship (1964-1985).
In recent years, Timóteo considered joining the PT. In his career, he was affiliated with PDT, PP (and its various derivations), PR and MDB. The last time he tried in politics was in 2016, when he ran for the São Paulo City Council, but he was not elected for the second time.
From brizolism to malufism to lulism
Timóteo entered politics in 1982, elected federal deputy by the PDT of Rio de Janeiro with more than 500,000 votes. His parliamentary debut was known for taking a cordless phone to the pulpit and pretending to call his mother.
In the 1980s, the end of the military dictatorship, Timóteo called himself a defender of the worker and democracy. In 1984, he voted for the Dante de Oliveira amendment, which would resume direct elections for President of the Republic.
Despite this, in the indirect elections of January 1985, he voted for Paulo Maluf (then PDS), candidate of the military regime. The transit between progressivism and conservatism, stamped on the passage in different parties, would become one of its political marks.
After that, Timóteo broke up with Leonel Brizola, PDT leader, and joined the Maluf PDS. By the PDS, he was a candidate for the government of Rio in 1990, with accusations of having received money from the animal game, but lost to the old godfather. In 1994, he was elected as an alternate member of the Federal Chamber by the PPR (result of the merger of PDS with PDC) – a position he ended up taking in October 1995.
Timóteo spent the 1990s in the hands of malfeasance. He followed PPR when he became a PPB, where he was elected, in 1997, to the Rio de Janeiro City Council. In an atypical move, he left Brasilia in the middle of a warrant and returned to the capital of Rio de Janeiro.
After losing his reelection in 2000, he moved to São Paulo and was elected to the City Council by the PP in 2004. In the CMSP, he was reelected in 2008 by the PL and stayed until 2012, when he lost, already by the PR. He tried again in 2016, already at the MDB, but was unsuccessful.
“I die for Lula”
The 2000s caused him to change his attitude towards Lula, which he criticized so much in the National Congress, especially in his second passage. With the PT president, Timóteo started to call himself “authentic socialist” and to defend him continuously.
His speeches in the Chamber of São Paulo, where he spent eight years, were marked by this dualism: he praised Lula and former President Dilma Rousseff, then in office, but he did not fail to make references to the period of military dictatorship, acclaiming the basic education of at that time, and Paulo Maluf.
In 2011, he went against the creation of the Truth Commission, a national project instituted by Dilma to investigate violations of the military dictatorship in São Paulo. Critic, he participated in it for six months in 2012.
At the end of his life, he finally approached Petism. In a television program in 2019, he said Lula left an open space in the acronym for his affiliation and opined that if President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) was half of what the PT was, he would be “happy”.
“I die for Lula. Bolsonaro was my fellow deputy, we always respect each other. We hope that he will overcome the difficulties that have arisen and be a president? Half of what Lula was, I am happy,” he said at the time. “Lula said: ‘if one day you want to go to the PT, I will sign the form’. I already signed, I am going,” he added.
In 2018, while the former president and colleague tried to breach the justice system to run for the presidential election, Timóteo said he was willing to run again to “fight for Lula”. In the same year, he told Jornal O Globo that he was willing to join immediately.
The artist was the victim of a stroke, which may have aggravated his infection with the new coronavirus. As proof of their friendship, in 2019, Lula wrote a letter from the Curitiba prison wishing his partner better. “Have faith and believe,” he wrote.
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