Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pizzi? Penelas? Oh, please!

Relax candidates, former county mayor Alex Penelas will pass.

Ladra is going to go out on a limb here and predict that all that huffing and puffing won't pan out. Penelas might be putting his name out there for another election later on. But we don't think someone as savvy as he would enter a race this late and risk having it be too close or worse. That's why the whispers that he wanted to be placed there by the commission temporarily as an interim mayor make sense (but it won't happen. The commission is too scared of recalls). And some type of "brokered deal" where the two front runners, Commissioner Carlos Gimenez and Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina both withdraw from the contest to pave a path for Penelas is not in the cards. Another sign: The disappointment of what is probably dozens of campaign handlers who scrambled when word got out that the golden candidate could run but were later told by Penelas that there is no job to apply for. Prediction here: Penelas runs in a different race soon. It might be nice to see someone in the race against State Rep. Esteban Bovo (REP District 110), who is the only one to have filed for the district 13 commission race. That might be something you can steal without breaking a sweat, Alex.

Talk about sweat... while Miami Lakes Mayor Michael "Muscles" Pizzi may have floated his own name out there as a mayoral possibility, Ladra suspects he couldn't even get a majority vote again in his own town let alone the county. Pizzi, who helped recall commissioner Natacha Seijas and now faces a possible recall himself, somehow got a quote in the paper this week saying he is considering a run for Miami-Dade mayor. Ladra thinks Pizzi, photographed here patrolling an early voting site during the recall with his future campaign manager, Miami Voice PAC Chair Vanessa Brito and all the people who might vote for him, should consider going back on his meds or not standing so close to opportunistic self-promoters creating and then riding voter discontent.

"If no one else is going to jump in, then I may do it," he was quoted as saying. But he didn't mean no one as in no one because everybody and his brother is running. He means no one better than him. Why no sisters, eh? Maybe there will be one who comes in before Tuesday, because Ladra predicts one or two more candidates crawl into the contest. But it won't be Pizzi who knows as much as everybody else that he don't stand a chance. He's just trying to raise his profile and pump his name recognition for the next campaign, hoping future stories identify him as a one-time contender for the county's top post. But Pizzi is a big fish in a tiny pond that is growing more putrid by the minute. If he jumps into the ocean, he will get eaten up in a Hialeah heartbeat. Muscles might look like a tough guy next to Gimenez, but that front runner is a political giant in comparison who would trounce him. A win would also be Easy Pizzi for Robaina or the other two top contenders, former state rep Marcelo Llorente or businessman Jose "Pepe" Cancio (who I still think might be recall Emperor Norman Braman's boy). Heck, rapper candidate Luther Campbell, another political blogger with a far more lyrical verse and bigger bite than Ladra, could give Pizzi a nice run for his money.

Oh, wait... money... maybe that's the reason. Money is what makes campaigns go 'round. And Pizzi is a hot head but he's not totally stupid. He won't get in it to lose unless he can collect and spread a lot of green around. That helps for the next campaign, too.

And if he has an inkling that the recall would be successful, resigning to run saves him one of two embarrassments.

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