Monday, May 23, 2011

District 7 #s needed sooner

A judge on Monday told Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Lester Sola to keep the winner of Tuesday's District 7 election a secret for up to a week -- until he can hear arguments from a local TV attorney activist who sued when he tried but was not able to qualify for the race.

That's victory #2 for Ricardo Corona. The first was last week when the county lost its move to make his lawsuit a federal case. (Tsk, tsk. Our taxpayer dollars at work fighting activists who want to become participants.) And defeat #1 for former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, who was removed from office in his last election win after widespread ballot tampering was found -- though he was never formally charged with a crime (Happy, X fans?) -- and the only candidate who asked the judge, through his attorney daughter, not to give Corona's lawsuit a full hearing.

"Halting the election now would disenfranchise 8,000 voters who have already voted, the thousands who have contributed to campaigns of the qualified candidates," said Olga Vieira, adding that it could result in five additional elections (but if she is counting elections scheduled for 2012, which are scheduled anyway, that is disingenuous). So is saying that 17 people qualified in the same time period because candidates for mayor and commissioner in District 13 had weeks to prepare, since those seats were vacated by recall vote and the District 7 seat was filled the day before qualifying started.

But don't blame the Suarez clan for their last-minute Hail Mary attempt to railroad this election over Corona's rights. X has raised and spent about a quarter of a million dollars to take over the seat vacated by Carlos Gimenez, who resigned to run for mayor. He has to work for that now or how would it look? Since he lost to Gimenez in a regular cycle election, Ladra bets he counts on low turnout, lots of special interest money for promotion and post-recall voter discontent -- as well as confusion over the good Robaina (South Miami) and the bad Robaina (Hialeah) -- to get him in. So it's no wonder he doesn't want to delay, despite questions about due process: The more time people have... the less well he will do.

Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas set the case for June 1. But, with all due respect to the court, that won't address the issues in time, should the plaintiff win, to put the District 7 candidates on the June 28 runoff ballot. Which might enrage voters, or certainly affect their voting trends, if it is an unnecessary cost. An earlier date -- like Tuesday or Wednesday -- might allow for a qualifying period that ends Friday and puts the names on the ballot. And Ladra thinks the county can move that up a bit in order to get a new ballot for June 28, if that is, indeed, what the judge decides, and save at least a little money. We will call her commissioner tomorrow. And you can call your commissioner too.

But first, the background: TV attorney Ricardo Corona sued to stop the election based on a 29-hour qualification period he says is insufficiant and violates his rights to due process. Ladra thinks his rights were violated, alright, but when he was told he didn't qualify because of the last time stamp on the last document submitted. Most of the documents Corona filed were stamped at 4:58 p.m., two minutes before the bell. One form he was made to fill out in the lobby was stamped 5:22 p.m. (and just why wasn't his 2009 IRS return good enough on April 14 when the form for "last year" wasn't due until April 19?). Too late, he was told. So he filed a lawsuit last month to force his name onto the ballot, which is what Ladra thinks should have happened. Instead, the judge said he had issues with the qualifying period and Corona refiled based on that. Apparently, the judge feels there may be some merit to attorney William Petros' arguments that the qualifying period was insufficient for anyone except the two candidates who are already experienced politicos already prepping to run for the seat in 2012.

"Wouldn't it be funny if folks spent all that money and effort on a recall election and for their investment, they don't get significant change? This was a golden opportunity for change," Petros said to reporters outside on the courthouse steps, adding that the recall showed a voter discontent with the status quo and a system that protected insiders. "That's precisely the point. He hasn't been involved and that's what the people want."

Unlike Suarez, who fought Corona's motion with his daughter and son, Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, by his side, former State Rep. Julio Robaina, the other candidate allowed to qualify, has publicly repeated that he has no problem with holding up the results or even having a new election, if it ensure that everyone gets fair access to the process. Everyone means anyone, because if Corona wins and gets this vote count thrown out, a new qualifying period could bring about new candidates in the District 7 race.

That's more good news from Monday's ruling and well worth the only bad news, really: That Ladra can't see South Miami Robaina beat the X Factor right off the bat. But don't they say good things come to those who wait?


  1. Candela at his best for District # 7 for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Election Dpt. made a big mistake for not let Corona in

  2. Ladra, you are an intelligent individual who must be able to see through the Corona sham! Maybe intelligence is not the issue but your incredible bias in favor of julio robiana. You claim that your blogs purpose is to educate and bring to light cover ups. You are obviously not in tune with the people because many of the constituents and the radio stations are discussing about the fact that julio robiana is behind this whole corona litigation sham to attain further time and split the vote. Ladra, it is your right to support any candidate of your choice but please don't speak out of both ends of your mouth, report the entire story at hand.

  3. Hmm... while that is an interesting theory, I must wonder who YOU are to pose it. Ladra stands behind her biased observations while you hide yours behind the anonynmous veil that allows you to be an operative in this race without disclosing it. I've seen the documents and talked to both men. Could I have been fooled? Sure, it's happened before. It's my job to also take things at face value. But I don't think that is the case here. Does it benefit Julito, "tgo" as he has been dubbed, if there was a redo? Probably. Maybe not. I am not really biased for him. I've said he was in office for more than a decade with not much to show for it (there, said it again). But I guess what you mean is I am biased against X. That, I will admit. And for many reasons, which I lay out plain. Does it benefit X to shut out any other candidates, to hell with everybody's due process, and make his mad dash? Probably. Maybe not. But what is wrong with advocating for time so that other candidates to enter the race and/or voters make a more informed decision. Mayor Carlos Gimenez himself told Ladra once that he thought there would be no lack of candidates. Apparently, both you and I think there is. My mission or purpose, rather than advocate for any candidate, is to defend the process, which I believe was violated in this case. And that would not change even if this were a fix because the time stamp is still 4:58 p.m. and it is about that. Not any one person. Again, it's possible that I was manipulated. I give too much benefit of the doubt. But I am also honest about it. And both Corona and Robaina know full well that if I find out I was, indeed, manipulated, I will not be quiet about it. I have nothing to be ashamed of. And since I think they believe me, I doubt they would take that chance. In the meantime, stand behind your words. Or what are you ashamed of?

  4. FI stand behind my words 100 percent! Think about it, why would any candidate who is 1 day away from an election want to stop the process to allow more individuals to enter the race???? Unless he had an agenda, please don't be so nieve!
    By the way, a deadline is a deadline. If you submit the documents at 4:58 and they are incorrect or missing a portion of the requirements (incomplete), it is invalid. Plain and simple. Why should Mr. Carona be given any slack. He was given the opportunity to correct his documents and he submitted them late, he should of been prepared and not waited to the last two minutes.
    You also state that if the process is opened up again then other individuals can qualify, have you ever heard about rules? Why is that one person's inability to follow the rules may penalize mayor x and TOG? We live in a civilized society that has rules and guidelines for a reason.
    So I ask you to analyze your assesment in regards to whether julio robaina is truly concerned about the process. His agenda is obvious and you should remove your bias glasses. it is obvious that you are for Coronas lawsuit due to that you can't stand the fact that mayor x (mayor loco) could actually win. Please stop looking for any excuse and respect the process that is in place.

  5. I believe the process was violated. I also think that there is reason to believe the qualifying period was too short. Apparently, a judge agrees. Is he, too, part of the bias? Look, if the process was followed, it will come out. Ladra is not happy that Robaina's victory will not be immediately known. But we like to err on the side of ensuring everybody's rights.

  6. You didn't answer my question on why would a candidate who is 1 day away from victory want to extend the process???? How does that make any sense?

  7. I guess Ladra, only responds when it benefits her. I was actually awaiting a response to the individuals question about why Robaina would request an extension of the election date.....
    Something just doesn't add up.

    I am not a resident of district 7.

  8. I don't respond usually to incoherent questions I do not understand. State Rep. Robaina, as far as I can tell, did not request an extension of any election date, though the other side has nothing else original to throw at him so they make up this comical cloak and dagger stuff. He did not request any extension. He told the judge to rule however the judge saw fit. He did not want to put himself in the position of the judge. He did say that he could be selfish and say he didn't want to wait, but that it wasn't about him or any one candidate, but about the process. He said he did not want to have any questions lingering about the validity of the process. Unlike Mayor Suarez, who wanted to quash the outsider would-be candidate's right to seek redress. That's what we want from a commissioner?

  9. I am not a resident of District 7 either, anymore. I used to be when Commissioner Gimenez and, before him, Jimmy Morales, repesented me. Then I got Katy Sorenson. So maybe I'm spoiled.


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