Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Robaina: "Ricky was robbed."

Attorney Ricardo Corona, denied entry into the race for commissioner in District 7, has at least one ally in his quest to delay the race so he can get on the ballot: Former State Rep. Julio Robaina, who did technically qualify.

"What they did to Ricky is a travesty," Robaina told Ladra Tuesday night in a telephone interview. "He should have been allowed to enter the race."

Corona went to the elections department on the only day to qualify, April 14, and submitted his documents at 4:58 p.m. But he was told one of his documents was inadmissable and given a different form to fill out. That one was stamped received at 5:22 p.m. and he was told he did not qualify in time.

"I think a mistake was made," Robaina said. "It's not about the candidate. It's about the process."

Robaina said he's known Corona, who supported his congressional bid last year, for a long time and doesn't hold his family history against Ricky. In 1987, Corona's brother and father were convicted of racketeering after feds busted them using drug money to buy South Miami-based Sunshine State Bank. Corona, included in legal motions because he was an officer of the bank, was never charged with any wrongdoing. Still the story was repeated in 2008 when he ran for county judge. And, of course, it may hurt him again now. But maybe not. Because 24 years later, after he was thoroughly investigated by both federal prosecutors (who declined to pursue action against him) and the Florida Bar Association, he is a successful lawyer and businessman who doesn't owe anybody a thing. He was bitten by the political bug long ago and caught the fever again during the recent heat rash.

"Like most people, I'm fed up with the backroom deals and special interests that take advantage of the working class. I think I can do a better job," Corona said. "I know I can do a better job than Mayor Loco."

Corona is referring to former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, another thing he has in common with Robaina "The Good" -- not to be confused with Robaina "The Not So Good," the Hialeah mayor running for county mayor -- who admitted to extra motivation. "Anyone but Suarez," said Robaina, who was also the first Hispanic mayor of South Miami and who raised a scant $6,500 compared to X's $117,000 by the Feb. 22 deadline of the last financial disclosure report (http://www.voterfocus.com/ws/mdccand/candidate_pr.php?c=miamidade&el=16).

He and Suarez will be at a meet and greet from 5:30 to 7:30 Wednesday evening at the Brickell Homeowners Association's monthly meeting at the Four Seasons, 1435 Brickell Avenue.

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