Thursday, May 19, 2011

Suarez runs away after low blow

Former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez came out swinging at Wednesday's debate with former State Rep. Julio Robaina (Rep., District 117) and hit him right below the belt, making some in the audience of almost 30 people (minus campaign pros& reporters/bloggers) gasp.

It would be easy for him, Suarez stressed, to "get along with the mayor and the commissioners because I come from a large family with kids." The gist, taken from Suarez supporter State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla's (Rep., District 36) successful GOP primary campaign against Robaina last year, is that Robaina, still single at 49, and with no children (that anybody knows of, anyway. Where's the baby?), is gay or at least a pansy who can't get a girl.

Robaina, whose girlfriend has two children and father has nine siblings, says he has frequent family gatherings with his "huge"clan and added that the low blow wink-wink-nod tactic, which is totally off topic and taken from a DLP campaign mailer sent last year that aimed to raise questions about his sexual orientation. "It's an insinuation. I'm a single guy, never been married," Robaina said. "He uses pictures of his family. He's a 'stable family man.' It's the same thing here," Robaina told Ladra after the debate. "And it's the kind of low blow tactic that Miguel and [State Rep. Carlos] Lopez-Cantera are known for." (Lopez-Cantera was in the audience for a short while but left before the debate ended, saying he had dinner plans).

Campaign Manager Steven Ferreiro recognized it, also. "The allegation is that he is gay or a mama's boy, that he's weak, not a family person, not an easy person to get along with," Ferreiro said, adding that another radio ad that came out from the Suarez campaign attacks South Miami Robaina as "Julito el peleón" or "Julio the fighter." Said Ferreiro: "He is a fighter -- for the people. If he argued against something it was because he wasn't in agreement. He was representing the best interest of the people, not the party."

Although transit and land use issues dominated the Urban Environmental League debate, Tony Garcia at Transit Miami already owns that issue quite thoroughly at -- one curious question submitted asked the candidates if they would "support a measure to prohibit discrimination in all aspects based on sexual orientation and identity." Ladra imagine the questioner had employment or other issues in mind because the county already has provisions that ban discrimination in housing. But Ladra wonders if it was the question submitted by Suarez campaign worker Vanessa Brito, who likes to consider herself a gay activist but is more like an opportunist who just happens to be gay. Because as head of the Miami Voice PAC, which worked with Norman Braman on the recall of Carlos Alvarez and Natacha Seijas and used Marlins stadium funding deal as one of the push buttons. Now she works for Suarez, who said on Wednesday that he favors using tourist bed tax dollars to build a roof over Dolphin Sun Life stadium. (Robaina said he would not, saying that those funds can be used in other ways and preferring to divert at least some of them to upgrade the Miami Beach Convention Center). Don't forget that means she and Braman are on the team with the candidate supported by the DLP clan, after Alex Diaz de la Portilla reportedly tried to help former mayor Carlos Alvarez and former commissioner Natacha Seijas fight the recall effort. What this makes them is opportunists that see cash registers for campaign consultants, mail gurus, background people, working all these new open emergency races and creating all new PACs to make more new money.

Which brings us back to Suarez. Ladra preferred the first question at the debate, asked by Nina West of Coconut Grove. "The Miami Herald survey of voters tells us the most important thing to Miami residents is ethics in government. Considering that your opponent has a pristine reputation, why would I ever consider voting for you?"

Even moderator Stephen Scott, an investigative reporter for CBS 4 News, sorta winced. But surely, Suarez -- whose 1997 election was overturned after a group of Miami Herald writers and reporters uncovered widespread electoral fraud and whose late-night tirades against critics (sometimes in his bathrobe) led people to call him Mayor Loco -- is prepared for this with some ready answers.

"I was in office for eight years," he said. "I voted every single time on every single vote and never against the interests of the community. I never, ever, ever committed any transgression... My record stands clear. Sometimes, people distort things."

And while Suarez was never charged with wrongdoing, his evasive nature with Ladra after the debate begs question. Once I introduced myself (he talked to me like he knew who I was so I just assumed, but he does that with everybody), he told me we could talk after the election. Which really does me no good when I am trying to ask about the race, about his absentee ballot strategy in particular. "After the election," he said again, literally fast walking away through the middle of the room -- shortest way to the door -- and moving the chairs in the way to get away from Ladra. I asked him three times, and three times he told me he would talk to me after the election. Now what is up with that? Is he off his meds? Ladra thought he would just tell us that it was Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who is reportedly a go-to guy on the ABs and, seemingly, a good friend and supporter. But he just kept running away.

Ladra assumes he left in the gorgeous little, blue convertible BMW sports car he came in, talking on the phone. "It was my CPA," said Suarez, who as of the last financial campaign disclosure report had collected almost $120,000, including several bundled contributions of the maximum $500 from development/real estate investors Jose and Carlos Garcia, the Migoya family, lobbyist Miguel de Grandy's clan , and others.

"I was asking 'How much money do I have left?'"

Ladra hopes to find out Friday, when the new campaign finance reports are due.


  1. Suarez seems douchey.

  2. Ladra, thank you for helping me make up my mind about who to vote for in this election. I am going to support suarez. I must admit that it is evidently clear that you are from the herald family, because you continue with the same tired, old "loco suarez" comments..... Those comments carried weight when the herald was the only game in town, but ohh how things have changed. Don't get me wrong, i still recieve the herald daily. The herald is the perfect shape for the bottom of my bird cage!!!!
    You spend your entire article talking about suarez's car, family comment towards julio and how he ran away from you. How about discussing the issues or maybe the candidates positions or plan of action to correct this disaster we call miami.
    I was actually impressed that suarez recived the herald endorsement, after so many years of getting bashed by that bird pop cage liner that we call the miami herald. Maybe you could comment about the braman edoresement of suarez, just discuss substance. Not this garbage.

  3. This blog is almost as bad as reading the herald. Incorrect facts, slander, gossip, etc.... Absolute garbage.

  4. There are plenty of other places to find the "mainstream" coverage you speak of. The Herald's own Patricia Mazzei wrote up a piece going point by point on the questions. So did Transit Miami's Tony Garcia. Political Cortadito tries to shed light on the people behind the curtain. It may not be your cup of tea. There are plenty of other places to go. At least I stand behind my statements. We don't know if you are Suarez or one of his campaign operatives (some of whom spend much time commenting on blogs as anonymous and under different names). But that is alright. You can still have your opinion. The "family" comments were the point, here. The car was extra color. And just as important as the car Carlos Alvarez drove, no? Or are we going to pick and choose who gets our scrutiny. I don't have anything against Suarez. But I worry about some of his answers, his bundled contributions and the fact that he would not answer me straight about how he will go about gathering AB ballots, which is where the fraud was that overturned the election the last time he was elected. I am also very wary of the people he has around him and the motives behind their support. Not garbage, just a different perspective.

  5. Im tired of the Suarez's Regaldo's Carollo all the old names. Suarez has never done anything to help the City of Miami, just the opposite he was fighting the State trying to stop them from taking over in 1996. He is a typical corrupt politican who can't stand being out of the lime light. I as a Pinecrest resident can tell you that he has no support here or the Cables. Miami if you vote for him you keep him.

  6. Ladra,
    You have to do your own homework!!!!! Nobody gasped at Suarez's comments. Stop reading other blogs and the comments people write, because that is the way you get yourself into trouble. Typical Herald writer, AMATUER HOUR!!!

  7. I was there, Anonymous. I didn't get the reference until I heard the gasp and saw a couple of people shaking their heads. I don't read other blogsd (though I should) and don't know where this was also published, so please do tell (if it is even true) where this was copied from, Anonymous. It is so plainly obvious that you are attacking because Ladra struck a nerver. Woof.

  8. Suarez is pathetic. Trading on his son’s name. He put a commercial out speaking only about his son's alleged accomplishments. He knows he did nothing positive while Mayor of Miami. He is corrupt and surrounds himself with other corrupt losers like Lopez Cantera, The DLP'S (products of the 1980's marimba...thanks Papa DLP) and now Vanessa Brito who is just itching to be relevant. Vanessa, nobody cares about you. You are not important… get over it. Lets not forget Francis Suarez who would love to be Mayor one day. If I were him I would out major distance between myself and the above mentioned cast of characters or he won’t even be able to get elected to a community council.


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