It seems that the only thing Hialeah Mayor and county mayoral candidate Julio Robaina can do these days to try to stop his spiraling numbers and keep the heat off him for possible ties to organized crime and a federal investigation into his finances is to go on the attack -- again.
A recent TV ad paid for by The [Non]Accountability Project PAC (which has received funds from the PAC led by Robaina ally and Hialeah Housing Authority director Julio Ponce) compares former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez, who is seen as Robaina's biggest obstacle to the mayor's seat, to none other than the recalled former mayor Carlos Alvarez.
I guess the county PBA, who Michael Putney reported funded the ad, is hoping to tap into that alleged voter outrage that led to the recall and that the dismal low turnout (like the scant 17 percent that voted in the recall) will help them. Tsk, tsk. This from our cops? Just because Gimenez was the only commissioner who voted against your current contract because, he said, it was the most generous of the three employee contracts.
"I called them out on it," Gimenez said on the Putney show.
But Ladra thinks it's hypocritical, not to mention opportunistic, of the PBA and John Rivera, who supported Alvarez and worked hard against the recall, to now try to compare the two men in order to capitalize on that. Ladra can't help but wonder if Alvarez gave you the ok to run this ad, which also keeps making him look bad. Or is he crucifying himself here so he can be the anti-Gimenez? Becasue Gimenez has been the anti-Alvarez all his political life.
Think about it. Gimenez has voted against Alvarez probably more than anybody. "If Carlos Alvarez and the rest of the commission would have followed my lead, I wouldn't be sitting here right now because he would still be the mayor," Gimenez said.
The TV ad, Ladra thinks, is targetting the least educated of the voters by using push button isues like the publicly paid car allowances that allowed Alvarez to tool around town in a fancy BMW and Gimenez in a luxury Mercedes ("to impress the ladies," if you believe the same PAC's jingle. Ridiculous.) But, as Gimenez explained to Putney, it is the same allowance that was given to all commissioners, and which he will eliminate. The ad also talks about Gimenez taking multiple pensions when he only has one, a pension from his 25 years as a Miami firefigthters, into which he contributed $250,000.
In other words, there is nothing new for them to talk about. They can't say anything really bad about Gimenez, and they can't say anything really good about Robaina, so they regurgitate the same misinformation that makes for good soundbites and pray for emotional knee jerking.
Because, really, there is only one thing alike about the last county mayor and (okay, I'm going to come right out and say it already) the next county mayor: his first name.
"My name is Gimenez, not Alvarez. I am a completely different person."