Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Debates: Will Julito phone in again?

Looks like Julio Robaina is afraid to face Carlos Gimenez in front of a live audience.

The two mayoral candidates left standing after the May 24 vote will face-off in a June 28 runoff and the new debate/forum cycle started Monday with a snub after Robaina decided to skip the Kendall Federation of Homeowners Associations debate. Or, not go back, we should say. He may still have some heebie jeebies left over from the trouncing he took at the first KFHA meet from Gimenez -- the day he became the mayor in Ladra's eyes -- on the former Hialeah mayor's Marlins stadium flip flop. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIs1cDRjOXc).

Gimenez, photographed here alone, made time for the smaller group than came for the full 11-candidate primary debate and said he looked forward to "finally debating face to face with my opponent the issues that truly matter most" to county voters and residents. That didn't happen Monday. Robaina's campaign announced afterwards that it had conducted a "tele-town hall meeting" conference type call with something like 2,000 Kendall residents. Even if this were true, and Ladra has heard from friends who got the call but were not allowed to ask a question or who got a message on their voice mail but no information on how to call in next time, it was rude for Robaina to start that on the same night as the KFHA event. Some community leader he'd make. Even if he didn't get the endorsement, he should have shown the common courtesy (something he lacks dearly) to have started the conference calls another night. Additionally, repeated attempts by Ladra to contact the Robaina camp about the tele-town hall meetings and when there might be more in the future. Still have not heard back from anyone. What if I voluntarily give you my number to include?

Ladra heard there was a Tuesday morning radio debate, but she read it in a story posted Tuesday morning and missed it. Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei covered it very nicely for us at (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/07/2254926/mayor-candidates-debate-tuesday.html). There were a few things she reported, however, that I would like to follow up on.

(1) The first is Robaina mentioning tapping into former candidate and former (fired) transit director Roosevelt Bradley for input [read: inside track to graft] on the county's failing transit system. Patty can't say it but Ladra can: Over our dead and buried bones! This guy was fired for allegedly cooking the books and keeping financial concerns from being reported, right? Of course Robaina wants to hire him. This only strengthens allegations that Bradley was a Robaina plant and financed with Robaina money. Candidate Luther Campbell (who we hope and expect will endorse Gimenez at tomorrow's surprise press conference) accused Robaina out loud at the last NAACP debate -- which was live in front of a huge, engaged audience with good questions, not in the safe comfort of an ivory radio studio -- of paying Bradley and candidate Wibur Bell to take votes from him. Ladra doesn't know if that is true. But we find it curious that Bradley's campaign office was in the same suite in the same Miami Lakes office building that, just months ago, was the office of a political consulting firm with an inactive Florida corporation name paid thousands by North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, who had Miami Voice PAC chair Vanessa Brito on his team for both his election efforts. Brito, a "political activist" and recall darling who also makes her living consulting for candidates, has worked against Gimenez with The [Non]Accountability Project and, although she weepily claims to have been used and supports him now, the coincidences ring bells and should be pointed out.

(2) Robaina again flip flopped on his stand against the public funding of the Marlins stadium, claiming that he supported baseball, and only baseball -- I guess he means the concept of the favorite pasttime and game and its place in Miami? -- not the financial terms of the facility when he spoke at the commission meeting where he did, in fact, say he supported the "item" on the agenda, which was the financial deal that Carlos Gimenez voted against. Whew. Robaina's denials are so convoluted and ironic that it takes that long a sentence to set the record straight. Or a video of the March 23, 2009 meeting where Robaina went on and on and on for longer than three minutes about how the Marlins and major league baseball were going to build a traning camp and stadium for youth in Hialeah as part of their good will from the deal. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwqypIiUY14). Here he is photographed signing that deal on March 3, 2009, just three weeks before the commission meeting where he urged the county to approve the stadium agreement, not just baseball as a concept. That's disingenuous at best, hypocritical and deceitful at worst. He supported it because it was a good deal -- for him. Just doesn't look so good now.

(3) Robaina, who has shown leadership by growing his net worth from less than $1 million to more than $8 million, or at a rate of about $1 million a year since he was first elected, said that simply voting no on the stadium, the union contracts, the tax hike was not enough. That Gimenez showed no leadership if he could not convince his colleagues to vote with him., which is how we guess leadership works in Hialeah, as evidenced by the "moved, seconded, approved" pattern of items before the Hialeah ConClub.

Ladra is happy she may get a chance to ask at least one of those questions at a debate that starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday presented by the Miami Foundation at the University of Miami's Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive in Coral Gables. And there are at least two more next week: One from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the historic and tiny Dice House in Continental Park near Dadeland, 10000 SW 82nd Ave. Questions must be submitted in writing (yeah, yeah... we know what that means). Both candidates have been invited, says the email from the HOA president Holly White. It describes Gimenez as an "experienced administrator [with a] track record of opposing frivolous spending while serving on Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners." Really? Of all the things to say about Mayor Gimenez, they chose this? They also described Robaina as a "strong administrator as Executive Mayor of [the] City of Hialeah [who] enacted changes which improved local government while in office." Really? What has improved, actually? Please do tell, because parks are closed, roads have been under construction for more than a year, and Ladra is sure that fire rescue response times got longer when Robaina wrongly fired 16 veteran firefighters late last year for political strong-arm reasons. Ladra will go ahead and predict that Robaina skips this one also. This is decidedly not a friendly crowd for him.

But he will likely go to the Latin American Business Association's debate next Wednesday, June 15, moderated by WQBA's Humberto Cortina. A question and answer session will follow. Because the 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. event is also a LABA networker, there is a $15 fee for non members, which gets you a cocktail and free hors d’oeuvres at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave.

And maybe the chance to ask Julito Robaina a question or two to his face. That's worth $15.


  1. The Robaina camp telephoned our home June 6th. We asked questions that were pre-screened in hopes of an answer from Mr. Robaina but were left on hold instead of being back in the forum "town hall."

  2. A tele-town hall meeting? What is that? Where is the emergency requiring everyone to appear by telephone? I'd rather attend a 5th grade PTA meeting to eat chips ahoy and drink juicy juice.

  3. Maybe Gimenez ought to host a huge video-conference town hall type meeting similar to like a community forum type park gathering thing for everyone to be themselves kinda of thing and speak your mind but with question screening type things using twitter, facebook and smartphones. For like 4000 people.

  4. We should get the wives to debate!
    Maybe Julio wife can tell us how she felt whenher husband Julio threw HER under the bus when questioned about checks writen to him for the ponzi scheme.

    The presidental race has the wives talk lets get these two to talk

  5. A great deal for Robaina! I saw Robaina at marlin games all the time before all these lies that he didnt support came out. Maybe that was part of the deal as well, support us and we'll give you box seat!


  6. Gimenez was at Marlins game as well! I can't believe Mr. Gimenez asked for Mr. Luther Campbell's endorsement. We are family people not like Campbell. Thank God it was postponed.

  7. OMG.... LYING LYING LYING......... ROBAINA LIES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!DID HE SAY HE WOULD NOT CUT SALARIES UNDER 80.000 in yesterdays radio debate?????? I am tired of the blatant lies.. Can someone please send a news camera to Hialeah where he said he would not touch salaries and not have ONE LAYOFF... He cut salaries by 30% here in the city.. yes.. I SAID 30%!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From single mothers that barely get by who were making 11-12 Dollars an hour he ILLEGALLY STOLE MONEY FROM THEM!!! After public ridicule he decided to cut his $286,000.00 per year salary by 3%.. But wait.. This is after lying to the media saying he only made $155,000.00 per year. Lets go one step further with this candidate.. He has a past of lying and SCREWING THE PUBLIC... Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation found JULIO ROBAINA GUILTY of DISHONEST DEALING BY TRICK, SCHEME OR DEVICE,CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE, BREACH OF TRUST. Why you ask??? Julio Robaina forged a check and deposited into his account. .. YES FORGED... Here is what it says in the report. "without the knowledge or consent of the owner, respondent JULIO A. ROBAINA endorsed the owners name to the insurance check and deposited ito his account." YUP... Why does this information not hit the media.. IT IS DOCUMENTED TRUTH !!!

  8. Dice House thing has been changed to 6:00 on 6/14. I think Robaina is afraid to debate Carlos and wants to show up an hour early. Not sure.

  9. Madame Ladra, Candela is your blog, keep the good work and only 18 days for the next Miami-Dade Mayor.Citizens please go to vote this is very important elections.I know for who I'm going to vote. Go Heat


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