Friday, June 24, 2011

Campaign emails & wasted time

Both candidates in the big Miami-Dade mayor's race are making last minute pleas and appeals for votes, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. Like Julio Robaina with cabbies who can't vote and Carlos Gimenez with 20-somethings who can but won't.

Supporters for both candidates have sent mass emails out asking their friends to vote and to urge their friends and relatives to vote for their respective man.

Consultant and former Miami Public Health Trust member Jorge Arizurrieta (or a campaign staffer ghostwriting it on his behalf) sent a 610-word email on Friday urging people to vote for Robina or Robaina, the former Hialeah mayor's name was misspelled at least twice. (Someone will likely get chewed out for that one). He used words like "transparency" and "accountability" and "economic development" -- okay, I'll give him that last one. Robina knows a bunch about developing his and his pals' economies. But in unaccountable, murky ways.

While Arizurrita echoes the campaign mantras about lowering taxes (though Robina increased them the first three years) and "cutting bureaucracy," it says nothing about slashing employees' salaries by 17 percent while administrators took a 3 percent cut. "His business background ensures that we are not getting another lifetime bureaucrat, who now claims to be a 'reformer' but has nothing to show for it. But someone with real world experience and proven results." And lots of conflicts of interest, he forgot to mention.

He also echoes the blah blah blah about how Gimenez is the same as Carlos Alvarez. You guys gotta give that a break. Nobody buys it. Gimenez was Alvarez's biggest critic on the dais and it is ironic -- and not transparent -- that the PBA is financing the attack ads that compare the two men when the PBA supported Alvarez against the recall. What hypocrisy. Not accountability.

Arizurrieta -- who we have to nominate to the "elect us mayor" committee with an eye toward his medical-related business interests -- also took quite a bit of those words to complain about the Miami Herald's coverage of the race, again hitting the same arguments that Robina and his campaign staff, principally Ana Carbonell, have made (maybe she wrote the email). "They made a decision months ago to blast Mayor Robina and support their choice, Carlos Gimenez. What they forgot to do is register as a 527 organization as they have acted no differently," he said, sounding like a crybaby because he has to know that the media can make endorsements and that they have covered the race, actually, in a reactive way, rather than proactive. But I guess he would suggest the media ignore the federal investigation, the public housing given to the cop with the $80,000 salary, the developed commercial property Robina was paying, I mean dodging taxes on as vacant land for four years, the intense special interests investing hundreds of thousands in this multi-million effort, the absentee ballot concerns, the campaigning while he was serving as mayor, the flip-flopping on the stadium deal, the business ties to contributors who were indicted in 2004 on racketeering charges, the Uncle Luke quid pro quo, the illegal campaign stop to MIA.

"The Gimenez campaign owes the Herald big and should declare their 'priceless' reporting as an in kind contribution to their campaign," Arizurrieta said. No, actually, the community owes the Herald big for getting voters' the real story. Robina's people need to realize that all the media cannot be bought. Trust me, the Herald and all the rest of the media would love to get Carlos Gimenez doing something stupid. And if he had, your candidate's people sure would have let us know. But we might miss it ourselves because Julito has us too busy watching him.

The consulant with dollar signs in his eyes also suggests that Robaina "will dominate the absentee ballot votes as he did in the first election a month ago." Well, duh. He does have that awesome AB machinery that is costing him a pretty penny. He predicts Robina will also do better in early voting (let's bet on that one, rich man). Because he has "personally known Julio" for more than 10 years, he can vouch for the real estate mogul's "commitment to this community and ... attest to his integrity and his commitment to governing in an efficient, effective and transparent fashion." More campaign speak. This letter was clearly written for him not by him. How embarassing that a grown man needs a handler to write his letter.

"I too have worked with Carlos Gimenez in his capacity as commissioner. A well intended person he is. A leader he's not," he said, basically confirming what everyone fears: that Robaina is a mal-intended leader.

"Early voting is occurring right now for twelve hours each day. We have no excuse for not voting. Here's a link to the locations and times," he ends, almost begging.

Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner sent out not one but two emails on behalf of Gimenez. But hers were clearly written by her. They both hit on the Gimenez camp's biggest fear: low turnout. The first one came as early voting started. "This is an incredibly important election. And it will be all about turnout! So please go do your civic duty and vote for good government with Gimenez - we need it now more than ever," she wrote and then ended with her plea: "I am asking you as a personal favor to go vote!" She sent another email plea out Wednesday. "He is an outstanding candidate who will bring much-needed, serious reform to County Hall. The polls have all indicated that he will win BUT, it is only going to happen if we get out and vote."

But do those emails get any new votes for their candidates? I got Mayor Lerner's emails but not Arizurrieta's (that was posted and forwarded to me) because I am likely on one email list and not on the other. But I also already voted for Gimenez, as I suspect did most of the people on Lerner's contact list. Maybe the forwarding effect has turned some undecideds into Gimenez backers or Robaina supporters. But what about the time both candidates spend at early voting libraries? Don't early voters who are at the polls already know whose bubble they will fill out? How many impulse shopper voters are there, really?

Of course, while it seems like a collossal waste of time to me, I cannot imagine what else they could do instead with the few days left.

Gimenez also spent time Thursday, again, in Palmetto Bay with Mayor Shelley Stancyk and other people who are already voting for him, and then Friday at La Carretta in Hialeah, with people like former city councilmembers Alex Morales and Cindy Miel and their friends, who are already voting for him, before he went to the Miami Critical Mass Bike Ride take-off at Government Center to talk to former mayoral candidate Gabrielle Redfern and a bunch of bikers, who are already voting for him, and then to Villa 221 for a food truck event with a live band and DJ and young voters who are not voting for anybody.

Gimenez did not speak at the last event, though he did shake a lot of hands. But Ladra wonders if it was another waste of time. And I think he wondered it too.

"Many young people don't even know there's an election," he said. "No way," I countered. "Yes way," he said (well, okay, he did not say "Yes way" exactly, but the gist of it). And he was right, I found, after a tiny, little survey.

"We're interested in other stuff right now. Like how to open and run a small business," said Doral resident Roberto Fajardo, 30, who was there for a friend's birthday celebration and could not name the two candidates, not even the one he shook hands with moments earlier.

About a year ago, Fajardo opened an impact window installing firm. He works from Palm Beach to the Keys and says he sees things less regionally. "Our generation, we globalize things. Before, people were more interested local news. Now, we want news from around the world."

Paul Wessling, a 25-year-old firefighter from Miami Springs, is still bitterly disillusioned with the presidential robbery committed against Al Gore. "I don't feel like my vote counts," he said. "How can you win the general vote and not the election?" Wessling was surprised to learn that the man he had met moments earlier was a firefighter for two decades, but was still not moved by the fact that the general vote would decide this election. "It's corrupted me permanently." Well, he's only 25 and wants to make a point. Someone please make him vote.

The presidential election is the only one that students Stephanie Suarez and Jennifer Rangel, both 20, have cast ballots in. "It's never interested me," said Suarez, a psychology major at Miami Dade College. "It's not publicized," said Rangel, a public relations and marketing major at FIU. "At least they don't target us." (Note to candidates: Buy time during reality TV shows).

"I see the signs. But I never pay attention to them," Rangel said, confirming that statement when she could not name either of the mayoral candidates and just stared back blankly. "It means nothing to me." Ladra told her that might change in a few years if she buys property and/or begins a new family. I explained to these children that the mayor could and likely would have more impact on their lives than the president. They looked at each other and seemed to synchronize their shrugs.

At least Gimenez got what looked like a yumy hamburger (hopefully no heartburn from those onion rings) and some down time with the family -- even though they were rained on a little.

Because Ladra doubts he got any votes.


  1. Maurice Ferre, the Political maestro, was great at the Rodriguez-Tejera radio show yesterday and said to him al vino vino y al pan pan,great Mr. Ferre also I hear that the conductor of Prohibido Callarse has been bias for supporting Julio Robaina for a long time and the gossip in the street is that he is in the payroll of the political Zar Armando Gutierrez that has been invisible in this campaing,for Mayor

  2. I find it amusing how you respond to his letter but cannot respond to mine. Oh well, I shouldn't expect anything different from you. Elaine, you pick on his letter because it's easy for you to counter but again why don't you stand up to the facts I have been posting.

  3. Responder AKA ARNIE ALONSO,

    What should we expect from a scumbag like you. How did that investigation of money at babcock park go? OHHHH yeah Julio had IA cover it up for you. I find it amusing that your nose is actually breathing air and not Julio's a$$hole. The real truth of miami, whats that? A blog Julio told you to start?

  4. Lmao I am not Arnie Alonso. Wow, do you even know him? Do you think we write alike?? Your a fool! Julio had no hand in creating my blog, I wish he would have taken my advice months ago to start defending himself against animals like you!

  5. For the record, it's easy to throw things at Arnie when you do not have to back them up. Instead of attacking the wrong GUY why don't you refute my facts.

  6. Responder, if you were brave enough to identify yourself, to stand behind your words, not hide behind anonymity, you might get a response. Whatever misconceived comments you address to Elaine, at least she has the courage to attach her name to her words, to take responsibility for her words. Refute your facts? They are just biased misconceptions of a Robaina sycophant who is too cowardly to identify himself.

  7. Lickerpoet, what an interesting name? Is that your first or last name? Stop lecturing on topics in which you have no standing. You talk about standing by your words when you use a nom de plume as well. Oh boy, hypocrisy is rife  in this campaign. Regardless, my identity has nothing to do with my facts (or lack thereof, if you disagree). Lastly, Elaine certainly addresses everything else I write, except the facts I state. Lickerpoet, stick to focusing on ATTEMPTING to write witty responses, using what appears to be a dated thesaurus, and not engaging in illogical attacks. You and some other people are mad because you do not know who I am, while I am mad because I disagree with your camp's lies and slander (I can honestly care less about who you are).

  8. Responder, I have not addressed facts because you have not offered any. And the poet is known to me and many friends and if you were half as smart as you profess to be, you would know him, too. Meanwhile, you remain an unknown but admitted Robaina fan, so it is natural for those of us who see the emperor naked to question whether or not your vision is clear enough to see your own hidden agenda. Now, please, what facts? You offer opinions and misinformation that I have very little time for because your reach is small and irrelevant.

  9. I have no hidden agenda. I told you my agenda minute one, unlike you. I have never claimed to profess any certain level intelligence (although I'm glad you think I do). Because lickerpoet is not known to me that has any bearing on what I am writing? What facts Elaine? See my response to your open letter. I can tell I have become a thorn in the side of your camp by addressing your propaganda. I understand why you may think my reach is small but trust me it is not. Lastly, you have had no issue responding and writing on what I post except to refute the facts I have written.

  10. Cowards who hide behind names to attack people, not to support them or offer additional value to what they say/write, usually (though not always) have hidden agendas. You are further suspicious because of your cloak and dagger tone, much ado about nada. If you were open and everything were on the table, your words would carry more weight. Again, refute WHAT facts? I think you go off on tangents that are unimportant. I will look into Raul Martinez when the time comes. (And he knows it. Which is why he doesn't trust me). But that time is not now. This is classic Robaina deflection tactics. And I don't have time for "yes, I did... no you didn't... yes, I did." Let's move on. You obviously don't, but I have better things to do.

  11. -> RESPONDER
    No one will disagree that you are mad. Your madness grows ever more evident with every post.
    As for my standing to partake in this political repartee, paying commercial real estate taxes in Hialeah for 47 years affords me more than enough standing. "A dated thesauras", gee, I didn't know that words could grow dated. Rarely there is only one word that exactly describes an event or trait. Perhaps this word is no longer in the common vernacular, but let me accurately define the word I chose, for it is often tersely misdefined as a lackey, or toady, or fawning parasite. All certainly apply to you accurately, but there is a more correct, exact definition for sycophant. The word sycophant has a very interesting origin. "The Greek for sycophant is συκοφάντης (sykophántēs). It suggests someone who brings all kinds of charges and proves none, according to a client of Demosthenes.[2] A client of Lysias adds the perspective of blackmail: "It is their practice to bring charges even against those who have done no wrong. For from these they would gain most profit." [3] In this context, the word entails false accusation, malicious prosecution, and abuse of legal process for mischievous or fraudulent purposes." (Wikipedia) Certainly this word applies to you, for you bring charges against Elaine when she has done no wrong. You claim the sum total of her reporting centers around biased accusations against Robaina, when her earlier posts cover a universe of political points and her editorial views against Robaina have evolved as she learned more about his mis-doings. Sycophant has another interesting origin, being derived from the greek word Sykon. Sykon meant vulva, and a more vulgar form, the "C" word. Ancient greeks did not flip their adversaries the finger, no, they placed their thumb between the two closest fingers, and made the sign of the sykon, the vulva.
    No, I have no need for a thesaurus, dated or otherwise. You may have a thesauras, and I probably have one molding away in some corner of a bookshelf; but I have something you don't have. That something is an education. I am a logophile, a lover of words, a wordsmith. For this reason and others, I was selected as the Best Political Poet in South Florida by the readership of the Miami New Times. Sorry you don't enjoy my witticisms, alas, one asshole's opinion (don't need a thesaurus for that, do you?) does not a consensus make. And as for my nom de plume, Lickerpoet, it is not as you describe it. It is a nom de guerre. En garde, sycophant.

  12. Wow, I cannot believe I'm writing this but Elaine you are correct. This is getting old and boring. Lickerpoet, you wrote a long post simply to call me an asshole. You should have just replied so! For some one who claims to have an education (for the record I can almost gurantee you my eduction FAR surpasses yours but in fairness I have never claimed to be a wordsmith or a poet) you surprisingly fail at understanding that words can become archaic and dated (I was referring to your posts in general). You could not even surmise that I wrote you had no standing because you hide behind a name when you attack me for the same position. Lickerpoet, for the last time you are irrelevant to me. I do not pick fights with the elderly on blogs or on the street so truly good luck (I actually mean it) in your small business.

    Elaine, you keep posting lies and half truths and I will keep countering them. My post was not only on Raul, I specifically countered your facts on Robaina's land holdings and other accusations you've thrown him. Regardless, if I think I need to respond to something new you've written I will simply post a link to a new article on your message boards. Feel free to do the same. This has already taken too much of time.

    Actually the operative word was sycophant, asshole was just gratuitous, free of charge; and if the moniker fits, as it does, you should wear it proudly. Rarely has a word, sycophant, so accurately described someone; in both its common form and in the ancient etymological one. I am not elderly as you presume, I was merely precocious, having been thrust into the role of business owner after graduating from one of our nation's finest universities at the age of 19. My business may be a small one; but I do not have to continuously look behind my back to see if the IRS is following me. Again, though my business is small, the repercussions from its success rebounded throughout SE Hialeah. We drew customers and money into the region, and the surrounding businesses flourished. As our business has suffered through
    this economic downturn, so has the local economy around us. I had addressed your half truths on your blog, and offered facts that did not paint a positive portrait of Robaina; only to be swarmed by more half truths and other sycophants, perhaps alternate cyber personas you have generated. No one was interested in facts I presented that could not be conveniently swept under the carpet by half-truths; such as illegal promotions of friends to the rank of Commander and then having them retire at a new, outrageous, unearned higher rate of pay; needlessly paying to repaint old police cars (wonder who got that contract) and paying a higher premium for new blue cars than for the standard white ones; illegally firing employees and having to pay overtime rates of pay to cover their absence, and then have to pay their back pay when the law demanded their return. Law suits have been quietly settled, as a stipulation of the payoff to the offended party, and more law suits are pending. That Robaina has been a good businessman, that he has been a prudent mayor of Hialeah, that he has been a good husband, that he has been a good man, that he has acted within the law; none of this can be defended with your half-truths, and you blog site is certainly not an impartial place to discuss these issues. This is why you do not get a response to your postings on your blog.

  14. Maurice has been a puppet of their's for a long time....or at least that's what they say.


I have decided to moderate comments for a while as there are some that are simply off-subject and have become personal and offensive in nature, attacking not just me but others through this venue.

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