Thursday, June 2, 2011

Robaina gets toddler base

There's a little controversy brewing in Hialeah over county mayoral candidate Julio Robaina, the City of Progress's former mayor, and it has nothing do to with loans or real estate or maquinitas. It's all about a photo of some pre-school kids holding up pro-Julio signs that has made rounds on email and facebook, distributed by Robaina critics who compare him to Fidel Castro and Adolf Hitler.

"These are the type of tactics communist leaders use in the third world countries to secure their power, starting with brainwashing children at a young age," said Eric Johnson, a Hialeah firefighter and vice president of the union that battled with Robaina until his last day May 23.

Those are good campaign buzz words, mi hermano, but what we really got here is maybe a little I-scratch-your-political-back-and-you-scratch-mine. Dr. Eileen Fluney, who owns the Paradise Christian School & Development Center at 6184 West 21st Ct., may have political aspirations. A facebook page has her as a "politician" running for office in 2012 -- without saying which office. Which is kind of strange. "I'm running for an office, somewhere," is not a common campaign sloglan. We know it couldn't be a Hialeah council seat. The 1978 Rodriguez Villareal Private School in Hialeah grad told Ladra that she moved to Miramar about a year ago. The page wBoldas started by friends who wanted her to run for U.S. Congress in District 21 and that she considered it before she became a grandmother to twins last year. "Now I'm just a grandma."

Who's seat is it? "I'm not sure," she said. (Republican Mario Diaz-Balart for anyone curious). Actually, she had originally said it was in District 13, but she was confused with the county commission race, she told me later. Was she going to run for that seat? No. Maybe. But she thinks she is in District 12, she said.

Actually, Dr. Flunky, you live in Miramar. You cannot run for any district office in Miami-Dade County. And you should not run for office in the U.S. Congress or anywhere if you don't know who currently holds that seat.

Fluney, who serves on Hialeah's city education advisory council, said the photo was taken a few weeks ago before the May 24 election by parents who all support Robaina. She can't take them herself. The non-profit is prohibited by federal law from endorsing a candidate and she could lose the federal funding she gets for her $3 million annual budget to run her two schools (one is in Doral). She knows this. So she said it several times several different ways: "The parents themselves do this, run the campaign management here," she said. Campaign management? Okay, whatever. And all the parents? There is not one single parent of a student there who supports the other candidate, Carlos Gimenez? "No. They all support Robaina," Fluney said. "They are bringing the signs and shooting the photos. I cannot. The families themselves are the ones who coordinated the campaign and supported Mayor Robaina.

"Personally, of course, I support him completely," she added.

Of course.


  1. Claudia FernandezJune 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    She is either really stupid, thinks the rest of us ae really stupid, or both.

  2. Please tell me you are kidding.. LOL I'll tell you waht I am going to do.... YES.. I am a DICK.. I am going to forward this article to every Parent in the school and personally distribute it, in person, outside the school. Lets see if ALL PARENTS whos children attend this school support FIDEL oops I meant Robaina..

  3. Ladra will see that and raise ya: I'll bring my video camera and interview parents tomorrow at pick-up time. It could be true. It's a private, Christian school, even if it does use public funds. And let me just say, again, in case anyone missed it, that the schools (one in Doral, too) each run on $1.5 million annually. Does Dr. Flunky get a salary from both those operating budgets? Either way, the photo is worth a call to the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency, which is charged with oversight of licensed day cares that receive public funding for the Head Start program.

  4. Exemption Requirements - Section 501(c)(3) Organizations

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.


  5. OMG! This is such a funny blog title. You should be writing for John Stewart. I just connected the face to the woman sitting next to me at KFHA. I just tweeted this thing to all 17 people who care to read what I have to say. None of them live in Dade County, so no mayoral candidates were harmed in the tweeting of this message. Have a nice night.



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