Tuesday, July 19, 2011

'New' known name in Hialeah race

If at first you don't succeed, don't waste the name recognition and run again.

That's a life lesson apparently learned and, now, applied by Frank Lago, chief of staff to Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maroño, who just took a stab at a state rep seat and lost to cigar czar Jose Oliva (Rep. District 110). So he's taking a stab at an easier target: Hialeah City Council.

Lago, 30, confirmed to Ladra late Tuesday that he was, indeed, going to run for a council seat and would file within the next few days. He also said it was not his idea.

"I've been called by a couple of people in the community," said Lago, who knocked on thousands of doors and did well in Hialeah, where he says he has lived for six years. (He did well in Hialeah and lost the race in Miami Lakes, Oliva's home, and unincorporated Miami-Dade). He's already polled voters and says he is pleased with his name recognition among the incumbents: Only Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez has more name game (read: watch him run against one of the others or in the open seat). That stands to reason: "I spent a lot of money in Hialeah," he said, referring to the bulk of his $100,000 state campaign effort, most of which went to absentee ballot queen Sasha Tirador, whose machine Ladra will be watching closely again.

Lago said he has always been drawn to "Tallahassee politics" and wanted to try something other than a municipality, which is his day job. "What convinced me was the residents in the area have been calling. They say there are problems. They thought that I can bring my municipal experience, especially now that there's a $13 million deficit. If it wasn't for the residents, the people who supported me in Hialeah, I wouldn't be doing this."

He hasn't aligned himself with anyone, yet, and says he wants to see more from the mayoral candidates before committing. "The three candidates have reached out to me," he said, and he was not referring to State Rep. Eddy Gonzalez (Rep. District 102), a very telling omission that bolsters rumors Gonzalez will stay in his state seat. "It is too premature to determine who I will go with," Lago said.

It's far enough along, however, to know he will likely not be slate buddy with intern mayor Carlos Hernandez, "because of what he's proposing," Lago said, referring to the $4 million revolving credit line the mini mayor wants so he can "feel better" about the general fund with the secret true balance you have to ask in writing for. "We have a deficit and we need to create new avenues of revenue," Lago said. "It's unbelievable to me that we're going to cover this gap with a credit line."

Both Martinez and Garcia confirmed that they had spoken to Lago and both said he was a quite viable candidate. "He has good name recognition" said former mayor Raul Martinez (who added that the young wannabe called him, not the other way around). "He did pretty good with the state race." Former State Sen. Rudy Garcia called him a "contender" whose name has come up with voters as he has walked and talked to voters for his own campaign. "A lot of the business folks and residents speak vividly of Frank's visit," Garcia said. Yes, he said vividly. Looks like Lago has a fan. And if he still has his sights set on a state seat, Garcia could be a good guy to have on your team.

But Ladra is going to go out on a limb here and predict, way prematurely, that Lago will end up on the slate with Martinez (and Alex Morales, whose name recognition was also high in the Lago poll). Yeah, Mr. Mayor is a high-profile Democrat and Lago is Republican to the core. But Martinez helped Lago's wife, Liz Iglesias, with her unsuccessful bid for the council in 2007. And Hialeans are crazy loyal if anything. It could be hard for Lago to run on a slate against Martinez with his wife staring him down every day over dinner.

Plus it would, theoretically, be a nice revenge thread in As Hialeah Churns, hypothetically anyway, if it were true that former Hialeah mayor and county mayoral candidate Julio Robaina (who I am sure does not want to see Martinez elected) stabbed Lago in the back by helping Oliva.

Stay tuned.


  1. Read and understand the budget before you comment Elaine . Again bad reporting , you just create news in favor of your candidate . Not correct!

  2. Why would anyone read the budget or any other data emitted by the city when everything they have put out, including the budgets, have been fraudulent?

  3. Hialeah we have a problem....politically Robaina has left a mess, Hernandez is in way over his head, the thought of Raulito returning is pathetic and Garcia has done zero while growing up as a Representative and Senator.

    This Council is DOA if they approve a what Hernandez wants.

    Mi predicted that soon, very soon, council candidates and incumbents will begin cutting their own deals and looking for salvation. Isis, Vivian, Peptio will all soon flee Hernandez and look to Garcia for cover, Lago will do the same.

    Interesting to see what Senator Garcia, Commissioner Bovo and Representative's Gonzalez and Fresen do in November.

  4. Has Hialeah ever really had divided Government, where the Council has stood up against the Strong Mayor and vetoed his proposals? I would like to level blame at each of the Council Persons for the failed economic situation that Hialeah is in, but am I being righteous in this mass condemnation of them all? Honestly, this esoteric knowledge of the arcane workings of the selection/election process of the Hialeah Council promulgated through this blog posting does not spark the same interest as the bigger picture race, the Mayoral contest. After all, the Strong Mayor is the Chief, and the council, merely little Indians. (please see City Logo). I guess we must take the chaff with the wheat. Hopefully Ladra will spin this straw into gold as we attempt to cleanse the Council and Mayor's office of the offensive contagions that now occupy these offices. As the old saying goes, "Tired of the same ol' crooks in City Hall? Then elect new crooks."

  5. Yes the council will run away from Hernandez, BUT they cannot run away from their own abysmal mis-management of our tax dollars. I am sick and tired of all the useless words they continue to press on the constituents. It is time for action. Remove every single council member that has stood by while the community has paid the price for needless departments, jobs to incompetents and all out plain embarrasment to the entire community.

    I Highly recommend that "RUDY" use his common sense and stay clear of joining with any present council member running for re-election. If it smells like crap it's crap, does Rudy really want to smell like crap?

    P.S. keep Fresen the Hell away from Hialeah!He can't keep a streight face while telling the media that he has no conflict supporting a bill that benefits his families involvement in the Charter business. Ladra keep us posted as always you bring it to us nice and fresh.

  6. Fresen is the poster child for what is wrong with government in Florida and in the USA. PAC's donating to other PAC's, lobbying while being a public servant, supporting legislation to his own personal benefit, and of course he is one of those small government Republicans who think the role of government in the individual's life should be minimal, unless that individual has a womb. Piss on the Christian Family Coalition and their lapdog Erik Fresen. The only place I would like to see Fresen's picture is not on a Campaign sign, but on a milk carton.
    "Have you seen this turd?"

  7. Ladra, any thoughts on the county prelim budget hearing yesterday. How convenient Bozo wasn't there. It makes it really easy to bitch about the rate and cuts when you're not there for the initial setting.

  8. Capital Projects? That is what Carlos wants the loan for?? Wait, he wants to take a loan out to pay for Capital Projects? Mayor, I suggest you stay as Councilman, because your run for Mayor is coming to a quick end. In a few weeks, you have pissed off Robaina's people, Martinez's people, and now the voters of Hialeah.

  9. Bovo was just elected to the seat and he already missed one of the most important votes to be taken regarding the taxes of Miami Dade residents? Incredible.

  10. yes he did...and he was not the only one.

  11. Wonder if Robaina will come around Hialeah to support his very close friend Vivian in her bid for re-election?

  12. Was not a smart move from the 3 County Commissioners to be MIA Tuesday, for the Miami Dade County Mayor budget presentation.
    Candela dice

  13. Bovo was put into that position by Julio Robaina. When another member of the council wanted to tun, sh was called to Julio's house and told she could not. Hialeah has been a dictatorship both under Julio Robaina and Raul Martinez. The reason Hialeah is having so many problems is the council members have been pupets, this has to stop. Hernandez is in over his head and council has to realize that at this point, the question is what will they do?

    Ladra, I agree with you on many things but you are wrong on Raul Martinez being the front runner in this race. While I agree that he was a good administrator, Hialeah needs to move forward not backward. The people are tired of the status quo and that is why Rudy Garcia will be the next Mayor of Hialeah.

  14. I believe that Rudy will the next Mayor, I don't believe anyone on the current council would have won against Bovo, I believe that Hernandez is dead meat, I believe Julio will support Rudy for Mayor, I don't believe people want Raul and his slate back, and I believe Isis, Vivian and Caragol will lose their re-election unless they support Rudy.


  15. Any support Isis, Caragol and Vivian provide Rudy will be horrible. No one including Rudy likes them. He should stay far away from any incumbent and run his own slate against them.

    What's funny is that someone was called in and told no and that's why maybe they stayed as president?


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