Thursday, July 21, 2011

Poll gives Raul lead, Carlos hope

A poll commissioned by a new candidate in the Hialeah city council race gives former Mayor Raul Martinez quite a comfortable lead over anybody else. No big surprise there. As the city's mayor for almost three decades, Martinez is king of name recognition, the top brand. No big surprise either that the lead is 16 points over former State Sen. Rudy Garcia (Rep. District 40).

The surprise element came in the tiny two-point gap between Garcia and intern mayor Carlos Hernandez, who Ladra -- and the rest of the world, but they don't admit it as readily -- expected to do far worse than 20 percent to Garcia's 22 and Martinez's 38. Even though they naturally split the Republican vote -- which is why Martinez hopes Carlos stays in it -- Carlos was not expected to do so well in the wake of his mentor's giant fall and the financial fallout now.

Dario Moreno questioned 300 voters last week in the poll for Frank Lago, chief of staff to Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño who just lost a bid for the state rep seat vacated by new county commissioner Esteban Bovo to cigar czar Jose Oliva (Rep. District 110). He did not want to disclose the results and said Lago -- who apparently did well enough to want to throw his name into the ballot for council -- will release them on Monday (another sign he did well). But a source close to the candidate confirmed tips from others -- apparently Lago is so proud of his placing he's been parading the poll around -- that Martinez was, indeed, leading in a big way. "Double digits," one seasoned campaigner said. "Twenty points," said another Hialeah political veteran.

Lago told Ladra that Council President Isis "Gavel Girl" Garcia-Martinez polled the highest among incumbents, which also was reported by one of the operatives. Later, I was told that Gavel Girl Garcia -- who already publicly supported Lago's candidacy -- beat former Councilwoman Cindy Miel (who will likely run against her to reprise their greatest hits) by 20 points in the poll. No word if Lago was pitted against Gavel Girl, but he likely won't challenge her. He reportedly got better numbers, howeer, when run against either council member Vivian Cassols-Muñoz or Paul Hernandez, the appointee serving out Hernandez's term through November. Lago and his fans say his showing is the residual result of his state rep run, where he did well in Hialeah (he lost by less than 700 votes) and gained name recognition.

The good news for Lago is he can run for practically any seat -- as long as it's not against former Councilman and housing director Alex Morales, who seems to have scored highest of any candidate, including the incumbents, on name recognition. He did serve the city for 11 years before he was run out of town (he does live in the city again and more on that later) by former mayor Julio Robaina, who Morales worked dozens of unpaid hours to help defeat in the county mayoral race ('cause Karma is another word for Ladra). But that was more than a decade ago, which is nothing but bad news for the incumbents.

The good news for Martinez is two-fold: Don't mess up and you're in the runoff for sure. And you could even be so lucky as to face Hernandez there. Most political observers agree that Raul will wipe the floor with Carlos while he could face a costlier, closer runoff against Garcia.

Good news for Carlitos is he could actually get into a runoff with Martinez and keep a little of what dignity he has left -- at least before he is obliterated in the head-to-head or saved by an act of God. Those really are the only options.

There's not much good news here for Garcia. Sure, he is number two as expected, but with a wide gap and with candidate number-three-with-the-bully-pulpit closer than anyone imagined, practically breathing down his neck. Still, it's a bit premature for his peak and Garcia has to go up from here. He hasn't campaigned in more than a decade and has not been on TV or in the newspapers or on the radio -- as Martinez and Hernandez are constantly -- in almost as long. So these numbers are going to be skewered against him.

That might be why he isn't putting much faith in the Lago poll and won't do one of his own at least until after qualification ends Sept. 9. "It makes no sense now."

But Martinez isn't going to rest on his alleged laurels, either, and seemed unimpressed with his lead. "Polls are a picture of a specific time and any elected official that guides the campaign just by polling is not very bright. You use the poll and cross reference it to look for strengths or weaknesses."

There is a lot of time for that, three months seems like years from here (it will seem like seconds once we are there). And Ladra predicts that Garcia's numbers will go up. Though whether it will be enough is the remaining question. Many political observers say Garcia is the only candidate out there that could beat Martinez. But he needs to roll up his sleeves and get ready to work hard because these are the streets of Hialeah, not the halls of Tallahassee, and hard work is something I've been repeatedly told Garcia -- a 26-year professional legislator who ran unopposed since 2000 and reportedly has some cushy figurehead (read: "no-show") job with his family's carpet business -- may not be entirely familiar with.

For the newlywed dad to 11-month-old twins and only real challenger to Martinez's return to his rightful throne, losing about 10 pounds knocking on doors, this might be a crash course.

41 comments:

  1. The only "el gordo" morales can win in a slate. On his own he can't win anything, he is not liked and bullied everyone in housing. Bolanos, come on, didn't that guy kill someone?

    Raulito

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  2. to whom it may concern

    Mr Raul Martinez thinks he is still the king in Hialeah just like in the old days when corruption was legal and did what he wanted he had a saying which said if it meows and drinks milk its a cat and if it has a side door and a stove its an efficiency now he has started work in his campaign headquarters without permits so what is this and all this socialist governing has to stop. it has to be anonymous because with him your bound to get your car windows broken or who knows how far he would go with his thugs like Chief Bolanos sons which by the way one is in jail for robbing a bank they think people in Hialeah are nieve and dont remember and the media should look at all these facts and report on it

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  3. Everyone is aware of all the baggage that the candidates carry, yet the most significant thing that the incumbents fail to recognize is that they are considered puppets and accomplices regarding the financial situation the City is in. It is ridiculous that the City officials continue to place the blame on the employees while every decision has been approved by them and has cost the City $$ it cannot afford. The financial reputation Martinez and Morales bring to the table is by far superior of any council member or past and present Mayor.

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  4. Raul Martinez has many faults, but you can not argue with the FACT that while he was in office Hialeah ran on budget and in the black. Call him what you want, but credit where credit is due. He was a hard ass with the Unions, before it became the battle cry of idiot politicians. The unions hated him, yet will tell you straight off that although a tight wad, he was a straight talker who would not bullshit you. His way or the highway when it came to contract negotiations, but straight to our face.
    Call him a bully if you must but most employees who hated him will tell you they
    want that BULLY back!

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  5. Clean the house!!!

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  6. The facts are that Martinez and the Bolanos were a police state government including Morales that has a long list of people who would pay him to get section 8 housing when others that are really in need are suffering and he would not even give them the help they so despretly needed and his clan that still work in the city are a bunch of fools that are going to get what they deserve and Mr martinez says Hialeah is his home but he took our money over a million dollars that we the tax payer gave him and invested it in the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas what? he needs to take more and out of Hialeah just ask him the question and see if you can make sense of the answer.

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  7. keep reading these post as a lot of names and will be coming up before november when all the rats will come out and turn on each other and stab each other for the position and money

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  8. Martinez's "rightful throne"? Gee, I hope this is a typo; unless the throne is circular, white and ceramic. This comment doesn't seem as unbiased as what I've come to expect here.

    How was this poll conducted? By cell phone, land line, what time of day, across what cross section of the probable voters, how were the questions phrased, are 300 voters a large enough pool to be statistically valid? Only 80% of those polled responded? 38 + 22 + 20 = 80
    What about the other 20% ? They just didn't give a damn, or are they waiting for the return of Robaina or the Messiah? More questions here than answers.

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  9. F.Lago be a man if you are one? What happened too the poll that D.Bolanos was on top of your points! Are you trying to steal D.Bolanos spot with Martinez support? Dario Moreno also everybody knows you are a "bitch" All you care is about making Money you should spend some of that money and make a Dental appointment!!Dario and Lago stop Playing on Both Sides of the fence! "You Will Get Caught" Or maybe if D.Bolanos pays Dario cash also he will show him his different set of numbers. Mr. Mayor Manny Maroño also keep a close eye on your boy Lago he's making you look Bad! Lago is looking for support on both side's to win the race but Bolanos will kick his ASSSSSS and WIN!

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  10. My dear poet, forgive my faux pas. "Rightful throne" was meant as a sarcastic parody (okay, not my best. I need sleep) because that is certainly what he and his cohorts, as I lovingly call them, believe. And, I suspect, some voters as well. Of the three candidates, he has been king and he was for three decades. And he is kind of Hialaeah's version of royalty: The Dark Prince, as he is called by some. And right now, as the poll shows, that throne does sort of "belong" to him. But I should have put it in quotes or something, eh? Perhaps I could have said "perceived rightful trone" but then I would not have gotten my alliteration fix. (And you know I have a bad habit).

    Although I admit that I do become biased as I report on these races, because we all do and would be inhuman not to, I usually arrive there after careful consideration of many factors. And, while I am sure the Dark Prince and his cohorts think I am, I am not there just yet. I just met Sen. Garcia this week and need to spend more time with him before I can write him off, if indeed I do. But I do know already and will gladly admit I prefer the Dark Prince on his throne than the manipulative, scheming, mentally-challenged proven liar who is keeping the place temporarily. Oh wait, was that too biased?

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  11. I have to agree with Poet on the throne comment and on the poll. Name recognition is not the same thing as supporting the candidate I would like to see who was polled, what the questions were and the methadology.There is no doubt Martinez has the highest name recognition. Are all those people that know him going to vote for him? NO! Martinez may come into the run off in first place like Robaina did, but Garcia wins it in the runoff like Gimenez did.

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  12. Bolanos will not win, in fact Vivian will out work the steroid out candidte and win easily.

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  13. Vivian out working anyone that's a good joke. She needs to work on her weight and teeth first.

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  14. hialeah loan sharkJuly 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    The only thing that Vivian is going to win is a free trip to the big house along with Julio Robaina. Her name is on hundreds of documents that were fraudulent. uh oh.. Oh and lets not forget the "rock" mayor hernandez. He is not called the rock because of his body either rather his intelligence level. The Blanci family who has rolled over on robaina is now supporting him to the hilt and sparing no expense.. Hmmmm was vivians name on those documents with the blancos too? Did the "rock" issue illegal loans out also as robaina did? I do believe that he issued the great ponzi schemer "felipito" 180,000.00 in loans in return for 36% interest. Also loans to recaredo gutierez at high interst rates also.... What is with Hialeah politicians being loan sharks? Since I seem to have some inside information my advice to the "rock" is to retire now before you lose your pension along with vivian.

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  15. If they "rolled over on robaina" why would they not do the same to the rock and vivian. The loan shark thing has been played out and nothing has been done. Don't believe that anything is going to come from it. Those that have rolled and roll together will not roll against eachother.

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  16. Never!!!! High risk loan High legal interest rate. Kiss my ass mother fucker!! Blanco family is the only crook in all this bull shit. Blanco the dad was the criminal with everything he always did. Started with jeans and
    Changng labels on jeans and selling at flea market. Martinez gave blanco towing contract for city and received cash in return..
    Loan shark. I hit home mother fucker!! Let's play now

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  17. Elaine you are so stupid.

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  18. Will, you are the stupid one. Why do you continue to insult the blog writer? Are you still employed by Robaina? Or are you just a kool aid drinking follower? Can you please go away it's really getting old. I really get your frustration but can't you channel your efforts towards something else. Your candidate LOST! The city is thankfully rid of him! Soon with Gods blessing the citizens will be rid of the rest of the incompetent puppets who collaborated with all his financial failures! Please go away and enjoy whatever left overs Robaina has to offer you.

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  19. Que gracioso:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65542656@N07/5967730904/in/pool-36575890@N00/

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  20. Have I been blocked from posting on this blog?

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  21. Block YOU? That would NEVER happen, Licker. For some reason, that other comment kept being filed under spam. Ladra unspammed it. It's there now. Amen to that. And comment away. Your perspective, experience and knowledge is certainly needed in this debate.

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  22. Until ladra starts reporting not favoring a candidate and not write on rumors but facts we will continue our way of journalism.
    She is favoring Martinez now a convicted felon who was on retainer with the water treatment tank in Hialeah. He was making 10000 per month for 7 months and when Robaina didn't give his people the contract and when he got pissed with Robaina. He did all the annexation in Hialeah and was working with these contractor in the process.
    Elaine work on that. Martinez is a crook . Always been. How can you support this crook.
    Elaine ask him the question and see your answer. We will provide you info if he lies?

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  23. "Our way of journalism" sounds scary and third worldish. Brrr.

    My way of journalism is to question and confirm, dig and document and analyze. Oh, and to NOT do it anonymously. I am working on some questions for Martinez as well as the other candidates, just not on your deadline. "We will provide you with info if he lies?" Okay, Boris and Natasha, why not provide the info now? That's normally how it's done. Otherwise, this is propaganda.

    And, again, it doesn't mean I favor Martinez just because I think he would win if the election were today. By the way, Rudy Garcia thinks so, too, because he just hasn't been in the media as much. That's not rumor. That's a fact. He told me so himself over three croquetas and Diet Coke at Latin Grill on SE 8th Avenue last week. He didn't say much else, and evaded some questions. I'm going to give him another chance, for sure, to see if it was just me. But for everything else Martinez may or may not be, he is accessible and answers my questions -- even when he does not like them (he just answers those louder). I favor THAT. And if he stops answering or starts hedging and hawing, maybe Ladra will seem less favorable.

    In fact, Ladra can only hope Rudy puts me in his contacts, too. My ear is equal opportunity.

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  24. Ok, when you go to city hall on Tuesday go early and see when the annexation of Hialeah started. There was a land use application started be the city if Hialeah in January of 2004, during Martinez tenure not Robaina. You reported that Robaina annex that area. You were Wrong. You write that you were wrong after you do your correct research and than we will start providing you with info with copies of that 10000 monthly check and a copy of Martinez consultant agreement.
    Why would we give you that info if you will not write on it? Show us you are playing fair. Gave you a easy assignment and if you write on it we will give you the rest of the story. Please trust us on this. Go see when the land use application started and report the truth.
    We have a lot more to feed you during the election on martinez.
    Why give you this and not a other reporter. The simple answer is you wrote some things that weren't accurate in the past mayors election but we didn't answer to you wrong reports. Big mistake!!
    So in saying that we do like your style and no bull shit attitude!! Yes that is a compliment. We like your arrogance . That is why we have chosen you to feed info with our data but want to make sure you will do the right thing and report the truth.

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  25. We also agree with you that lickerpoet brings some good points of view.

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  26. Gotta Love It if you can't beat them join them mentality, sorry a day late a dollar short. Investigative reporting means the reporter of events, circumstances etc. Investigates all angles and follows all sources, I am sure that Elaine is fully aware on how to proceed. The anonymous above makes the " lead" on the water plant seem like a home run. Please, the only home run we want is full exposure of all the monetary mistakes committed by the Robaina- Hernandez administration. That would truly be a breaking story and deep investigative work. Go for it Elaine.

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  27. No problem we tried. Enjoy yourself Tuesday night. We will.
    Never join you just teaching a lesson asshole. We will continue being assholes if reporting is not the truth. That is all we are seeking and hoe Elaine wrote about Robaina and the annextation that was inaccurate . Asshole

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  28. You are so wrong we want more than information on the monetary mistakes committed by the Robaina-Hernandez administration. We want ladra to investigate everyone including Raul Martinez, who has as much dirt as Robaina-Hernandez. I am convienced Rudy Garcia is the best option for Hialeah, you should give him a chance Ladra. He actually believes Hialeah should be a democracy with a real council not just the puppets we have now. Hialeah is a city not a kingdom and we need a Mayor who understands that.

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  29. Want a home run here you go asshole
    Gallayway toeing contract
    El sol de Hialeah. Extorting developer to exchange buying advertisement for favorable vote
    Go look at wife income. Worked for Hialeah developers
    Water plant also

    Is that enough or want more.

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  30. No problem with Garcia. Just no Martinez

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  31. Hialeah quiet lately!!

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  32. Madame Ladra, you are to quiet what is going on. I saw the future Mayor of Hialeah last night Rudy Garcia. Candela te extrana y espero que todo este bien con usted.

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  33. It is easy to be a good sailor when the wind is steady and strong at your back. Property values were high and climbing. Construction was still booming. The Clinton Administration was funnelling money to the cities. The wind was strong and steady.
    Now the property values have plummeted, construction is non-existent, and money from the Feds and the State, well, they ain't got it to give to the cities. The winds are weak and shifting.
    Be sure that it was the skill of the sailor and not just the benevolence of the winds, when you look back at the past with rose colored glasses.

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  34. Ladra has been slowed down with a nasty bug, but has been quietly working on a number of things because there is too much going on. Candela, your support of Sen. Garcia is encouraging. When can we get together so you can share your thoughts about him? Ladra misses you, too.

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  35. Lickerpoet, Although I loath former Mayor Martinez it comes down to one thing. Past History... 1981 the city faced bankruptcy, 1996 again and here in 2011. The city was brought back from the brink of being non-existant to financial cushions left by this prior mayor. His style of governing was much like a communist style but never did hialeah residents suffer. His heart was always for the citizens and for the city. Since his departure the city has gone to crap. Transparancy is non-existant and obvious fraud and horrible decisions have placed us where we are today. Where is this shining night Rudy at? He is nowhere to be found. He has all but been gone for over 10 years from this city. Have you seen him on the news? Have you seen him highlighting the crisis going on with the city? It is weell known he is walking collecting money but what are his plans for financial restoration inside the city? Why is he hiding? Either come out and fight for us residents or pack it up and go back to tallahasee.

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  36. So what you're referring to Lickerpoet is when Martinez first became Mayor in 1981, the city was brankrupt and had to obtain a line of credit, and Reagan was president and the country was in the midst of a terrible recession and Martinez fixed it. Or are you referring to 1993 when Martinez returned and the city was broke and the country was in a recession and Martinez fixed it.

    I hate revisionist history! The truth is Martinez was an outstanding administrator. Trying to deny that is like trying to deny the sky is blue.

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  37. Ok, it's clear the Raulito army, wants to get back into power. Raul has failed in his private business ventures and it is clear he needs to come back to the well. Morales is in a desperate state to get back on the council, however he an never do it without Raul at the top of the ticket, the rest of the crew is a band of misfits that want the salary and benefits tied to being an elected official. Zuniga is a clown, Bolanos head may burst, Miel ? Didn't Raul want her in jail? Sadly their campaign is very easy......and that is why Julio needs to run and fulfill his last two years and defend his administration. Carlos ain't going to do it and Rudy is being Rudy

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  38. Madame Ladra, Candela will call you and together we are able to talk with the ex. Senator Rudy Garcia and you will ask him candid questions for honest answer, about his ideas and future plans for the city of Hialeah if he become the next Mayor

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  39. "Julio needs to run and defend his administration" really? I for one would love to see that. Defend his administration? How about explain his administration! By the way, were is Mr. Wonderful? Why has he not stepped forward to explain a bankrupt city budget he claimed he had administered fiscally prudent. Where is the great leader? I guess it's easy to lead from behind! It's a leadership style shared by most of the administrators he placed (Vega, De La Rosa, Overton...)
    Yes, he should run... Guess it's easier to run away.

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  40. Elaine must of got that bug when you went to Cuba last month.
    You communist!

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  41. I see that this blog has a bunch of haters. I truely believe that the really winner is Hernandez.... Martinez needs to go and apply for his AARP card and go collect his money in the DR. Are you serious Bolanos for council? this is a joke. Alex has alot more experience and so does confused Isis

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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.

Comments that add substance and context to the news and issues in the blog will be posted. Comments that use profanity and abuse this open space to attack others will be saved and, when called for, sent to the appropriate authorities.