Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tony "Phony" & Alcaldito: Mates

We had been suspecting it for a while, ever since gunshop owner Tony "Phony" Vega changed groups in the Hialeah Council elections back in the middle of September. But on Tuesday, Ladra Vega and su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez came out of the political closet and showed their love for each other.

"We love Tony Vega," said Carlos Rodriguez, one of the paid campaign workers in a Hernandez for mayor t-shirt handing out Tony Vega for council literature and the alcaldito's slate card -- which is curiously missing a candidate in the Group 3 race. That contest pits Vega against incumbent Councilwoman Vivan Casals-Muñoz (who has been on the outs with Hernandez) and former cop and Hialeah Housing Authority employee (on a leave of absence) Danny Bolaños. Vega told Ladra back then that he moved out of the Group 1 race because it was crowded -- though he admitted that he did not feel confident enough to go against Alex "The Professor" Morales, who has been leading the polls since day one and might be the only one in a race of three or more candidates to win outright on Nov. 1. But we have always felt it was with su alcaldito's blessing -- or at his behest.

Neither Casals-Muñoz nor Bolaños gave it much weight. "This is part of democracy and they have a right to support whoever they want," Casals-Muñoz said of her colleagues, with whom she will have a final council meeting before the election today. Bolaños indicated he was not surprised. "They are both anti-firefighters, anti-union and anti-city employee."
Tuesday, Vega confirmed that he decided to give Hernandez his backing.

"I decided to support him today. We worked out our differences," Vega told Ladra over the telephone, because he had left the early voting site at JFK library already. "We have more things in common than separate us." Vega said he would make it public on Friday and asked Ladra to sit on the news. But Ladra is very bad at keeping a secret. And she doesn't want to anyway. Besides, she saw this alliance plain and clear despite all their disguises.

Early on, Tony Phony put his signs with su alcaldito's signs and also echoed his canned speech statements about the firefighters contract and the legalizing illegal efficiencies move. Then, Ladra got wind of an exchange of emails from July and August that Vega had written back and forth with Fire Union Vice President Eric Johnson in which he said Hernandez et al were "making sweet deals" and had offered to "fast track" his long-delayed permits for his gun range in exchange for... we are not sure what. His candidacy? The switch to Group 3? His support? What we do know is that Johnson took the email to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and Ladra has since heard that they did forward it to the Miami-Dade Police public corruption unit for investigation.

Vega -- who now, curiously, has all his permits curiously in order and the green light to build a gun range at his shop on West 84th Street -- has said repeatedly that he did not write those emails and that someone must have hacked into his account or made up a new facebook account to write them on his behalf. Ladra doesn't believe him, not because that kind of thing can't happen, but because he has also denied posting a comment on a Florida shooter's online forum about Hialeah closing his shop down last year (which they did after they found he had built an illegal gun range without the proper permits).

So, basically, it makes sense for him and Hernandez to hook up. They are both liars. Bad liars, but liars nonetheless.

Su alcaldito would not answer Ladra's questions about the sudden publicizing of the Vega alliance. But Rodriguez, the paid political parking lot pusher, said Hernandez himself gave him the stack of flyers. "To distribute them," said Rodriguez, who said he did not live in Hialeah and was being paid to stand in the parking lot all day and "distribute" the Vega and Hernandez lit. "Tony Vega is supporting Carlos Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez is supporting Tony Vega."

Yeah, we know. Then why did Papito -- who won't give us his real name -- run over to me and Rodriguez as we chatted and ended the interview. "You can't talk to him," he told me. "Um, yes, I can. Why not?" He said that I should only speak to candidates. Someone please tell Papito that journalists in this country can speak to whoever they want in a public setting. Papito (photographed here with Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez earlier in the week) took Rodriguez away from me and forbade him to speak to me any further, even though I told the poor intimidated guy that he wasn't in Cuba anymore and not to let himself be silenced. Papito also called him a volunteer and said he was not being paid, but we all know that's a lie, too.

Maybe Papito, whatever his real name is, will be running for office next.


  1. What a piece of "WORK" I had other words but will not mention them... Both of them.. Well I am sure that the State Attorneys office will be having a discussion with them soon..

  2. wow this woman needs to take a bath in the worst way!!!

  3. Tony Vega el politico mas honesto de Hialeah.
    Tu vas a la Armeria Miami Guns con la Licencia de Manejar y por $20.00 te da un diploma firmado por el y puedes ir a sacar la licencia de portar armas en el Estado de la Florida y ni te preguntan si sabes manejar un arma de fuego y este es es que va a ser el Comisionado del Pueblo de Hialeah. Voten por el y veremos a mas delincuentes con armas en nuestra ciudad.


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