A robocall urging Hialeahns to oust Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz -- because she had the audacity to vote "no" twice in the Seguro Que Yes crew -- was received by some voters Tuesday while the candidate and both her opponents were at the JFK library greeting early voters. But niether former cop and current Hialeah Housing Authority employee Danny Bolaños, who is friendly with the councilwoman and incapable of such hypocracy, nor Tony "Phony" Vega, who might be but isn't saavy enough for this move, are behind the call.
The robocall is paid for by Citizens for a Reality Check, a Hialeah-based PAC formed earlier this year and operated by Sasha Tirador, the campaign manager for su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez and the other incumbents, minus one (Casals-Muñoz) plus one (former HHA commissioner Lourdes Lozano). Funded,m according to Florida public campaign records, mainly by the same contributors -- including maquinita permit holders and Herman Echevarria -- as su alcaldito's campaign, Reality Check is also the PAC that Tirador used to smear State Rep. Jose Oliva (R, District 110) as a Sandinista sympathizer when she worked for council candidate Frank "Sinatra" Lago in that race. Which leads Ladra to the natural question: Why are Tirador and Echeverria, allies of former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and supporters of his failed bid for Miami-Dade mayor, backstabbing him now through his beloved sister-in-law notary public? He is obviously supporting her through a fundraiser and the first robocall he recorded (he has since recorded one for everyone, but Ladra bets its pulled from the air soon). Robaina must be fuming. Ladra would love to hear what he has to say about it.
"If you knew that Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz, in Group 3, had betrayed us voting in favor of the red light cameras and against the legalization of efficiencies, would you vote for her," the call begins. "There are definitely other options in Group 3. Say no to Councilwoman Casals-Muñoz the same way she has said no to us."
Casals-Muñoz knew of the robocall when Ladra asked her about it after Tuesday night's short and historic (last one for the Seguro Que Yes gang) meeting. But she may have been surprised to know it su alcaldito was behind it.
"I don't think I've said no to the citizens. What I said no to was to cancel a contract that we don't know what the cost of that cancellation is going to be," the councilwoman graciously answered evebn though she was caught unaware by Ladra in the hallway. "It's very important when we sign a contract in the city of Hialeah, that we make sure that contract stands and is valid. I don't think that until we know all the facts that we should take anything back. The red lights do save lives but rmore importantly right now, my concentration is not to have a precedent in Hialeah to have a contract and then cancel it because there was a change in the administration.The city stands here before and after any administraiton and that needs to bre the precedent we set."
The councilwoman let Ladra and cameraman Raul "El Toro" Torres interview her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwMwzwC9NMs and she said she voted against the legalization of the efficiencies because the city had not studied the issue to know more about the possible effects and negative ramifications it could have on the homeowner's taxbill and benefits or traffic or the providing of services to the zone.
But she denied that the two votes against su alcaldito is what led him to cut the ties. "I don't think that there is a break," Casals-Muñoz said, referring to the relationship. "We can have a difference of opinion and I think that's very healthy."
Despite the signs -- literally, signs behind a Garcia volunteer's truck as he goes about town putting them up -- Casals-Muñoz said she is not on the former Senator's slate (although this might be just the thing to push her over that edge). And did Ladra say slate? Sorry, I mean unofficial-allies-by-process-of-elimination slate, because nobody there has a slate even though most Garcia supporters are telling people that they also support council candidates Daisy Castellanos and Fernando Alvarez, in addition to Casals-Muñoz. The photo here has the three of them and Garcia at the far left. And, on Tuesday, Hernandez campaign workers distributed Phony Vega literature and Vega said he and su alcaldito had decided to support each other (read: figured it was useless to keep denying the alliance).
"I have chosen to do this independently and let the people decide who they feel is best for that position," Casals-Muñoz said. "The citizens will decide who the next mayor is going to be and I am willing to work with any."
And here Ladra had hoped she would turn ABC, too.