He's baaaaaaack. Again.
Hialeah voters got a blast from the past on the phone Saturday when former Mayor Julio Robaina -- a relative recluse after his ruinous run for county mayor -- reached out with a recorded robocall for his former sister-in-law Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz on Saturday, the day that early voting started at the JFK library.
And only for Casals-Muñoz, official notary for the 1st Hialeah Bank of Julito (read: Robaina's shadow banking business). Further confirming the split between her and the other incumbents, Robaina's robocall didn't promote his other protoges, su acaldito Carlos Hernandez and Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez. Will there be more to come or will they stay jealous?
A very friendly Casals-Muñoz, who greeted everybody amicabally in the library parking lot-turned-campaign-central, said Robaina had told him he would do a robocall for her. "But I didn't know it would come out so soon," she said, and thanked Ladra for being the messenger (now ain't that a switch). While some people (read: candidate Danny Bolaños) may think it's a "tainted" recommendation, Robaina still had 75 percent of the votes in Hialeah in that June election, buoyed mostly by the absentee ballot machinery. Casals-Muñoz, who said she would pay for the robocall from her campaign account and not her Tallahassee-based PAC, may not have the benefit of that machinery in this race, but his seal of approval may still be a good sell. It can certainly help raise money. Robaina also had a fundraiser earlier this month for Casals-Muñoz and the other incumbents plus one (candidate and former Hialeah Housing Authority commissioner Lourdes Lozano). Casals-Muñoz raised $6,600 more in the last reporting period, which ended Oct. 11. She raised a total of $27,150 and has only spent about $2,800 of it so far.
While not "officially" on the slate with former State Sen. Rudy Garcia, another mayoral candidate, Casals-Muñoz -- who has tried to brush off a questionably $25,000 loan she made to Recaredo Gutierrez -- kept camp with his team of volunteers and hung out more with former Mayor Raul Martinez, who wants his old job back, and his Back to the Future crew than any incumbent. Does her cocky confidence mean she knows something we don't?
Are we going to hear robocall recommendations for Casals-Muñoz from her other supporters: State Sen. Rene Garcia (R, District 40) and State Reps. Eddy Gonzalez (R, District 102) and Jose Oliva (R, District 110)?