Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez conceded early Tuesday night as soon as the absentee ballot machinery of su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez showed it had almost a 4,000 vote lead. A suspicious 4,363 vote lead counting ABs and early voting numbers.
"Se acabo," Martinez told supporters as he made his way outside to the TV cameras. "It's over."
He later lost by a total of 6,689 votes, which means that 2,326 people at the polls voted against him on Election Day. That's almost half of those who voted against him absentee. Really? Really? And if it is supposed to be a true reflection of the whole community, why is it that absentee ballots were disproportionately high, at about double the in personal votes? And uncannily equal among the alcaldito's slate. Let's review the early voting and AB counts. There were 10,408 votes for Hernandez (compared to 6,045 for Martinez), 9,943 for council candidate Lourdes "Who?" Lozano, 9,883 for Vivian Casals-Muñoz and 9,352 for Pablito "Huh?" Hernandez. Too close for comfort, just like in the first round. Ladra says. And more circumstantial evidence that the ballot brokers were successful. In comparison, the Back to the Future slates absentee numbers differered much more: 6,045 for Martinez, 5,690 for former councilman Alex "The Professor" Morales, 6,202 for Frank Lago, and 4,537 for former cop turned Hialeah Housing Authority employee Danny Bolaños. Only the Professor's and Martinez's votes are close, which is a natural thing.
Wednesday, Ladra, Martinez, former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo and some other concerned citizens turned fellow volunteer watchdogs will be making formal, written complaints with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office as well as the FDLE and the Miami-Dade Police public corruption unit so they investigate the irregularities you readers have seen here in this blog and in other media outlets. We will take the photos we have of Hernandez campaign workers helping incapacitated ALF residents to vote, video of known boletera picking up ballots at a public housing building and other documentation, like a woman who volunteered for the Hernandez campaign because she was promised housing. We will ask Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez-Rundle to recuse herself from the investigation and have the state appoint a new prosecutor from a different jurisdiction. I'm hoping for some old gringo from Lee County who would be outraged by these incidents. Fernandez-Rundle was accused Tuesday of having taken campaign contributions from Hernandez and bundles from his support base (read: illegal maquinita industry) and of having invested in the ponzi scheme by Luis Felipe Perez, whose loans from former Mayor Julio Robaina and Hernandez. Former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo -- who might be the only person in South Florida who knows more about absentee ballots than Ladra -- made the allegatoins on MegaTV's Los Implicados Tuesday night to denounce what is obviously a fraudulent absentee ballot operation and then he dropped the bomb about Felipito. We will both be at the State Attorney's tomorrow to make the stink public.
This is not about sour grapes. If su alcaldito would have won the absentees with a proportionate amount of votes, instead of double the amount cast at the polls, if we didn't already have documentation of known boletera, or ballot runner, Emelina Llanes knocking on doors last week in a public housing unit to collect ballots, if his campaign manager weren't Absentee Ballot Fraud Queen Sasha Tirador, if we didn't already have more than eight cases of ALF residents who voted with "assistance" from Hernandez supporters or campaign workers, then su alcaldito would have a mandate and the people would have, indeed, spoken, like Martinez said in his quick, spontaneous, respectful speech to accept defeat.
But while I have supported Martinez -- and only because I do not want to see Hernandez continue to rape this city and its employees, who have been threatened and intimidated (more on that later) for his own personal gain -- I disagree with him (again) when he said "the people have spoken." The people have not spoken. The people were spoken for. Big difference. Votes were stolen. Votes may have been paid for. We know at least one vote was promised public housing to support his candidacy -- and she was arrested at the Hernandez campaign office after the first round victory when she approached the media to complain about the housing situation. Of course they did not want her to do that. Who knows what they were trying to cover up. That is one of the other incidents Ladra will take to the state attorney and the authorities.
Because this is not over people. I want the residents and employees of this city -- and su alcaldito and his Seguro Que Yes rubber-stamping board -- should know also that I am not going away because he won. In fact, I am going to continue even more with my investigations first into the ALF fraud, then into the botella positions, then into the no-bid contracts and, maybe, into his moonlight job as an individual bank for loans to Felipito.
This is not over. Ladra is far from being done here. Someone else might be done. But not me. Not Carollo. Not former Mayor Julio Martinez, who wants to form a watchdog committee and propose changes in the AB process."I went to war to protect democracy and what these people did is a sham," Martinez told me.
This election might be over. But the investigation has just begun.