While all eyes are on the possible mayoral endorsement in the Hialeah runoff election and who former State Sen. Rudy Garcia -- the third place finisher -- will eventually back (if he backs anyone), council candidate endorsements are already being sought and traded.
And there are a couple of surprises, but let's go with the easy one first. Former planning and zoning board member Ramiro Sicre stopped by the campaign office of former Mayor Raul Martinez Wednesday evening and told Martinez he would support him. Sicre told me Martinez is what the city needs now and that he cannot back the incumbent. He also said he had not decided on what council members to support, but Ladra suspects it will be the Back to the Future slate.
Now for the two shockers.
We heard Daisy "Duh" Castellanos say so many bad things about Councilman Pablito "Huh?" Hernandez that we are giving her back her old nickname so they can be a pair again. Besides, she lost her daring. While Ladra didn't think it would be easy to get her behind Frank Lago, who she has been critical of throughout the race, I certainly did not expect this. And while some people who said she has long worked for the Julio Robaina/Hernandez machinery expected it, this is hypocracy at its worst people. Castellanos ran against Hernandez, in part, because he got appointed to the seat she wanted when it was vacated by su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez. She told El Nuevo Herald reporter Enrique Flor that she still is critical of the process "Besides, I've spoken to him and he seems like a noble person who wants to serve the community," Flor quotes her as saying. Two weeks ago, she was calling him immature and said that he had too many conflicts of interests with city business -- as an employee of lobbyist Felix Lasarte -- and had to recuse himself from many important votes. She and I debated whether his appointment was intentional in order to get a smaller pool for those crucial water plant votes. But, now, that after talking to her supporters, she felt Hernandez would be the best choice. he also said so many bad things about absentee ballot queen Sasha Tirador, who she told Ladra called her on the phone to harass her with obscenities and threats and called the police on her husband to have him trespassed from the Hernandez campaign office (this is becoming a habit with them). I am sure she is now saying bad things about Ladra and former State Sen. Rudy Garcia, the mayoral candidate whose tiny coattails she rode, and anybody else who gets caught in the alcaldito and council's crosshairs. What a sell-out. Duh.
And Ladra doesn't know what former cop and Hialeah Housing Authority Danny Bolaños was thinking when he agreed to meet with gunshop owner and permit shirker Tony "Phony" Vega -- whose fast-tracked gun range permits are being investigated by the Miami-Dade Police Public Corruption unit -- and accepted the liar's support. I know that Danny, my favorite candidate, is facing an uphill battle against Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz, who has the backing of her brother-in-law, former Mayor Julio Robaina and a Republican All Star Legislative team -- State Sen. Rene Garcia and State Reps. Jose Oliva and Eddy Gonzalez, all of whom have reportedly been raising money for her (and there was someone counting checks at her campaign office Friday morning). But Ladra is not sure Tony Phony's endorsement will translate to checks, Danny. He won't bring you more than three votes from his fellow pistoleros photographed here because his votes came from su alcaldito and his ballot broker, Tirador. "Every vote counts," Danny told me later Wednesday night, and he promised there was no deal made for the support. But I still think Phony Vega would only bring him headaches as I suspect that his endorsement was fake, a set-up to hurt him later. Because Vega, like all phonys, cannot be trusted. And you know that, Danny. Tony Phony was squarely with su alcaldito and would do his bidding to get his gun range. He apparently now has the green light to build it -- er, I mean, to make $3,000 worth of "interior alterations." That sounds phony to me (more on that later). I am sure these permits are phony, too
Ladra may have cost Bolaños the nod, however, according to Vega's own snippy text messages. And while Danny may not be too happy with his unpaid number one fan for that, I am fine with it. Sometimes, you have to fall on the sword.
Ladra has been a thorn in Tony Phony's side -- and vice versa -- since she exposed his deal with the devil (read: deal with su alcaldito) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdK4qA3oLNQ). During early voting, he finally admitted to openly supporting Hernandez, who lied (again) in Friday's El Nuevo Herald story when he said he had not supported anyone in the Group 3 race. (And now he is making nice with Casals-Muñoz? Is that part of the deal for the Garcia nod?) But he had. And we have proof of yet another lie. He and his supporters were caught handing out Phony Vega cards, as in the photo here. In the photo below, Tony offers his Phony grin next to Casa Marin owner Diosdado Marin -- who claims to control 651 absentee ballots and supports the incumbent slate (plus former Housing Authority commissioner Lourdes "Who?" Lozano, who came out of nowhere to beat the unbeatable former councilman Alex "The Professor" Morales (who is seeking Group 1 candidate Fernando Alvarez's support through mutual friends but not Jesus Novo's because he is a plantidate likely thrown into the race by su alcaldito). Come to think of it, Vega didn't like that post about the alliance with Hernandez, either. I think Vega lied (again) when he said he was a fan. Here is an exchange of text messages between him and Ladra that began after that post when he and the mayor made their mutual admiration "news":
Vega at 11:13 a.m. Oct. 28: Loved the cortadito today!!! I can tell that my win is going to hurt you so brace for the impact! I'll expect my call on a timely manner to congratulate me!
Me at 9:51 p.m., Nov. 1 (because he doesn't pick up the phone or call back): "So... do you still feel so cocky? I expect a call in a timely manner to accept defeat."
Vega at 10:17 p.m. Nov. 1: "Yes well.. I've learned lots which will help in other races, for a total novice I got alot of bang for my buck. Now whom do I endorse???"
Me at 10:55 p.m. Nov. 1: "You got a lot of ABs from Carlos' support. You might not have that in other races."
Vega at 10:56 p.m. Nov. 1: "Good night."
Me at 10:57 p.m. Nov. 1: "It is for me." (Because at least that tiny part was).
Me at 12:09 p.m. Nov. 2: "You know, after thinking about it, I realized you got Danny into the runoff... thanks!"
Vega at 12:12 p.m. Nov. 2: "Elaine, I just left a meeting with Danny where we discussed me endorsing him. I said yes. Your continued jabbing has caused me to reconsider the swing of my 6,000 votes."
Vega at 12:23 p.m. Nov. 2: "Ok I've considered it enough. I won't be endorsing anybody for group 3. Thanks for helping me with my process. Explain that to Danny."
Me at 1:57 p.m. Nov. 2 (after I got over the shock when Danny confirmed it): "Those are/were Carlos' votes. Not sure your nod is going to help so if I messed that up, yay! I don't want him muddied up by your conflicts & corruption."
Me at 3:46 p.m. Nov. 2: "Which, by the way, I am going to keep covering."
Vega at 9:38 a.m. Nov. 3: "It's over! Raul and his team are back to retirement. Deals are cut."
Me at 10 a.m. Nov. 3: "Huh? What are you talking about? Can you just call me?"
Vega at 10 a.m. Nov. 3: "Have fun!"
Vega at 10:01 a.m. Nov. 3: "Just wait and watch."
Me at 10:08 a.m. Nov. 3: "Yeah, because your predictions are always so on target!"
Me at 10:09 a.m. Nov. 3: "How's your gun range coming along?"
Me at 10:53 a.m. Nov. 3: "Hello?"
That's the last Ladra heard from Tony "Phony" Vega and she can't help but wonder if he knows something about the A Mano Limpia show with Garcia and if there were expectations he would endorse su alcaldito. Then again, he always makes stuff up.
But I promise it is not the last Tony "Phony" Vega has heard from me.
Or the last you have heard of him.