Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hialeah council losers not ghosts

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) ( 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.


  1. Ladra i dont leave in Hialeah but i know a lot of people that leave there and i feel so sorry for them, el alcaldito and his team has been going to all the places where the viejitos viven y los comedores, y les han dado AB para que lo firmen y despues los llenan a su conveniencia, yo pregunto no se puede hacer algo antes de Nov 15 para evitar que vuelva a pasar, es un bochorno que esto pase en este pais yo llevo en este pais 52 anos y me da verguenza decir que soy cubana, estos tipejos que han invadido Hialeah son puro trash empenzando por Robaina que le mordio las manos a Raul cuado lo ayudo y ahora el alcaldito.
    Ojala que el senor ponga su mano el dia 15 y no logren salirse con su gusto para seguir tapado toda la porqueria que hizo su antecesor.
    Hialeah era un dump y Raul la hizo una ciudad.
    Raul para alcalde por el bien de Hialeah y de susresidentes. Keep your good job

  2. I am really surprised that no one has made a comment? lol
    so i will be first one
    our blogs are amusing specially when they do not make any sense,i guess now i know why you are called IRREVELANT!
    secondly why are you backing candidate(s) that do not have any PLATFORM? ie Sicre,Bolanos?
    What do they bring to the table? NADA,ZILCH!!!
    finally, CAN YOU BACK UP ANY OF YOUR ALLEGATIONS OR ACCUSATIONS?or you just throw crap outhere until something STICKS? i honestly think that this is the case.
    Keep up the good work,maybe the Miami Herald will hire you again! lol lol lol
    pistolero 3

  3. Hi Elaine.

    I commend you for the work you have done for this community in the past few months. At the same time i can't help but notice that you are really jeopardizing yourself in the long run. And in so doing, you also hurt our community by diminishing the credibility of what could be a much needed dedicated investigative reporter (yourself) in Hialeah .

    I think of what you do and say wow, she is really putting herself out there, on the line, exposing the dark world of politics most people are oblivious to. You are exposing insights and tactics that have been hidden from the public eye for many years (many of them pioneered by Raul). It takes a lot of guts to step on so many toes (powerful ones at that). Not to mentions it takes a lot of time and effort to unwind the flow charts of power and corruption that undermine our political system.

    But...and here is the big but.......All that is shot to hell once your followers (the non-political middle of the road types) begin to realize that you are blatantly biased and suspect you have a hidden agenda. I for one think you do-albeit with good intentions.

    I am stuck between both camps and I therefore benefit from hearing the arguments and counterarguments that arise from both sides. This is what I have observed:

    You have not reported even ONCE on the great many flaws, hypocrisy, schemes, motives and dirty connections of the candidates affiliated with Raul. Same goes for the Firefighters. Why not shed some light on the Firemen's political calculations. Why not acknowledge that they will without a doubt have to make concessions (with raul OR carlos) and that they are simply supporting him in a blatant act of selfishness. Likewise, Raul is promising them an unfair deal for his own self interests. When he himself spat on the firefighters for a great many years.

    I can go on and on. Raul's own Absentee problems in the 90's. Alex Morales abuse and incompetence as director(which have led to successful lawsuits against HHA). Their manipulation of Hialeah housing and gullible seniors for votes from the 80's on. Dirty ties. The recent drastic reduction in Seniors in hialeah reducing the need for Fire rescue.
    What about all the no-bid contracts pushed through with Raul, Morales and Miel. and you have nothing to say about Bolanos and Julio Martinez? come on.... Why not shed light on why Gimenez is supporting Lago and Miel,etc.

    Here is a question for you: Do you not believe that the Raul Camp is just as shady as the current regime? Are these flaws not worthy of reporting?

    I suspect that you justify (as many normal, albeit unremarkable person would) turning a blind eye to the hypocrisy and evils of the people on Raul's side through some sort of pragmatic rationale: the means justify the ends and your belief that he is the lesser evil.

    However, imagine for a second that you had not been so partial this election. Perhaps you would have made enemies on both sides.Maybe you wouldn't have been propelled to local stardom so quickly. Maybe you would have less access. But in the long run you would have achieved a great deal of respect and a reputation as a credible independent voice. A person of principle. After a while, say an election or two, either side would have sought you ought to lend them a voice when the mainstream media wouldn't--even if you bashed them at the same time. They would willingly grant you access that they deny others BECAUSE you have shown yourself to be impartial despite your bashing. And would know that the public respects you.

    History is filled with great people and careers which started with tough principled choices that hurt them greatly at first but ultimately propelled them to greatness (ex. John Adams).

    This city needs saving. You can be a part of it. But it wont happen because of Raul, Carlos or Rudy.

  4. sra elaine , te habla pistolero # 2 , que falta de respeto tu eres , este "pistolero " te dice que yo jamas he sido arrestado por nada y menos por marihuana como tu y otros cosas mas que tu tienes , este al que tu le dices " pistolero " es un ciudadano sin ningun tipo de record y quizas no tenga los estudio que tu tengas , pero de seguro tengo mas educacion que tu , aprende a respetar a las personas , para que te respeten , el minimo de respeto que tenia por ti lo acabas de perder , poruqe no eres mas que una mentira que primero se hace llamar reportera politica , tu no eres mas que una chismosa pagada con intereses ocultos que vaya a ver que seran , para hablar de una gente que ni siquiera tiene un record , tienes que lavarte la boca sucia y lavarte los tenis sucios eso que siempres llevas ,,,vladimir

  5. Everyone is partial, JR. I am just transparent about it. And, as I've said, my bias comes from having informed myself and educated myself on the candidates, the issues and the track record. Sure, Martinez has a history and a track record that is not blemish-free. Nobody has said that. But the alternative is just unacceptable. Su Alcaldito is destroying and raping the city. He must be stopped.

    You are throwing things out there to see what sticks? Why is Gimenez supporting Lago? Because the alternative would be to support a 22-year-old placement who seems he was in special ed who works for Hialeah's biggest lobbyist and has to recuse himself nearly every meeting from very important votes. Why Miel? Because the alternative was the wicked witch of Palm Avenue. Do I believe the Raul camp is not just as shady? No, not entirely? Not just as shady. Maybe not entirely pure, but, again, what is the alternative?

    The city needs saving. It won't happen because of Raul, Carlos or Rudy. It will happen because the voters know what must be done.

  6. Oh, and to Pistolero #3, again: Stop whining. You lost. Tony Phony Vega is back to being an unscrupulous businessman whose $3,000 worth of "interior remodeling" to rebuild his illegal gun range is now part of the public corruption investigation into his deal with su acaldito. You guys better go find a new place to hang out.

    And I am soooooo irrelevant that you guys still hang on my every word. Get a life!

  7. Oh, wait... maybe you guys can spend all day hanging out at Workforce South Florida gaining new, employable skills.


I have decided to moderate comments for a while as there are some that are simply off-subject and have become personal and offensive in nature, attacking not just me but others through this venue.

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