Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shock in Hialeah election upsets

The Hialeah election primary ended Tuesday in a thud heard 'round the City of Progress and met with what can only be called shock and/or total disbelief by the hundreds of supporters and volunteers (not to mention the paid political consultants) that waited for results at the campaign offices of both former State Sen. Rudy Garcia and former Mayor Raul Martinez, where many undry eyes watched su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez hang on to a formidable lead.

The shocker wasn't that "The Ghost" Garcia, who only started acting like he was in the race a little while ago and is the best recent living example of you reap what you sow (read: Invisible candidate gets invisible votes). Well, not to anyone but Garcia and some in his camp who thought out loud that he might take the title in the first round. The shocker was not that a run-off would pit Martinez against Hernandez, who would not have done as well if the lies about the interest payments from his loan to the convicted Ponzi schemer and the huge increase in water connection fees had not become public six days after the absentee ballots dropped (read: were mailed to voters) or "The Ghost" Garcia would have started acting like he was in the race a little sooner. It was that Martinez was not in pole position.

A wall of people watched in horror as the TV screen in the shopping strip space Martinez shares with his Back to the Future slate rolled the results over and over and over on a constantly refreshing loop and two of those slatemates were immediately eliminated. Former Councilwoman Cindy Miel thanked supporters as she conceded defeat to Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez, who won with a six-point lead, or 53 to 47 percent. Ladra thinks Miel and former Mayor Julio Martinez -- who lost with a huge 21-point lead, 54 percent of the vote going to Councilman Jose "Pottymouth" Caragol -- put the least sweat equity of the slate mates and could have worked harder. Am I disappointed? Sure. And concerned for anyone in Hialeah who dares walk up to the podium at the council meetings and ask a question Gavelgirl doesn't like. But at the same time, and I hate to admit this, there is some satisfaction at the job security of four more years of exposing Gavelgirl's graft and vulgar griteria tactics. And, I love to admit, it makes Ladra's tail wag like mad to think of her up on the dais with Martinez as mayor. In fact, that image among voters might boost the Dark Prince's numbers in the run-off.

Both Miel and Julio Martinez had seen the writing on the wall as soon as the absentee ballot count showed wide margins (when Ladra was still pretty much in denial). "It doesn't hurt me to win or lose. I've been in sports all my life," said Julio Martinez, who also called the contest "a bad election," but tried to keep the group up-beat about Martinez and the others. "All of you can still help change the destiny of this city... and tomorrow, we continue with the fight," Julio Martinez said. Ladra sure hopes he means that literally and not figuratively, and will stick around as one of the hundreds of bodies the surviving Back to the Future slate needs to turn the numbers around in two weeks. He should stick to getting support, however, from the 8,996 people who voted from him. We don't want him having the wrong effect and turning people against his former slate mates.

Those survivors of the Election Day massacre are former Councilman and fired (by former Mayor Julio Robaina) Hialeah Housing Authority Director Alex "The Professor" Morales, former cop turned HHA employee Danny Bolaños -- who almost lost Tuesday night as Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz got thisclose to a 50 percent plus one showing to his 27 percent (Ladra expects her to request a recount, but more on that later) -- and former State Rep wannabe Frank "Sinatra" Lago, who had the smallest margin of the slate with only a 3-point lag (38 to 35 percent) behind Councilman Pablito "Huh?" Hernandez (who had to be held back by his dad when he wanted to fight Uncle Sam at one of the precincts, but more on that later, too). And Lago would have done a whole lot better if Daring Daisy Castellanos had not taken almost 28 percent of the vote. And Ladra wasn't so much in denial with Lago being able to make up for the absentee ballot count in Election Day votes as naive about anyone being able to make up for the AB machinery owned by su alcaldito's campaign manager, AB Queen Sasha Tirador. How else can anyone explain how relative nobody and former HHA commissioner Lourdes Lozano was able to gain a 6-point lead (53 to 47 percent) over Morales, the globally-accepted front runner? Lourdes who?

Even Raul Martinez mentioned that race as a clear example that AB manipulation (read: fraud) was alive and well and kicking some fondillo in Hialeah. "The absentee ballot system has grave problems and goes against democracy," Martinez said in Spanish as he addressed a crowd of more than 100 people outside his retail-space office. "And until the authorities do something, the AB votes are going to help candidates who are from mediocre to bad."

Al Lorenzo, the campaign manager for Garcia (and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in his win over former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina) said he expected the ABs to go the way they did and that their camp had only generated between 600 and 700 absentee ballot requests from supporters. But he was absolutely dumbfounded by the early voting -- his specialty -- and Election Day results. "I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Lorenzo, who stopped by the JFK during early voting daily or almost daily. "I was there and I saw it myself. People would come tell Rudy 'I voted for you,' or 'I'm going to vote for you.' I've never experienced anything like this and I can't explain it." He said the campaign had trouble raising funds in the later weeks. "A lot of people who had a stake in Hialeah, didn't support Rudy," Lorenzo said. He said if he could do it all again, he would pay more attention to the ABs. "I would start earlier. I would get people together."

The Martinez camp also realized that their game plan with the ABs had faltered and that they had better start earlier to follow up on all the absentee voters -- with phone calls and visits when required -- and not concentrate on the ones the campaign generated that would vote for them in an effort to stop those from being stolen by another team. Even before the final results were in, they were intelligently reaching out to former State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla -- who is back in South Florida after an extended vacation, allegedly in Europe -- because, as AB King, he is a proven Tirador antidote and has already said he would help Martinez any way he could. Hey, DLP #1, I promise to behave if you do. And just like in the county mayoral race, Ladra expects (read: hopes and crosses her fingers) the ABs to have much less relevance and less dramatic margins across the board in the runoffs for mayor and three council seats.

Then the sound heard throughout Hialeah on Nov. 15 might be a little clearer and less ominous.


  1. You and Raul are full of it. Claiming "AB FRAUD". Please...

    Check out the detailed election results. Pablito beat Frank Lago even during early voting and came in at about even on election day.

    as for your "professor"... he would have lost with or without the ABS.

    IF YOU EXCLUDE ABS FRONT THE LOZANO VS MORALES MATCH and include only early voting and election cut your "lourdes who?" crap. She ran against isis in 07' and had a good showing.

    The same holds true for Carlos. He beat Martinez in every race: early voting and election day.

    Boy is it going to sting Nov 15. What way do you really think the majority of Rudy's vote are going to go in the run-off? Wait until Robaina, Balart, and entire establishment comes out to keep Martinez out.

    Raul is screwed.

  2. Elaine,

    I know defeat isn't pretty but do I need to remind you, Al Lorenzo and former AB king (Raul Martinez) that Carlos won election day and early voting. These results are a crusher to the "stay out of Hialeah slate". As far as I'm concerned only two questions remain: will Lago beat Pablo and what will the margin of defeat be for Martinez. Although Rudy has said he won't support Carlos, I think he will be wise to join the big names soon, if only to retain some relevance. I also fully expect Danny to send Tony Vega a gift basket for allowing him to remain alive for a second round. Check that, maybe it would be kinder to have spared him another 70+ point defeat.

  3. ok, so Raul's camp blames ABs? Forget that Carlos wins early vote and election day vote. I assume the scrabble for endorsements is on. LADRA, let me help you.....Raul comes in second because he is not the same Raul of a few years ago. What Lincoln did to Raul was expose him as a selfish person and perhaps more importantly a true democrat in a republican city. Raul is a Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Rangel Democrat and he had to bash republicans during the 2008 election. Not to mention his ties to Cuba and business ventures.

    Morales, is hated within Housing. He ran the place with an iron fist and many residents were just waiting to hit him. For Lozano to get more votes that Morales is outrageous, he was the only one in that group that had money and did mailers, calls etc... Lozano will now have money.

    Bolanos, are you kidding me? First, I would call the cops if I saw him approaching my door. He brings nothing to Raul's slate.

    Lago, people are seeing him for what he is.....a carpet bagger. This slate has serious problem and was flawed from the beginning, but you were blinded by hate or anger.

    Now this is not over and if Carlos and his people believe that Raul is finished, then they will be shocked in two weeks. Raul will now go nuclear and dirty will fly.....(I am sure you will be participant of assisting the mud slinging). However, if Carlos stays focused and his people continue to work hard and stay together they should be celebrating very soon.

  4. How ironic Raul is bashing absentee ballots when he used to beat Nilo Juri using forged absentee ballots. Once the elections department caught on to this fraud, he hasn't been able to win an honest election. Sorry to see Julio Martinez standing next to Raul. He was a very good mayor for the residents of Hialeah and the employees.

  5. What happened to that poll that Lago was walking around with saying he was going to win out right? He lost Election Day too! What the excuse there?

  6. The election is a joke and an insult. Period. Pablito? Really?


    Rudy should have won......

  8. anon:

    he is going to try to justify it by using the same tactic as Raul. "oh the Absentees..its the Absentees".

    Notice how he lost the election day votes in addition to the Abs.

    PAUL: 3,685 LAGO: 3,659

    Not too bad for Paul "Duh" Hernandez, as this moron Elaine portrays him.

    Lago is finished if he loses the 2nd round. Everyone will remember how he sold his soul to Raul.

  9. Alex ain't gonna take Sasha..she's the real deal...ain't no one in Hialeah better...she's the Queen, straight up royalty and clean as they come...homeboy Raul best be prepared bc this ain't gonna be easy...Alex don't know Hialeah he don't know what's up much less's time for the big guns to come out and hit hard and dominate...this is all out war and Sasha and her crew are ready for it...ready to deliver the prize at the behest of the real King of Hialeah...

  10. This is going to get even more interesting post-election once Carlos is elected Mayor and he gets to call the Firefighters bluff!

    You guys sure you don't want to start thinking about making some REASONABLE concessions like every other city employee has? Or are you still betting that Raul might win and raise taxes so you can maintain your extravagant perks. Well, even if he does win, the soulless slate he supported is just about completely obliterated. This gives tax increases zilch chance of passing the council.

    Better get use to working presidents day, columbus day, MLK, etc at a NORMAL pay rate like most hard working Americans have to do. You can blame your selfish "Union" leaders Eric Johnson and Mario Pico for all this.

  11. I wonder who Rudy Garcia voters are backing?

  12. I presume you mean the poll from July?

  13. I don’t think you are wagging your tail- I think you have your tail in between your legs, and for a very long time. The “alcaldito” resulto tener un fuerte respaldo. Wake up and smell the cortadito- Hialeah is not what it used to be, thank GOD for that. Your Raul is a real balloon (desinflado) and, with this blog, you helped to take his air out. Nada como un viejo refrán cubano para sintetizar el resultado de estas elecciones: !TE COJISTE EL CULO CON LA PUERTA! Me alegro mucho porque esta campaña de descrédito que realizas desde este blog en una vergüenza y una canallada.
    Manuel Morales

  14. The citizens of Hialeah deserve what they are going to get if Carlos and the bobbleheads win. Hialeah is such a joke, what a waste of a city.

  15. Are you guys kidding???? If Carlos wins people will have less of a chance at surviving from serious medical conditions because he will cut Firefighters & services will be delayed tremendously. Good luck to all the Carlos supporters, you all don't need firefighters today but you will tomorrow. And with a Carlos win you will definitely have to wait!

  16. Makes you wonder why all these GOP jerks come after Raul so hard. Maybe it's because Raul is a top-notch manager, the main strength Republicans used to have when seeking office. Now all they do is yak about stupid political theories which have never worked. Anywhere. And Hernandez is just an idiot following orders. So Raul may have hurt your feelings in the past, but the city was a better place with his iron fist in place. Does Sasha Tirador give a crap about Hialeah? No. She is a mere political hack for sale. Actually, the joke about Sasha is, we know what you are. Now we're just talking price.

  17. To the guy who pointed to the Lago/Pablito match up numbers, Frank won EV by 47 votes and lost by 26 ED. Therefore if we go by votes cast in person Frank won.

    I'm willing to go as far as to suggest that had Frank had at least 1 volunteer at each precinct he could have won ED outright. Paul won solely on the AB machinery of Sasha Tirador which I have to marvel at it and give credit to her. This kid (Paul) is a joke.

    22 years old and no degree and the residents "want" him to be an elected leader.

  18. anon...

    and if Carlos and his slate could have paid as much attention to Election day precincts and Early voting as they did to AB's, the margins would have been much greater.

    "Paul won solely on the AB machinery of Sasha Tirador".. what are you implying?

    People bash Sahsa's AB machinery like if it is wrong. Pursuing ABS is no different than bringing out a bunch of workers to the precincts and putting on a big show (valet parking, flying plane banners overheard, constant bombardment w/ mobile billboards..etc).

    Instead of wasting their funds on this futile attempt to attract the 2000 or so voters that went out to Election Day, Carlos directs his efforts towards the new polling places: THE VOTERS HOMES, Where over 8000 absentee ballots are cast.

    I AM WILLING TO GO AS FAR AS TO SUGGEST that had Lago not affiliated himself with Raul Martinez, that he would have wiped pablito out by every measure.

    "22 years old and no degree and the residents "want" him to be an elected leader"

    ...your right. They might prefer an older, more educated candidate. But given the choice between the unproven but innocent pablito and someone who right off the bat is associating himself with dirty characters for political gain, they will stick to the former.


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.

Comments that add substance and context to the news and issues in the blog will be posted. Comments that use profanity and abuse this open space to attack others will be saved and, when called for, sent to the appropriate authorities.