Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Matinez challenges Diaz-Balart to debate

El Duende, a Spanish Radio commentator in Miami, has reported that former Hialeah Mayor, Raul Martinez, has challenged to debate U.S. Representative Lincoln Diaz Balart, capo di tutti capi of the Miami Mafia.

The challenge was due to Hillary Rodham-Clinton having a political campaign fund raiser lunch at the home of Martinez. The President of the Republican Party in Florida, Jim Greer, said that “ex-Mayor Martinez was invalidated to raise funds for a political campaign because he was indicted for corruption 20 years ago.”

I do not know what was the outcome of that indictment [see second part of this post], but if he was indicted and convicted, Martinez has paid his dues to society.

Leave it to the Republicans to use “fear and smear.” They are masters of dirty politics.

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Miami-Dade Dems

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quick response to flap around Raul Martinez

Not letting the ink dry for long: Joe Garcia, chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, lept to the defense of former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez after the Republican state chairman, Jim Greer, ripped Martinez for hosting a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton on Monday.

"It is beyond ironic that the Republican Party, responsible for the most corrupt administration in the history of this country, would attempt to discredit a distinguished public servant like Mayor Martinez," Garcia said. "Of course, the GOP fails to mention that Raul was exonerated of all charges."

"The people of Miami-Dade County, including all of Raul's supporters in Hialeah, see right through this campaign. Ultimately it's a clear sign that their fears are coming true. The public is calling for change, and as they launch these attacks the Republicans lose more and more of the electorate's faith – including that of the Hispanic community," Garcia added.

Garcia also looked for the reason behind the Republican blast: an inroad that Raul Martinez is paving into the Republican dominance of the Spanish-language airwaves. On Monday Martinez will begin hosting a talk show on WQBA 1140 AM, 4-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All this is fodder for the grist mill churning up talk that Martinez will run for Congress against Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that Martinez hasn't decided whether to run. "But if I do, I'll give anyone a run for their money," he was quoted as saying.

Mayor of Hialeah for 24 years, Raul Martinez garnered immense popularity as a Democrat in a city with a large Republican majority. He was prosecuted for alleged corruption but successfully appealed a conviction, and two subsequent trials ended in hung juries. Despite these distractions, he led Hialeah to new levels of excellence, bringing about successful public works projects and groundbreaking infrastructure and transportation improvements. Hialeah's affordable housing program is a national model for excellence. He was elected to eight terms, twice unopposed, before stepping down in 2005.

Posted by Larry Thorson at 4:41 PM

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