Getting Paid

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Follow the money

Ralph Arza's self-inflicted demise proves that he was nothing more than a foul-mouthed Tony Soprano wannabe. The beady-eyed, hooch-swilling Hialeah Republican would sell his mother out for cash and power.

That was abundantly clear during his aborted reelection campaign. Even though he had no real opponent, Arza got his pal Manuel Reira on the ballot as a write-in candidate. The move allowed the disgraced legislator to raise $149,000 to plaster his nefarious mug throughout his district, which comprises most of la ciudad que progresa.

Donors to the alleged racist's campaign included Bank of America, Calder Race Course, and lobbyist Ron Book. Supposedly reputable law firms like Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig also kicked in for Arza's reelection. Not surprisingly, the Miller Brewing Co., Southern Wine & Spirits, and Anheuser-Busch supported Arza, as well.

Thanks to Arza, Clear Channel, Martin Outdoor Media and Signal Outdoor Advertising collected $43,850 in billboard revenue. Heck, Arza even paid himself $5,262 to promote his own campaign!

And as his political career lies wasted and destroyed like Berlin in the spring of 1945, I can't help but wonder what Arza plans to do with the roughly $46,000 left in his reelection campaign war-chest. According to state law, Arza must either return the money to donors or give the contributions to legitimate charities or non-profit organizations, including political action committees.-Francisco Alvarado

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