Ten Years After Elian, Alex Penelas Is Back at County Hall

Ten years ago this past June 28, Elián González was returned to his father in Cuba, and Alex Penelas's rising political star imploded. Miami-Dade's then-county mayor dug his own grave in 2000. Sure he won a second term as mayor, but he double-crossed Al Gore during the presidential election and the recount. Now the Hialeah boy wonder who once dreamed of being the next Dante Fascell is making a comeback at county hall, as -- what else? -- a lobbyist.

In 2004, when Penelas ran for U.S. Senate, the Democrats abandoned the Cuban-American politician. And Gore put him on blast as a traitor. As a result, Penelas came in a distant third in the primary and faded from the political scene.

For the past six years, Penelas has stayed away from politics other than his gig as a commentator for Univision. But not anymore. Earlier this month, Dan Ricker's the Watchdog Report noted Penelas had registered to lobby on behalf of ADA Engineering Inc.

Banana Republican will keep you posted on the former mayor's new career as it progresses.

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