Former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina Was Unfairly Trashed by the Media

Categories: Luke's Gospel
Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke goes to bat for a certain former Hialeah mayor.

The Miami-Dade mayoral primary is only two months away, and the election is set for November 6. Yet we haven't even answered the most scintillating mystery of the last go-round. What crime did Julio Robaina, Hialeah's ex-mayor who unsuccessfully ran for Dade's top spot last year, commit? The State Attorney's Office is sure trying to find out.

On April 13, public corruption prosecutors grilled me for almost three hours about what Robaina had promised me in exchange for my endorsement in his runoff against (now county mayor) Carlos Gimenez. Nothing ever came of it. (I placed fourth in the May 24 election.)

Why would they waste taxpayer money investigating two guys who lost the election? And that was just one of the bogus criminal complaints against Robaina.

When the man who had served as both councilman and mayor of Hialeah was the frontrunner getting all the headlines, media outlets including Miami New Times and Miami Herald claimed he was under federal investigation for alleged acts of loan sharking, mortgage fraud, and tax evasion involving Luis Felipe Perez, a Hialeah jeweler who pleaded guilty in 2010 to operating a $45 million Ponzi scheme. Robaina always maintained he was one of Perez's victims, but that doesn't make for a juicy article.

The media also made a big stink about Robaina being supported by the gambling maquinitas industry. But Gimenez is beholden to gambling special interests too. His political action committee Common Sense Now has accepted $10,000 from owners of Magic City Casino and $10,000 from Genting, the Malaysian company that wants to convert the Miami Herald property into a resort-based gambling den. Heck, Gimenez just hired a Genting lobbyist, Jesse Manzano-Plaza, to be his campaign manager. Plus the county mayor is also taking campaign contributions from people who supported Robaina, such as Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti, who has raised $17,000 for Gimenez's re-election.

Robaina's character was assassinated. Apparently, his name was unjustly dragged through the muck, because here we are more than a year later and he is still a free man. The media -- and the political hacks who deal in misinformation -- lied to the public to make sure he would not win the election. For all we know, he could have been the greatest mayor in Miami-Dade history.

The unfair coverage of Robaina proves you can't believe everything you read or what Michael Putney says on his Sunday political show, This Week in South Florida. While conventional media dies and Internet sites regurgitate most of the news, truth is the loser. So are the people who want to elect only the best leaders.

Follow Luke on Twitter @unclelukereal1.

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It's unfortunate that there is such hostility over the mayor's office. I mean, who would want that position anyway?

Robert Smith
Robert Smith

Jane Doe, You are an idiot and Hialeah did not go broke. Julio Robaina got screwed and you cannot deny that the media took a special interest in tearing him apart for their candidate Gimenez. Gimenez is in bed with the Casino interests, the same ones that bought the Miami Herald building are now running his campaign. Explain that to me? If it was Robaina that made that same boneheaded move, the Herald would have their pulitzer prize winning journalists do their famous 5 week spread against the poor guy. It's "you people" that don't get it and have been dupped with the Gimenez cool-aid. If he gets re-elected this town is done!


Luke, It seems you have had a taste of the Robaina cool-aid. You are correct about one thing though: he is still a free man, but not for long. I guess you have not taken the time to see what after effects he left inside his old city also. THEY ARE BROKE!!!!!!! Not because of the economy, but rather his actions..

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