APRIL 19, 2013


Do you remember how excited we all used to get in elementary school when it was announced that our class would go on a field trip?

It didn’t matter where we were going, just as long as we could get out of class and go somewhere so that we wouldn’t have to sit in a classroom and deal with that boring stuff called getting educated.

I think that must be that way it is at Miami City Hall.  I’ve been noticing for a while now that whenever there are videos of the Mayor going to some event, you see flashes of all kinds of city employees in the background - often starting with the Chief of Police, that make me wonder why any of these people are there.

Well, I guess the announcement that the Mayor was going to hold a press conference where some maquinita machines would finally get destroyed was like announcing a Super Special Field Trip to Parrot Jungle in elementary school.

All kinds of city employees showed up at the Solid Waste Department for the show.

Not only was the City Manager there to say a few words, but so was Acting Assistant City Manager/Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera, who didn’t have anything to say.

Angel Zayon was there, and so was Pat Santangelo, the Mayor’s personal Press Aide, neither of who not only didn’t have anything to say, but didn’t have anything to pass out, since 3 members of the Miami Police PIO were there to handle that task.

Ada Rojas was there with her cell phone, and so was Vincent Bentancourt the Film Commissioner with his still/video camera.

On the police front the Chief was there, along with Armando Aguilar Jr, his personal assistant, and 4 or 5 other cops, at least one of whom was a Major.

It’s reassuring to know that the city is operating so smoothly that all of these folks could take time off from their important duties to take part, or watch this bullshit charade.

First off, let’s get some facts out of the way.

There were 48 maquinitas laid out on the asphalt like Sacrificial Lambs waiting to be slaughtered.

Some of those machines, according to the Chief had originally been confiscated in 2004 and 2005.  That means that these machines have been in storage for 8-9 years.

All of these machines were part of cases that had been adjudicated and closed out sometime between a year and a year and a half ago, which again means that these machines were sitting in storage - storage paid for by the taxpayers for all of this time - when they could have been destroyed at any time starting a year or a year and a half ago.

Had not the Legislature and the Governor acted in response to the Internet Cafe scandal, the odds are that those maquinitas probably would have have remained in storage for who know how many more months or years longer, because this press conference was all about being a a staged event to deflect some of the criticism that Regalado keeps getting for his previous coziness with the maquinita owners.


Right off the bat, one of the first things that Miami Police Chief Manny Orosa did when he stepped to the podium was to tip off the maquinita owners that his officers were starting at 10 AM that very morning to go out an seize whatever remaining maquinita machines were still sitting in businesses within the city limits.

There’s nothing like holding a major press conference to announce that for the next couple days your police officers will be going around seizing maquinita machines as a way to let the maquinita owners know they should send folks out to pick up those machines - unless of course, they are old, outdated machines not worth the effort.

First, I think I’m being generous in not claiming that the maquinita owners weren’t tipped off before the press conference this morning considering how many leaks the Miami Police Department springs when something major is ready to happen.

So, assuming that the announcement at the press conference was the first that the maquinita owners heard of these raids, how long do you think it would take the news to spread that the cops were coming?

Imagine if you were to substitute drug dealers for maquinita machines, and announced at a press conference that for the next couple days you were sending officers out to arrest drug dealers. How many drug dealers do you think would, upon hearing that news decide to chill out for a couple days somewhere else?

A tip off is a tip off, even if it’s the Chief of Police who delivers it. 


So, all of a sudden Tomas Regalado has become a law-and-order guy when it comes to these maquinitas.  He would have us forget that he personally inserted a maquinita owner - and not just any maquinita owner - but one who had been identified in a federal indictment as a mid-level member of the Cuban Mafia, to be part of the committee headed by the Miami City Attorney to draft the ordinance that allowed the machines to get licensed in the City of Miami.

That’s like inviting a child molester to be part of the committee tasked with writing a city ordinance to keep child molesters away from your kids.

Tomas Regalado took campaign money and was in the pocket of these maquinita owners right up to this morning, and if he gets a chance he’ll continue to do favors for these same guys whenever her gets the opportunity, because that’s just the kind of guy that Regalado is.

All the pandering bullshit about how he would like to thank the Governor and the Legislature for making these machines illegal so the city could implement the law, is just Regalado being Regalado, looking to lay off the responsibility for upholding the law on to someone else.

But as big a panderer as Regalado is, Francis Suarez, is in his own way worse.

Here is a copy of a press release that Suarez’s PF flack sent out on Wednesday night in advance of this morning’s press conference.

Reads like a real indictment of Regalado doesn’t it.  And just to make sure that the recipients got the message, here is the “timeline of relevant events.”

This scummy little hypocrite has the unmitigated gall to now bring up the issue of Alberto Milan coming in to represent the City of Miami against Chief Exposito as if he had somehow been opposed to Milan’s appearance.

I have repeatedly included a portion of the videotape of that September 2011 hearing where it show that it was Francis Suarez who not only raised the question of Alberto Milan’s potential conflict of interest in representing the maquinita owners and the City of Miami against the Chief, but it was Francis Suarez who after hearing Milan’s explanation that his maquinita clients were in complete agreement with the City Manager’s efforts to fire the Chief, expressed his complete acceptance of Milan’s brazen answer to his question.

That this lying little weasel would now attempt to portray himself as somehow opposed to the appearance of Alberto Milan, and attempt to blame Regalado for this is just absolutely mind boggling!

Tomas Regalado has a lot of things that he deserves full and complete blame for, but it was Francis Suarez and his fellow Commissioners, NOT Tomas Regalado, who had the last word on whether to allow Alberto Milan to represent the City against the Chief,  and he, more than any of the other Commissioners, by his own willingness to accept the answers he was given by Milan was what allowed him to remain and do what he did.

Here is that piece of video again. It’s less than 1 minute long. You really need to look at it to appreciate just what a lying little weasel Francis Suarez is, and understand his personal responsibility for what took place that day.

So, you got a Chief of Police being a tipster for the maquinita owners, the Mayor pandering like he’s been against the maquinitas all along when he wasn’t, and Francis Suarez thinking that he could get some cheap points by manipulating the facts so as to portray himself as some sort of champion against these machines.

The fact is that Suarez was a little weasel, who’s actions at the hearing against the Chief, followed the subsequent 20 months of doing nothing show him to be a hypocrite who when he had a chance to do right, chose to sell out to the same maquinita owners he now claims to oppose.

The most telling part of this whole mess is that from October of 2010 to today, no one on the City Commission, nor anyone in the Regalado administration has ever made the slightest efforts to revisit or rewrite the Ordinance that governs the licensing of amusement machines within the City of Miami so as to allow the licensing of legal amusement machines.

As a consequence, ALL of those amusement machines - legal and illegal - have gone unlicensed for  2 1/2 years.

For a city that continues to cry about being broke, that’s a source of revenue that should have been gone after long ago.

Of course, this happened in Regaladoland, and as you know, that means

It’s Miami, Bitches!


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