By Chuck Strouse
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By Pepe Billete
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MIRIAM: Oops, Roman is giving us the hurry-up signal again.
ALEX: Our first guest is one of the biggest box office stars in America. He is also a resident of Miami and, more important, a heck of a nice guy. It is our great pleasure to have him here on the show -- the one, the only, Sylvester Stallone.
Stallone walks from backstage and takes a seat next to Penelas.
ALEX: Now, Sly -- is it okay if I call you Sly?
MIRIAM: Can I call you Sly too?
ALEX: Now, Sly, give us an idea how local government works for you in a democratic context.
SLY: Well, as everyone in the studio is probably aware, I own a mansion just off Brickell Avenue, near Alice Wainwright Park. And I'm afraid that people like to jog and rollerskate and ride their bicycles on the public street in front of my mansion.
ALEX: That must be awful. Don't these folks realize that you are a big movie star who demands privacy? SLY: Apparently they don't care. I even had members of my personal security force engage in a wild shooting spree one night, hoping it would scare everyone away, but they keep coming back.
MIRIAM: If this happened in Cuba, those intrusive pedestrians would be thrown in jail.
ALEX: Good point. I guess here in America there is nothing anybody can do.
SLY: Not so fast. This is where local government comes into play. Since I am incredibly wealthy and famous, I went to the Miami City Commission and asked them to put up a gate, blocking the entrance to the public street in front of my mansion.
MIRIAM: You mean you personally went down to city hall?
SLY: Well, no. Because this is Miami, and because I am incredibly wealthy and famous, I hired a lobbyist to do it.
MIRIAM: Who'd you hire?
SLY: Rosario Kennedy. She's a former Miami city commissioner, and I figured she could pull all sorts of strings with those commissioners. And sure enough, she convinced them to erect a fence and a gate. Now all I have to do is get final permission from Dade County. So I've hired another lobbyist to work on that.
SLY: Jorge Lopez.
ALEX: Hey, I know him. He's one of my best friends. I was the best man at his wedding.
SLY: I know.
Stallone smiles devilishly into the camera. The audience squeals in delight. Penelas and Alonso rock back in their chairs and laugh.
SLY: You see, that's how local government works in a democratic context.
MIRIAM: I guess that's why they call him Sly. When we come back, Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez dons a chef's cap and explains the significance of recent Supreme Court rulings making it harder for federal prosecutors to introduce evidence of an alleged kickback -- all while sharing his secret family recipe for flan. And don't forget to join us next week, when Commissioner James Burke shows us never-before-seen home movies from a recent trip to San Francisco.
ALEX: Actually Miriam, they're FBI surveillance tapes.
MIRIAM: Oh, that will be special.
ALEX: Also next week Madonna will be in our studios to discuss the merits of special taxing districts in the construction of guardhouses for exclusive residential neighborhoods. She'll also sing something from the Evita soundtrack. On that same show, lobbyist Ron Book will be here to answer questions about campaign finance reform, and former Miami Beach mayor Alex Daoud will offer useful tips on how to keep those pesky leaves out of your swimming pool.
MIRIAM: In the next few weeks we are also going to be very lucky to have Gloria and Emilio Estefan discuss last year's tragic accident in which their boat collided with a Jet Ski, killing its passenger. You'll also hear about their subsequent efforts at the state capital to rewrite water safety laws. Afterward Gloria will show us her secret for getting a nasty black bean soup stain out of Emilio's guayabera.
SLY: That Emilio is a messy eater.
ALEX: Plus we will have a live remote from the federal prison where Cesar Odio and Miller Dawkins are attempting to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by knitting the world's biggest afghan.
MIRIAM: Also in the works is a three-round boxing match between Alex and Miami Mayor Joe Carollo. The winner gets to dictate the terms for the new waterfront arena project. Geraldo Rivera will be the celebrity referee.
ALEX: I'm just afraid he's going to try to bite me if it looks like he's losing.
MIRIAM: I'll bring you a pair of Lionel's earmuffs.
ALEX: As you can see, we've got a lot of things planned in the weeks ahead. So stay tuned and we'll be right back after this word from our sponsor.