The Last Pony Show, Part 2

Hialeah Park loses by a nose in Tallahassee, the nose belonging to Mario Diaz-Balart

Mayor Raul Martinez believes that, when it came to saving Hialeah Park, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (center) voted with his feet
Jacob Bernstein
Mayor Raul Martinez believes that, when it came to saving Hialeah Park, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (center) voted with his feet

Raul Martinez and Diaz-Balart, though, aren't quite ready to leave this year's session behind. The two men, whose dislike for each other is well-known, began exchanging barbs in the Spanish-language press almost from the moment Diaz-Balart's no-show was disclosed. During a recent radio talk show on WQBA-AM (1140), for example, Diaz-Balart, offended that Martinez had questioned the reason for his absence, began referring to the mayor as "a convicted racketeer." Martinez, next to the microphone, dismissed the remark ("I have never been convicted of anything in this country") before describing what he would like to see happen with Hialeah Park. The mayor paused, then laughed. "Perhaps," he said, "we could put Mario Diaz-Balart's name on it and turn it into a rehabilitation center for liars."

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