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Julio Robaina's slush fund can buy lap dances and stone crab claws

C. Stiles

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once 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 — who is a candidate to replace more-boring-than-bread-pudding ex-Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez — has a few things to say about his opponent Julio Robaina's lavish expense account.

Julio Robaina will say just about anything to get elected county mayor. First, Hialeah's main man claims he was against the Marlins Stadium deal, but video footage of him at the county commission meeting where the boondoggle was approved shows otherwise. He's a big, fat liar. Julio has also been making the rounds at the local black churches telling folks he's gonna get rid of the county commission's discretionary funds. There is no oversight, he says.

Well, it turns out Julio has his own taxpayer-funded slush bucket. On top of his $155,000 salary, the Hialeah mayor has two expense accounts totaling $116,000 for which he doesn't have to submit receipts. That money is included in his biweekly paycheck, no questions asked. He doesn't have to tell voters how he spends it. Now what does Julio do with $116,000? That breaks down to $2,242 a week before taxes. Well, in the interest of transparency, here's what I think Robaina is buying with that cash:

• A king deluxe suite at $315 per night for a week at the Viceroy Hotel inside Icon Brickell. Sometimes Julio just needs a getaway from being Hialeah's overlord.

• A dinner platter of Joe's stone crab claws for 30 people. You can't expect the mayor to settle for croquetas and pastelitos for his social gatherings.

• A Rolls Royce Phantom leased for a day at $1,595, with money left over to take the missus to Joe's. Plus it lets Robaina cut back on the miles on his own Bentley.

• A trip to PT's, the only gentlemen's club in Hialeah, where he can buy 89 lap dances ($25 each) or about seven and half hours of grind action, which should help Robaina stimulate his city's economy.

• About two or three African-American campaign consultants to help him buy votes in the black community.


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