On a steamy June evening, as the sun set on acres of avocado trees surrounding Tomas Mestre's $1.8 million hacienda-style home, the outdoor patio swelled with well-heeled visitors. In this rural section of South Miami-Dade known as the Redland, they mingled by the tiled pool, nibbled on paella, and listened to the band while uniformed waiters offered chilled cocktails to stave off the heat. Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas co-hosted the soirée. Powerful lobbyists such as Rodney Barreto attended. But the real star that night was the mayor of... More >>>