by John Hawkins | September 7, 2007 1:13 pm
Even as Hillary fundraiser Norman Hsu is drawing national attention for being captured after going on the run, another sleazy Democrat is stepping up to raise money for the Clinton campaign.
His name? Raul Martinez. Hillary will be attending a fund raiser at Martinez’s home,
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to work something out,” said DNC member and former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez. “We don’t want to lose delegates to the convention, and we don’t want to hurt Florida voters.”
…Reflecting their dependence on Florida donors, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has scheduled five fundraisers around Sunday’s presidential forum at the University of Miami. Tonight, President Bill Clinton is scheduled to attend a $1,000-per-person reception in Pembroke Pines. On Monday, Hillary Clinton will appear at a Miami Beach breakfast aimed at Hispanic women, a luncheon at Martinez’s home in Hialeah, and two more fundraisers in Palm Beach County.
So, who is Raul Martinez?
He’s the former mayor of Hialeah, Florida and he has a shady past. Back in 1991,
“Mayor Raul Martinez, was convicted of extortion and racketeering…after a jury found he had accepted $1 million in cash and property from land developers.”
The conviction was reversed on appeal and two hung juries later, he had managed to lawyer his way out of going to jail.
But, that wasn’t the only controversy Martinez was involved in. In 1993, he won an election that a judge threw out because of voter fraud,
“The mayoralty elections are supposedly nonpartisan, even though party affiliations are well-known. So all of this frenetic activity by the Democratic establishment in a struggle between a Republican and an independent contrasts sharply with the laid-back attitude by the same establishment toward voter fraud in the 1993 mayoralty race in the city of Hialeah, also in Miami-Dade. That election eerily prefigured the Carollo-Suarez contest, except that the challenger, Nilo Juri, was a well-known Republican and incumbent Raul Martinez, in his third term, was the rising star of the Democrats. Martinez was counted in by 273 votes, which was all the more remarkable because, at the time of the election, he was a convicted felon sentenced to 10 years in prison for extortion and racketeering. (The conviction was reversed on appeal three years later) Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles refused to intervene, saying that the people had spoken, and allowed Martinez to be seated despite the mayor’s conviction.
Juri refused to give up. He had held a slight edge in the polls going into the election, and he was the absolute winner among the machine-tallied ballots. But the Martinez organization had produced a 2-1 advantage in absentee ballots, and the same tactics currently at issue in the Carollo-Suarez Miami election were obvious in the Hialeah election. Juri pursued his case in court, and in 1994 Dade Circuit Court Judge Sidney Shapiro held that the election was affected by substantial fraud, threw out the absentee ballots, and ordered a new election.
More peculiar was the fact that Martinez’s sister-in-law, Maria del Pilar “Lula” Rodriguez, was at that time the personal assistant to Reno at the Justice Department in Washington. Before joining her friend at Justice, she had been in charge of the Miami office of Democratic Sen. Bob Graham. Indeed, Rodriguez had taken a vacation from Justice at the time of the election to help out in her brother-in-law’s campaign. Moreover, her signature as a witness was on 14 of the allegedly fraudulent absentee ballots. Thus not only did she, while an employee of the Department of Justice and personal assistant to the attorney general, participate in the election campaign of a convicted felon, but she is alleged to have been a participant in the election fraud.”
So Martinez was accused of racketeering, extortion, and connected to voter fraud, yet he’s now raising money for Hillary Clinton? Given Hillary’s questionable and shady record when it comes to fundraising, people may be disappointed that she’s associating with someone like Martinez, but no one can be too surprised at this point.
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