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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:24 PM
Original message
Miami Herald: Legislator says colleague made threatening phone call
Legislator says colleague made threatening phone call

October 23, 2006

When state Rep. Ralph Arza found out over the weekend that another legislator had filed a complaint claiming Arza slurred the African-American chief of Miami-Dade's schools, he started drinking. And he got mad.
Arza called the colleague, Rep. Gus Barreiro, and left him an angry message on voicemail, cursing him out and calling Miami-Dade superintendent Rudy Crew the N-word. That was the same thing -- a racial, profanity-laced voicemail -- Barreiro had complained about in the first place.

The upshot: Barreiro called the cops Monday, saying he felt Arza's diatribe was ''threatening.'' Police, who now have a tape of Arza's phone call -- and a second anonymous call made hours later -- say they have opened an investigation.

On Monday night, Arza issued a stunning apology in an e-mail to The Miami Herald, saying he has trouble controlling his temper, especially when he's drinking. He also asked Barreiro, his family and voters for forgiveness.
''My emotions got the best of me and I left some offensive and shameful messages,'' Arza said. ``I have embarrassed myself, my family and the constituents that I serve.
``At times I have had difficulty controlling my emotions and anger. I have noticed that this problem is made worse on those occasions when I have been drinking. Saturday night was one of those occasions.''

Arza said he will seek ``immediate counseling.''

Arza left the message on Barreiro's cell phone Saturday, the day The Miami Herald reported that Barreiro had filed his complaint against Arza, a Hialeah Republican, with the House rules committee.
Some time after Arza's call, someone else called Barreiro on his cellphone and left a threatening message calling Barreiro a ``snitch.''
Barreiro declined to discuss the investigation in detail, but confirmed receiving the two phone calls between 8 p.m. Saturday night and 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Barreiro says he recognized the first caller as Arza -- and his caller ID displayed Arza's number. He did not recognize the voice of the second caller. Arza told The Herald he does not know who the second caller was.


Sources with knowledge of the investigation told The Herald the second man told Barreiro: ''We're gonna get you, you snitch. We're gonna teach you a lesson for being a snitch.'' The sources also said that in the voicemail message, Arza called Barreiro a ``bitch.''
Spokesmen for both the Miami Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed they have begun an investigation, but declined to provide any details.

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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. How come nobody seeks counsling BEFORE they're busted?
And, I'm real sleepy, so I may have missed it, but his party affiliation? Had to go through many links to find it, but, yep, Republican
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Both are Republicans.
Another clip:

Barreiro and Arza -- both Republicans -- have maintained an at-times testy relationship for several years, and are aligned with different leadership camps at the state Capitol.

Barreiro is supporting the gubernatorial candidacy of Attorney General Charlie Crist, while Arza is an ally of incoming House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican, who is expected to challenge Crist for prominence within the party.

The investigation -- and Arza's acknowledgement of drinking and anger problems -- could seriously jeopardize Arza's ambitions both within the Legislature and his own political party. He was widely viewed as on a trajectory to leadership in the House, partly because of his close ties to Rubio.

Also of note about Barreiro: He was behind a push to insert the teachings of Scientology into Florida law that would have permitted funding for state prisons to utilize the teachings.

From May 26, 2005, This is not a joke.

TALLAHASSEE - A $500,000 program that uses some teachings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to help prison inmates likely will be vetoed by the governor today, the bill's sponsor says.

The program, known as Criminon, was quietly added to the state budget by one powerful legislator: Rep. Gus Barreiro, a Miami Beach Republican. He heads the House subcommittee overseeing billions of dollars in criminal justice spending.

Barreiro said he supported a pilot project using Criminon as a faith-based program that has worked in other states. He said he did not know whether Scientology's teachings were part of the program, and the Legislature's staff did not analyze whether Criminon was effective at rehabilitating prisoners.


Bush will sign the $63-billion budget today and will disclose which projects he has vetoed. Spokeswoman Alia Faraj declined to say whether the Criminon money would be vetoed.


Barreiro criticized the news media's coverage of the Church of Scientology.

"There's more emphasis put on discrediting the Church of Scientology than helping kids or empowering parents," Barreiro said. "The emphasis is on helping."

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
2.  Rafael and Jeb:

Rep. Rafael Arza, R-Hialeah, left, hands off the A++ Education Plan football to Gov. Jeb Bush, center, with Rep. David Mealor, R-Lake Mary, right, after final approval of the Bush plan on the House floor May 5, 2006, in Tallahassee, Florida.

You're a joke Representative Arza


"For putting a provision into a Florida education bill requiring St. Thomas and Chaminade-Madonna high schools to play an annual football game.

Things have changed. Demand for the St. Thomas and Chaminade-Madonna football teams to face off can be heard all the way from the state Capitol in Tallahassee. Rep. Ralph Arza, R-Hialeah, put a provision into an education bill that could force the teams to play annually.

Arza, who has a daughter attending Chaminade-Madonna, slipped his provision into Gov. Jeb Bush's educational bill tabbed as the "A-plus-plus" plan. Although Arza said he did it merely to bring attention to demand for the game in South Florida, the bill passed out of the House Pre-K/12 committee on Thursday.

If the bill gains final approval, it would be sent to Bush for signature."

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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. can the state force two private schools to play each other?
I don't see how
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Good question.
Edited on Tue Oct-24-06 12:39 AM by Scurrilous
I've checked around and I can't find anything indicating this was passed.

Though these two schools are private, their interscholastic athletics are under the jurisdiction of the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) and are subject to the whims of Tallahassee. I imagine they could be forced to schedule each other.

County rivalry a political football


"A top state Republican lawmaker wants to answer an important question for football fans: Which high school in Broward County is really the best?

Is it Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, which won the 2A state championship last year and has won two championships in the past three years, or is it St. Thomas Aquinas, a perennial Fort Lauderdale powerhouse that lost in the 5A title game in December.

So Rep. Ralph Arza, a former high school football coach himself, slipped a provision into an education bill this week that would force the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders to play the Chaminade-Madonna Lions annually in football. The two schools have not met on the gridiron since 1981, according to a fan website dedicated to the Raiders.

''I just want St. Thomas Aquinas to play Chaminade-Madonna in football to see who is the best team in Broward County,'' said Arza, a Hialeah Republican whose daughter attends Chaminade-Madonna.

Arza concedes that the provision is a bit of a ''joke'' and will probably never pass the Legislature -- though it did pass out of the House Pre-K/12 committee this week."
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. Last seen carrying a sign that says:

and of course there will be a prss conference where he announces that he has an alcohol problem, and an african-american nanny molested him when he was 12
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I can see the press conference now....
Q:Sir, you've just explained that the reason you got drunk and called this man and left a message using one of the most offensive expletives against an African-American is because you were molested by an African-American nanny over 30 years ago. Is that correct?

A:Black nanny touched my fanny.

Q:Sir, I'm not really sure that's a legitimate answer. Regardless of whether or not you were molested, don't you think that your ability to control such hurtful, disgusting slurs is something a politician should have addressed YEARS ago?

A:You don't get it. Black nanny, my fanny. She touched it. It's her fault. Why're you blaming the victim?

Q:Sir, seriously. I'm a real journalist here this is a real news-

A:Black nanny touched my fanny.

Q:-conference...what? What?"

A:Black nanny touched my fanny!

Q:OK, seriously. What makes you think tha-

A:Black nanny touched my fanny!

Q:- absolves you of...what? Look this is..

A:Black nanny-

Q:...hardly a real excuse...

A:-touched my-

Q:...for a grown man to use!

A:fanny! Fee fie, fo-nanna, fanna, fanny!

-fade in to Brit Hume on Fox News-

Brit Hume:As you can see the press is being merciless during this news conference, trying to place the blame on this obvious victim of sexual assault. Next up, our poll on black molesters: Is one living in your neighborhood? Stay tuned to Fox...

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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. lol!
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. of course he's seeking counseling. it's the only way he can disappear
and not be interviewed before the election, causing further damage to the party. another rethug from Florida who's hiding in treatment.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
9. Update on Rep. Ralph Arza -R (FL)
From October 27, 2006:

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush, who has remained in the background this week while other leaders of the state Republican Party struggled to put out a political fire over a recorded profanity-laced tirade by state Rep. Ralph Arza, today called on the Hialeah lawmaker to resign.

Though Bush had condemned Arza's attacks on colleague Gus Barreiro -- and his use of a racially charged epithet -- he had refrained until today from asking for Arza's resignation.

''I think he should resign, because he's going to be expelled, for starters,'' Bush told reporters. `You might as well do it gracefully.''

Earlier this week, the state House of Representatives' Democratic caucus, which includes 35 members, demanded that Arza step down and issued a resolution stating the minority party would refuse to sit in the same chamber as Arza, who was expected to take a leadership post in next year's Legislature.
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Katzenjammer Donating Member (541 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. You become a different person when drinking? You've got alcoholism
It's the most reliable diagnostic criterion. Someone whose personality doesn't change might be an alcohol addict, but that's not the same as being an alcoholic.
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