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Hialeah Mayoral Candidates Accuse Each Other Of Dirty Campaigning

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HIALEAH (CBS4) – If you think politics is boring, you haven’t seen what they are doing in Hialeah this week.

A video has surfaced in the City of Progress involving a woman either being harassed or attacking the camera man depending on how you view it.

The video narrated by the former police chief and shot by a freelance videographer shows the latest political stunt in the contentious race for Hialeah mayor.

In the video you see a woman running from a camera yelling “they are trying to kill me.”  The woman then throws a water bottle at the camera claiming she is going to break the camera man’s lens.

Opponent Raul Martinez argues she was caught red handed illegally collecting hundreds of absentee ballots.

“They are stealing votes. They are stealing ballots,” Martinez said.

Ironically Martinez, seeking his tenth term, has been accused of the same thing in years past.

“What’s going on here?” Martinez told CBS4 Monday afternoon.  “What’s happening to the city of Hialeah?  The city that I so built.  The city that I worked so hard for.”

Incumbent Carlos Hernandez declined to comment on the video or the race today.  Hernandez has been reported in other media outlets though saying the woman in the video was visiting friends and did nothing wrong.

Either way it appears both candidates are treating the race as close.  Earlier this month just 1500 hundred early votes/absentee ballots separated Hernandez from Martinez.   The politician’s anxiety is now hitting voter’s phones through so-called “robocalls”.

One call is threatening Martinez will punch you and take your absentee ballot.  And then there is one calling Palmetto Bay.

Hal Feldman lives 20 miles away from Hialeah and has no idea what the calls are saying.

“Other than the name and the fact that I heard Hialeah. No. No I didn’t.” Feldman said.   “It’s in Spanish and I speak English.”

The calls started around noon Sunday and didn’t stop until nine that evening.

“Eleven times,” said Feldman. “I would call harassment.”

And the calls continued Monday.  He filed a complaint with the FCC.  Thankfully, he only has 24 more hours to go.

All this talk of absentee ballot fraud in Hialeah has tempted Miami-Dade commissioners to pass a new law with a penalty if you get caught.  It would be sixty days in jail and up to a $1000 fine.

But as it stands today anybody caught stealing the election through absentee ballots in Hialeah will come away with just a slap on the wrist.

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