The campaign also has a website: regaladolies.com. The catch phrase Real Eyes Realize Real Lies is also the title of a song by the heavy metal band Machine Head that advocates radical social change.
“The mayor says the quality of services hasn’t gone down, but it has,” Ortiz said. “He said he wouldn’t cut from the police department. That was a lie, too.”
Sending a message
Not so, says Regalado.
“We knew we would have to make cuts this year,” the mayor said. “There is nothing hidden in this budget.”
He noted that the proposed budget increases spending from last year on police uniforms, physicals, guns and Tasers.
It will be up to the City Commission to finalize the budget in September. It isn’t clear if commissioners will take Regalado’s recommendations or consider suggestions from the union.
“I’m in favor of improving the environment and giving the police the resources they need to protect us,” Commission Vice Chairman Marc Sarnoff said. “That means new cars, Tasers and training.”
Commission Chairman Francis Suarez said pension reform and other cuts would likely be necessary.
“We’re in a position where we have to reduce expenses,” he said. “Hopefully we can get there in a cooperative fashion.”
As for the truck, the mayor, who isn’t up for reelection until 2013, said the union was wasting members’ money on the stunt.
Ortiz wouldn’t disclose the cost.
“The point is, we are moving forward with this budget and this [tax rate],” Regalado said. “There is nothing they can do about it.”
But until the budget is done, Ortiz plans to be on the road.
“We’ll get the message out,” he said.