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Political group backed by Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins puts out anti-Norman Braman TV ad

For weeks, Miami auto magnate and civic activist Norman Braman has been airing television and radio ads in English and Spanish against four incumbent MIami-Dade commissioners. Braman recruited a slate of candidates to try to oust Commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan and Dennis Moss.

Now an electioneering communications organization backed by the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Marlins is fighting back.

Miami Dade Citizens for Real Reform is airing a television spot featuring a red curtain with a spotlight. The curtains open to reveal a puppetmaster with Braman's face on it pulling the strings of the candidates he's supporting: Luis Garcia, Alison Austin, Shirley Gibson and Alice Pena.

Here's what the ad says:

"Shame on Norman Braman for trying to hijack democracy, trying to buy the election, trying to put his cronies in office, trying to bully the commission. Shirley Gibson... Alison Austin... Alice Pena... Luis Garcia... Shame on you for allowing Braman to pay for your campaign. If he pays for you now, he'll own you later."

County elections department records show the ECO's biggest contributors are the Dolphins, a Dolphins-backed committee of continuous existence registered in Tallahassee, the Marlins and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Braman unsuccessfully sued the county over the plan to build the Marlins a new ballpark, largely with public money, and he has opposed using any tax dollars for sports facilities in general. The Dolphins have their eye on a roof for their stadium.

The teams and their owners have contributed or paid for, directly or through other political committees, to several groups -- including paying a corporation called Workers Just Like Us, which is registered to former South Florida AFL-CIO President Fred Frost.

Frost has led several protests against Braman -- and, on Friday, tried to tie Braman to an ongoing absentee-ballot fraud investigation. Another group connected to Frost, South Florida Jobs with Justice, will hold a press conference Monday calling for an investigation into Braman's political committees for advertising a phone number where voters can call and ask for information on how to vote by mail -- even though the practice is legal and neither Braman nor his committees have been tied to the investigation.

Ben Kuehne, an attorney for Braman's group, Change Miami-Dade Now, dismissed the group's planned event as an attempt to distrct from Tuesday's commission election. Change Miami-Dade Now directed callers on how to request absentee ballots, Kuehne said, but never collected them, handled them or asked voters to mail them to anyone other than the elections department.

The group, Kuehne said, "never touched a single ballot, never helped a voter fill out a single ballot, never took any envelopes containing ballots, never licked envelopes containing ballots, did nothing with ballots whatsoever."

Comments

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MarkdaLark

Don't blame the players....blame the game!

whasup

Blame them all.

The sports corporations want more taxpayer money for things they want in order to save themselves money and boost their profits.

The car mogul Braman only cares about what benefits him. When he owned the Eagles in Philly taxpayers there paid $65 million to upgrade old Veterans Field.

What Braman is really up to is probably just protecting his car business from taxes and revenue loss due to taxes. These were the same reasons he opposed bring casinos to town.

Of course, if some big casino operators want to cut either the sports team owners or the car mogul or both in on a huge casino deal, I'd bet they'd both jump at the prospect.

Michael Wind

every man that has a lot of money is only interested in getting more money,and they are aware that in florida you can buy everyone,especially the herald,norman is a big advertiser so they made him a activist in this paper,but in reality just another greedy old man....

omaximus

Greedy or not Brahman is right that no public money should be given away to professional sports organizations. The Marlins stadium deal was a corrupt joke and much shadier than anything Brahman has ever done.

And the Dolphins have been trying (sometimes successfully) to blackmail Dade, Broward and anyone else they can to upgrade whatever Joe Robbie Stadium is now called. They are all too friendly with a bunch of those Dade county commissioners in their ongoing attempt to sleaze their way to a free citizen-funded roof for their half empty stadium.

While Miami goes bankrupt our corrupt govt continues to funnel taxpayer money towards greedy billionaire sports owners.

Darrin E. McGillis

Please VOTE for change! At 7 AM the polls open and you, only YOU can cast a VOTE for change. Please try something new. “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” ― Albert Einstein www.NoTaxDarrin.com

Darrin E. McGillis

A new direction for Miami-Dade

Balancing budgets isn’t rocket science: It’s simple: Step 1: Don’t spend more money than you have. Step 2: Attract new businesses and new tax revenue. Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2. I’m Darrin McGillis and at 45 years old I filed to run for Miami Dade County Commission District 9. No politician should ever hold an elected office longer than two terms. The U.S. president, Florida’s governor and the Miami-Dade County mayor all have a two-term limit. Why is it that county commissioners get unlimited terms in office? It’s simple “corruption”, he who holds the gold makes the rules and in this case 13 commissioners for decades refused to do the right thing and set term limits. The incumbent for the seat I seek wants another term. Why after 20 years would an ethical politician want to hold office that the voters want term limits for? We only need to view his campaign finance reports of money raised (over $130,000), almost 95 percent from special interests, and almost none of the money raised came from actual residents of District 9. As the saying goes, “It’s all about the Benjamins.”

We need change, new blood, a new direction. I look forward to serving you the taxpayer, “my new boss” as the next county commissioner for District 9. I’ve made this pledge: "The corrupt can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way, they will go." Join me to end the image that “who you know is more important than what you know” when doing business with Miami-Dade County government. I will advocate for the removal of all slush funds that are presently granted to each commissioner. These funds are a multimillion dollar waste of your tax dollars and should be revoked immediately. They are nothing short of "legal" over the table payoffs. I want the best for Miami-Dade County — the lowest taxes and the best representation. Please vote on Aug. 14.

Darrin McGillis, Miami.

suibne

Repulsive. No baseball team should be involved in politics. Wasn't it enough for the idiot of Ozzie to sell the Castro gaffe? No wonder the marlins and the dolphins sk. ocho finko.
suibne

Dolphin tickets

Thank you for the article.

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