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Political committee that formed around stadium renovation jobs says it's not tied to Miami Dolphins

@PatriciaMazzei

A political committee created last month apparently prepared to take sides in the debate about the Miami Dolphins' proposal to renovate Sun Life Stadium has amended its paperwork to "broaden" its purpose.

When Truth in Jobs for Miami-Dade filed its paperwork with the county elections department Feb. 26, it listed as the committee's scope "Jobs for Miami-Dade County residents relating to expansion of Sun Life Stadium."

That line raised eyebrows. It seemed to indicate that the committee was either linked to the Dolphins or tied to an outside group intending to support the football team's $400 million renovation plan, which would be partly funded by state and county taxes. The Dolphins, however, were unaware about the committee's existence until a Herald reporter called last week.

José Castro of Homestead, the committee's chairman and treasurer, did not return calls for comment. But a lawyer for the committee, Albert Gayoso, did.

Gayoso told The Miami Herald on Tuesday that the committee had submitted amended paperwork changing its listed scope. The new March 18 filing reads, "Jobs for Miami-Dade County residents." 

"They decided to broaden the mission," Gayoso said of the committee members, whose names he did not provide. He said the scope was changed -- but not filed -- prior to a Herald reporter's phone calls last week.

The committee is not linked to the Dolphins, Gayoso confirmed: "They're just concerned citizens who want to give back to the community," with a particular interest in Homestead, Florida City and southwest Miami-Dade, he said.

Former Miami-Dade County Manager Steve Shiver is not behind the committee, Gayoso added, though Shiver had answered a call to the committee's listed phone number last week. Shiver works in the same group of office suites as Castro, Gayoso said by way of explanation, and they share a central phone number.

Gayoso said the committee, which has not listed any contributions. plans to fundraise but does not have specific plans on how to spend any money yet.

"At the end of the day there's government funds out there, and the policymakers are elected officials -- those are the people that need to be targeted," he said.

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