The Miami-Dade Democratic Party issued a statement late Monday questioning a subsidized renovation of the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium. (The statement was apparently written before the deal was announced, also late Monday.)
"At a time when we are cutting funding from much-needed programs, I find it appalling that our taxpayers — after our recent experience with the Marlins — are once again being asked to foot the bill for a billionaire sports team owner," Chairwoman Annette Taddeo-Goldstein said in the statement.
The Democrats were under some pressure to take a position on the matter, after the Miami-Dade Republican Party opposed the proposal last week, in an extraordinary resolution that called out members of its own party.
Read the full statement after the jump.
While details of the deal between Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Mayor Gimenez remain undisclosed, the deal has been described as an “economic development grant.” The likely scenario could cost taxpayers up to $200 million of public money.
“Ross should not be able to pressure our elected leaders to hold a special county-wide referendum in May, especially when there is such a large sum of public money at stake. It’s a month when there is very low voter turnout; therefore, the outcome can be manipulated by large sums of money,” said Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.
“And at a time when we are cutting funding from much-needed programs, I find it appalling that our taxpayers — after our recent experience with the Marlins — are once again being asked to foot the bill for a billionaire sports team owner,” she added.
Over the next three weeks, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party will hold town hall forums to engage and educate Democrats across Miami-Dade about the possible referendum. The dates and locations are forthcoming.