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Miami Dolphins kick off referendum campaign


The Miami Dolphins officially launched their political campaign Thursday to persuade voters to approve a tax-subsidized renovation of Sun Life Stadium — even though the effort might be all for nought.

The May 14 referendum will take place only if Florida lawmakers pass Dolphins-backed legislation increasing a state sales-tax subsidy and allowing Miami-Dade County to raise its hotel-tax rate — prospects still in doubt in the tax-averse Legislature.

But the Dolphins couldn’t wait until the lawmaking session ends May 3 — a mere 11 days before the referendum — to kick off their political push.

On Thursday, the Dolphins announced their effort would be headed by businessman and longtime fundraiser Jorge Arrizurieta and lawyer H.T. Smith, both seasoned campaigners who can appeal to two key Miami-Dade constituencies: Hispanics and blacks. Smith is black, and Arrizurieta is Hispanic.

At a news conference held at the National Football League’s “Youth Education Town” center in Liberty City, Smith emphasized the Dolphins’ and the league’s contributions to community programs. The NFL created the center at Gwen Cherry Park when Miami hosted the 29th Super Bowl in 1995.

“The reason why I’m here today is because every time the Super Bowl comes to Miami, the NFL YET center gets $500,000,” Smith said.

More, with Marc Caputo, here.