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Miami-Dade commissioner upset over release of Dolphins stadium referendum vote tally


Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz was under the impression that the incomplete results of the short-lived referendum regarding the Miami Dolphins' stadium would be kept secret.

So when he voted in the Sweetwater city election, he said he left blank the question asking voters to fund part of $350 million renovation to Sun Life Stadium. Miami-Dade canceled the referendum due to legislative inaction in Tallahassee -- after the ballots had been printed and absentee and early voting had begun.

But the day after the May 14 election, the county released a vote tally showing the referendum had been failing at the polls. The elections department was complying with public records requests. Vote counts can only be suppressed by a court order.

But Diaz was still upset.

"I feel like a disenfranchised voter for the first time in my life," he said at a commission meeting Tuesday. "We had our rights taken away by not being allowed to vote."

The vote tally, despite being a partial count of an incomplete election, was "broadcasted," said Diaz, who supported the Dolphins' effort to raise the mainland county hotel-tax rate to finance some of the stadium upgrades.

He acknowledged that there was nothing he could do but vented to his colleagues and county staff anyway.

"There's not supposed to be an outcome," Diaz said.


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Political Kung Fu

Foolish political play by Will Weatherford taking away our right to vote and killing the effort to bring Super Bowl 50 to South Florida. Especially now that the League is awarding it to California, our #1 competitor in terms of tourism.

He's going to get absolutely CRUSHED in Miami-Dade & Broward when he runs for statewide office. And we all know you can't win nada without voter-rich South Florida...


Yeah right Political King Fu, no doubt you are a paid plant operating as part of Stephen Ross's amateurish PR effort.

Can you read? The referendum was being defeated by a comfortable margin. Very few voters in south Florida are willing to shell out taxpayer $ to enrich Stephen Ross. And when you corporate-welfare seeking carpetbaggers come back next year looking for a handout the result will be another quick rejection.

Far from a political liability Weatherford will proudly tout this episode as proof of his fiscal responsibility.


I am sick of Dee and dolphins mgmt blaming The state of florida for not giving them taxpayer money. Crybaby dolphins


Who cares about what diaz says. They were gonna lose the vote and nobody had campaigned against the dolphins or raised a penny to campaign against it, because they never made it past committee. I will vote for weatherford by the way. Kung fu above sound like Dee or Ross


I amDale a dolphins fan and come to miami often (every month). I had no problem w/ the new bed tax you crybabies taxpayers dont know that its the tourists footing the bill what a bunch of idiots.

Farm Ted

You can blame Weatherford all you want......but 58% of those that voted....voted NO

Henry L

Wah Wah Wah! What a crybaby! "We were disenfranchised"...says the Commissioner who has won everyone one of his elections by using illegal ballot brokers collecting votes from people in Commas! Hypocrite!

 Simply Alert

Some other very valid points that many people miss are:
1. More times than not, the visiting teams and visitors or tourists are NOT staying in Miami-Dade County hotels/motels. Are you familiar with the stadium's area? Hello -- not prime safe-environment real estate. The teams and visitors are staying in Broward County (Halendale, Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale, Westin, etc.)

2. The MAINLAND BED TAX is just that --- applies to hotels on the MAINLAND, NOT ON THE land across the Intracoastal Waterway (NOT Miami Beach, South Beach, Bal Harbor, Sunny Isles, etc. with the beach motel/hotels). The hotels and motels along the beaches in Miami-Dade County are EXEMPT from this tax.

3. It's a typical tropical banana republic political tactic by Miami-Dade County AGAIN!

 Simply Alert

4. Miami-Dade County voters know that Broward also greatly benefits from these games (hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc.) and they have not been invited to help out. The stadium is on the Miami-Dade AND Broward County lines.

Hey Broward, want to step up and help out poor Mr. Ross and the overpaid Dolphins? I don't think the hard workers of Miami-Dade County can afford to continue to help out the Marlins, the Dolphins, and your county too.

5. If the Dolphins were REALLY serious, then they should invest in Miami-Dade County enough to have their training camp here in Miami-Dade, not Broward. Again, Broward gains. Move and committ to us, we might committ to you.

6. If I were making millions to simply play and get paid for it (you know, the stuff we do at a park on our days off with our friends and family for free to relax and don't get paid to do), I would take a pay cut so I have a place to continue to get paid to play as the poor slobs that come to cheer me on pay for over-priced tickets with their hard earned money, after they paid $30 for parking.

7. Can I start a business and get the county to pay for a new building for me? After all, I'll employ people and pay taxes here. Miami-Dade, build me a nice building too.

8. We don't have a real sports team here other than the Heat. Let the Marlins and Dolphins leave. How about these saltwater fish moving to an inland and landlocked state - that makes more sense .... the Nebraska Dolphins or the Iowa Marlins. Yep - they don't have great options there or here other than to pull their own game together.

Got Fins!!!!

South Florida get over it!!!! I'm a dolphins fan living in Dallas and if you supported your team to the level of the cowboys... Ross wouldn't need public assistance. The dolphins debt is all from renovating the stadium for the 2007 & 2010 Super Bowls. South Florida you're the cry babies.


Miami is a great place for a superbowl, but the dolphins wanted a handout for a private stadium. Taxpayers or tourist shouldn`t be taxed to pay for what is a non profit stadium that the owner is enriched by. Wayne huzienga just upgraded it with his own money 5 yrs ago. They just held the bcs bowl championship game there and no one complained. The arrogance of Dee and the dolphins owner is unreal. They blame everybody but themselve claiming corporate welfare is for the taking. Superbowls are overated. The restaurants and hotels will still be full regardless of whether Miami gets a superbowl. Cry me a river




To Simply Alert: Ross and the Dolphins did promise to build a new training facility in Miami-Dade County if the deal was approved. They went all in on Miami-Dade and ignored Broward County, which as you point out, is a frequent stop for visitors to the stadium.

And.... dolphins are not fish, they are mammals!

School of trials and errors

It's an older thread/post, but good info here.
Great list of points Simply Alert. Direct and on target.

John stated: “Ross and the Dolphins did promise to build a new training facility in Miami-Dade County if the deal was approved.”

Wow. What a juvenile business proposal by the Dolphins! Preemptive conditional IFs never show commitment when you want the other party to contribute more skin in the game. This is the classic breakfast story of the chicken and pig wanting to give their kind farmer a nice breakfast. The chicken suggested eggs and bacon. The pig reminded the chicken that an egg was an offering, but giving bacon was a sacrifice. The Dolphins wanted our bacon. No thanks.

Dolphins claim to be the MIAMI Dolphins (lyrics to the song ... Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins ... number one ...) However, the Dolphins did not FIRST demonstrate their dedication to MIAMI-Dade County by relocating their training facility to Miami-Dade. Next, they should have STARTED improvement projects at the stadium. The stadium needs improvement anyway according to some footage shown on one news station of cracking concrete and rusted rebar showing through. Mr. Ro$$, that’s your own fix-it list item – the $tadium is owned by you. Dolphins demonstrated such an attitude of “poor, lazy, and entitled.” Poor they are not. Lazy, well … how’s their general overall historical success? (Average team with a good quarterback) Entitled – usually requires something ‘extra special’ (by success or qualified special need), and we really haven’t seen either extreme.

Mature and successful business people would refer to the above suggested actions (moving all-in to Miami-Dade and starting on improvement projects contracted by Miami-Dade County business contracts/workers BEFORE the deal is reached) as a demonstration of good faith and intent to commit to the proposed deal – not just a hand out. Had such actions been implemented by the Dolphins, then special requests for help from the Miami-Dade tax-paying residents could have been presented and likely considered more favorably by voters.
Remember the Golden Rule? It has positive results in business and contracts too. Do (positive actions) unto others before they do (reciprocate) unto you. That has worked very successfully in my business since day one.

John stated: “They [Dolphins] went all in on Miami-Dade and ignored Broward County, which as you point out, is a frequent stop for visitors to the stadium.”
Correction John:
A) The Dolphins did NOT go ALL-IN with Miami-Dade. The Dolphin training camp and facilities have never yet relocated to within Miami-Dade County to this day.
B) [Dolphins] Ignored Broward County?
Yeah. Sure. The Dolphins didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Florida getting Broward to open the public purse for them. Broward County has no interest funding a facility owned by a private person/corporation out of their county. (There is also no comparison to the arena which received approval by Broward commissioners to get new score boards because that facility is owned by Broward County and they had contracts with a church group for several years for conventions = revenue.)

I just wonder how successful the Dolphins might have been IF they had tried to make an attractive joint venture with Miami-Dade AND Broward Counties??? I think if they had really wanted to, they could have marketed a proposal that would have benefited all three sides … but they wanted to be too greedy and swim in the same current as the Marlins and that netted them nothing as they got caught in the waves of upset voting tax payers in Miami-Dade who weren’t taking the artificial bait to get on the hook again and refused to go overboard on another fishy deal with over-paid ball team owners & players, and over-priced tickets and parking prices (at least there is parking at Sun Life). (Pardon the puns. It was just too easy.)
I agree with Simply Alert’s points. As a business person, I especially agree with #7.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/05/miami-dade-commissioner-upset-over-release-of-dolphins-stadium-referendum-vote-tally.html#comment-form#storylink=cpy

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