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Miami-Dade mayor sees no voter 'animosity' toward him over short-lived Dolphins stadium redo deal

@PatriciaMazzei

The Miami Dolphins’ short-lived quest for a subsidized stadium renovation could have turned out a lot worse for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez: Voters could have handed him a resounding political defeat at the polls had they rejected the deal he negotiated.

But the Florida House of Representatives effectively canceled the referendum, for now shielding the mayor and county commissioners from much of the fallout.

Without a public vote, the politicians who supported the stadium deal cannot declare victory. But they also don’t face the prospect of seeking reelection after a potential loss.

“There’s no animosity toward me,” Gimenez said in an interview shortly after lawmakers concluded their annual legislative session Friday without taking up the bill necessary for the special election to take place.

Gimenez required the referendum, which club executives had hoped to avoid. He also forced the team to make a nearly $4.8 million nonrefundable payment to cover election costs. The county will get to keep the more-than $1 million left over.

But despite those concessions, merely negotiating with the Dolphins has tarnished Gimenez’s reputation among some former supporters who liked him in part for stridently opposing public financing for the Miami Marlins’ ballpark.

More here.

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Florida Governor’s Chief of Staff Resigns in Corruption Scandal

" In the Senate, MacNamara steered a $5.5 million contract with Spider Data Systems for a software platform to improve public access to state budgets. The developer of the patented system, Anna Mattson, was a partner of lobbyist Jim Eaton, also a close friend of MacNamara’s. He also handed over a project to shift the Senate’s computer system from mainframe computers to another longtime acquaintance, Abe Uccello, at a cost of $380,000.

In the governor’s office, MacNamara overruled an agency head and allowed the film commissioner, whom he previously had helped get a job in the state Senate, to travel to the Sundance film festival. He was also accused of attempting to influence contracting outcomes and a controversial decision to allow barrel racing to be considered a parimutuel sport.

On Thursday, an ethics complaint filed against MacNamara accused him of using his staff time and state e-mail to apply for a job at a Catholic liberal arts college in Montana, where he had hoped to move after leaving the governor’s office. Public-records requests by The Herald/Times made to the governor’s office omitted the letter from MacNamara’s state e-mail account to the woman heading the presidential search effort for Carroll College in Helena.

And the fact that he named a political consultant from Jacksonville as MacNamara’s replacement doesn’t lend any credence to the theory that Scott represents an outsider politics. Scott has always been a grifter, and now he’s just a grifter in charge of Florida’s Republican Party."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/05/14/florida-governors-chief-of-staff-resigns-in-corruption-scandal/

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