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Miami Dade College president slams local lawmakers over sales-tax bill

Branding them ‘bullies’’ and “idealogues,” Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón blasted a handful of powerful local lawmakers on Tuesday, charging that they are sabotaging his school’s best hope for a desperately needed infusion of money.

Padrón’s unusually blunt remarks, made to the Miami Herald editorial board, came as a bill circulates in Tallahassee that would allow a Miami-Dade voter referendum on a proposed half-penny sales tax to benefit MDC. The college projects the five-year-long hike, if approved by voters, would raise about $1 billion.

This same half-penny bill has been proposed three times before, with anti-tax lawmakers repeatedly refusing to allow the question to go on the ballot. Past polling suggests the measure has a strong chance of passing, should it ever reach county voters.

This year, Padrón said it is a group of conservative Miami-Dade House Republicans who are trying to kill the measure — going beyond simply voting against it to organize broader opposition, a campaign he said had "crossed the line."

"They want to show their force," Padrón said. "It’s who has more power, and who can show more power."

Padrón identified the measure’s four key foes as state Reps. Jose Oliva, Carlos Trujillo, Michael Bileca, and Frank Artiles.

Two of the lawmakers reached on Tuesday, Oliva and Trujillo, quickly fired back, calling Padrón’s attack uninformed and unfair.

Oliva, in line to take over the influential House Speaker’s post in four years, said he is opposed to increasing taxes on a community that is still recovering from a bad economy.

He called it "unfortunate" that Padrón had turned to personal attacks.

"Is this the kind of reactionary response we can expect when we disagree with leaders in our community?" said Oliva, who represents Miami Lakes.

Read more here.


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Ed Jenkins

The citizens greatly applaud these efforts to prevent more of their money from being confiscated. Those attending this remedial "college" are better served to enter the workforce than to take classes that should have been taken in high school and call them college classes while paying large amounts of money for tuition for this remedial education that one should have received in high school.

Chris Williams

This is what happens when we elect children to the legislature. I used to think it was like student government. But this man does not even have an education. Our state is being run by Daddy's Money. Spoiled children.

Bill Thompson

Way to go Padron! That will win over legislators, by calling them names. See how it worked for Steven Ross.

This is just one more example of the GOP pay-to-play mentality in Tallahassee. Time to call in Orkin and fumigate the place.

Bill Thompson

Perhaps certain unwise commentators would benefit from remedial education to learn how to write a sentence that is not a run-on sentence.


Shut up you loser thompson, maybe if you hadn't gone to this crappy college you would have a job and wouldn't be posting your whiny messages on here about how much your life sucks you loser.

Bill Thompson

These members of the GOP controlled legislature refuse to allow voters of our family friendly county to have the right to vote up or down on a tax to fund the local college. More of the small-minded pay to play mentality in Tallahassee that has to go.


Hey loser thompson. no one cares so shut already you worthless lazy whiner.

Bill Thompson

These small minded, power hungry bullies and egomaniacs are only concerned about themselves, not their community. They are blocking the citizens from voting yea or nay on whether to provide a dedicated tax to fund the local college. Their response to Padron's letter proved his point. They are probably squeezing MDC for campaign contributions in exchange for a vote, continuing the GOP pay to play mentality in Tallahassee.

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