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Fate unfolds the haunting politics of political greed

Derek Joy

Fate unfolds the haunting politics of political greed

By Derek Joy

     And just like that the political drama unfolds right before your very own eyes.

    On the one hand, city of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones is waging a misguided legal battle to win the right to run for a third term, despite clear language in the city Charter with limits of two terms in office.

    At the same time, in a totally different arena from Spence Jones, the Miami Dolphins are gung ho in an attempt to win public assistance in financing some $380-million in renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

    Some kinda drama. Some kinda conflict. All tormenting the public with tales of greed in both political arenas of activity.

    Spence Jones was suspended from office for 21 months – Jan. 2010 to Sept. 2011 – while she successfully fought two separate criminal charges brought by Miami Dade State Attorney. She was acquitted in one case, while the other case was dismissed.

    Curiously, Spence Jones claimed to have solicited $25,000 to finance a gala honoring former Miami Dade County Commissioner Barbara Carey Shuler. But she never explained why the money was accepted and deposited in her account after the gala had been held.

   What’s even more haunting is why Spence Jones accepted back pay and benefits, which clearly constitute fulfillment of the time in her two terms in office. She wants the money, benefits and a third term.

    She wants that at taxpayers’ expense. Her legal challenges and appeals are been paid for by the taxpayers who voted overwhelmingly at 73-percent of the vote, to impose term limits.

    “That’s no reason for a celebration,” said community activist James Ghent, when told a Miami Dade Circuit Judge ruled against Spence Jones’ attempt to run for a third term. “Besides, I don’t live in the city of Miami.”

    All well and good. But why should Spence Jones force the taxpayers to pay for her misguided attempt to circumvent the Charter? Obviously, she should foot the bill and get reimbursed if, and only if, she prevails in court.

    As for the Miami Dolphins seeking nearly $200-million in public money to finance renovations of Sun Life Stadium, there is some motivation of greed – albeit not quite the same as that which drives Spence Jones.

    And so, the Dolphins have turned in a non-refundable check in the amount of $4.7-million to cover the cost of the May 14 election, when voters will say yea or nay to their request.

    They have employed Attorney/Political Activist H.T. Smith and political consultant Jorge Arizurietta to sell the public on the idea that this deal is quite different from the swindle engineered by Jeffrey Loria to finance construction of his Marlins Stadium.

    Yeah, and there was Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez with Host Michael Putney on WPLG Local 10’s This Week In South Florida, as he was in Tallahassee the day before, claiming to merely explain the setup rather than campaign for or against.

    Sure. There are so called performance incentives, namely that the Dolphins must bring four Super Bowls, four BCS Championship Games and four International soccer events. All within a 30-year period, when most of the parties to this agreement are likely to be dead or no longer involved.

    There are other safeguards, penalties and guarantees, all of which can be eliminated in legal challenges by a good lawyer some 30-years hence.

     Consequently, Michelle Spence Jones and the Miami Dolphins, who are far more deserving of public help than the Miami Marlins, are really no different in their quest for public suckers.

     Since countless disabled U.S. Military Service Veterans are denied public assistance, why should Spence Jones and Dolphins pacify their greed at public expense?


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