Ironic twists reflect the politics of corrupt cultures
By Derek Joy
Ah, yes. Those vaunted ‘Dog Days of Summer’ are here.
The irony in that is the beginning of heated political campaigns. Incumbents and candidates mount a charge for what they hope will end in victory. Democrats. Republicans. Independents and Tea Party.
They strategize and battle, seeking the prize of federal, state or municipal public office.
In the interim, Miami Dade County residents are caught between a rock and a hard place as Mayor Carlos Gimenez toys with a significant budget shortfall.
The end result is expected to impact the quality of life for the citizenry: Layoffs from the police and fire departments, along with a 10-percent pay cut for many county employees.
The irony herein can be better appreciated with a glimpse of a few other ironies in sports.
Consider the ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against the Washington Redskins. That ruling determined that the name Redskins is “disparaging of Native Americans,” and should be stripped of trademark protection.
Such a ruling could adversely affect the estimated $147-million generated by the Redskins Brand, which, in turn, would devalue the team’s $1.7-billion worth. So team owner Dan Snyder will continue his battle through the legal process.
“They researched the term Redskins all the way back to the time it originated as the name of a tribe to distinguish Native Americans from the natives of India,” said Ted Pinckney, a Miami native now residing in St. Petersburg.
“But what makes no sense to me is that the Redskins is a franchise with its own stadium and an estimated worth of $1.7-billion, while the Los Angeles Clippers doesn’t have an arena and somebody is willing to pay $2-billion. Seems like they want to get rid of Donald Sterling.”
Sterling created a stink when a tape recording of him making racially disparaging statements to his girlfriend during the NBA Playoffs. The fallout led NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to demand Sterling sell the franchise, fined him $2.5-million and imposed a lifetime ban from the league.
Obviously, Sterling is waging a legal battle to maintain control of the Clippers. His estranged wife is fighting just as hard to consummate that $2-billion sale.
Now, back to the budget shortfall in Miami Dade County.
What’s curiously ironic about it is that it comes at a time when Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is financing the $350-million renovation of Sun Life Stadium. Got tax concessions and guaranteed public payments for bringing such events as the Super Bowl, NCAA Championship and other events.
Where Ross once sought public funding for the renovations, he is now footing the bill. And it comes at a time when Gimenez has raided reserve funds to replenish the General Fund.
Sure makes one wonder about how monies in the General Fund are really spent. Definitely gives reason to question whether or not the budget shortfall will equal the amount of public funding that Ross originally sought for Sun Life Stadium renovations.