Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gimenez and Robaina on the Marlins Stadium...let's go to the tape

Before we get to the stadium issue, let's check some late-breaking news...

Looks like Julio Robaina's flip-fops are catching up with him.
Poll: Gimenez takes commanding lead in mayor’s race

Carlos Gimenez, steadily gaining momentum across a diverse spectrum of Miami-Dade voters, has taken a commanding lead over his flashier, better bankrolled opponent, Julio Robaina, in the June 28 race for county mayor, according to a new poll.

In the poll, 50 percent of likely voters picked one-time underdog Gimenez for the county’s top job, while 39 percent chose Robaina, who had been the frontrunner at the start of the hard-fought race for the powerful mayor’s post, which has been vacant since the dramatic March 15 recall of Carlos Alvarez.


Thanks to a commenter on the Miami Herald 's website for posting this tape of Bryant Gumbel interviewing Carlos Gimenez on the Marlins Stadium deal.

Robaina’s declarations on the campaign trail have also drawn criticism because they have contradicted his own record. He has, for instance, said in his campaign that he opposed using public dollars to finance a new Florida Marlins stadium. Yet he spoke in favor of the deal on the March 2009 night when county commissioners considered — and ultimately approved — the public finance plan. -Miami Herald, May 10, 2011

Some additional reading:
Marlins’ profits came at taxpayer expense

The swindlers who run the Florida Marlins got exposed Monday. They are as bad as anyone on Wall Street, scheming, misleading and ultimately sticking taxpayers with a multibillion-dollar tab. Corporate fraud is alive and well in Major League Baseball.

A look at the leak of the Marlins’ financial information to Deadspin confirmed the long-held belief that the team takes a healthy chunk of MLB-distributed money for profit. Owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson for years have contended the Marlins break even financially, the centerpiece fiscal argument that resulted in local governments gifting them a new stadium that will cost generations of taxpayers an estimated $2.4 billion. They said they had no money to do it alone and intimated they would have to move the team without public assistance.

In fact, documents show, the Marlins could have paid for a significant amount of the new stadium’s construction themselves and still turned an annual operating profit. Instead, they cried poor to con feckless politicians that sold out their constituents.

The ugliness of the Marlins’ ballpark situation is already apparent, and the building doesn’t open for another 18 months. Somehow a team that listed its operating income as a healthy $37.8 million in 2008 alone swung a deal in which it would pay only $155 million of the $634 million stadium complex. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County agreed – without the consent of taxpayers – to take $409 million in loans loaded with balloon payments and long grace periods. By 2049, when the debt is due, the county will have paid billions.

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