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FRANCIS SUAREZ IS BETTING THAT THE CITIZENS OF MIAMI ARE CLUELESS MORONS, AND HE COULD VERY WELL BE RIGHT, BECAUSE THE SCHEME TO LEASE THE MEL REESE GOLF COURSE TO THE DAVID BECKHAM GROUP IS AUDACIOUS, POSSIBILY ILLEGAL AS IT REGARDS THE LANGUAGE OF THE REFERENDUM AND 100% DESTINED TO FAIL IF WILLIE GORT AND MANOLO REYES ARE REALLY OPPOSED TO THIS DEAL
NUMBER 61 - JULY 10, 2018
The very notion of news reporters, bloggers and concerned citizens scrambling around for the last few days trying to get their hands on documents related to the efforts of Jorge and Jose Mas to get the City Commission on Thursday to approve a referendum that asks the citizens to amend the City Charter to allow them to circumvent established REQUEST FOR BID requirements in order to lease Mel Reese Park for the long promised David Beckham soccer stadium is just an indication of how crazy and corrupt Miami City government has become.
More importantly, it reveals just how big a liar Francis Suarez is in claiming that the citizens of Miami need to support his claims that ONLY by making him a Strong Mayor will he be able to provide them with "a more transparent, efficient and accountable government."
Francis Suarez doesn't need a referendum vote in order to provide transparency, efficiency or accountability to the citizens of Miami, and in fact, the way that he and City Manager Emilio "Colonel Klink" Gonzalez have comported themselves in the last couple weeks in the handling of this scheme, it's all but evident that any sane and rational person would realize that these guys, contrary to their claims of being rocket scientists worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and benefits that they are being paid, are either complete morons, or worse devious and conniving scammers who are purposely gaming the citizens on behalf of doing a huge political favor for the Beckham Group at the expense of the citizens, and with a real possibility that they expect a sizable cash payoff if they succeed.
Yeah, I said it. I think that given their behavior, the history and evidence of how Miami's politicians have takens bribes in the past, that these guys, along with several Miami City Commissioners have signed on to this scheme with the full intention of being paid off for their efforts.
There is no other logical or rational explanation for how purposely confusing this process has been handled, or for the efforts to withhold documents and information until the very last moment, much less the arrangement of the "invitation only" presentation on Miami Beach to explain any of this other than everyone in on this deal conspiring to purposely keep information out of the public domain until the very last minute, and in the process create a mad scramble in the last 48-72 hours as everyone tries to decipher what information is in the documents that have been released and scramble to report on it.
In our bureaucratic world, he who controls the paperwork controls the game!
That is evident in this case because contrary to the way that everyone - including me has been led to believe - the lack of paperwork, and the manipulation by Jorge and Jose Mas, David Beckham and his little video and most importantly the City administration - we have all been operating under the assumption, an assumption that they wanted us to believe, was that the vote on Thursday was to put a referendum on the November Ballot that would have the voters approve a lease of the Mel Reese Golf Course to the Beckham Group.
THAT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. THE REFERENDUM IS NOT TO APPROVE A LEASE, BUT RATHER, IT IS TO AMEND THE CITY CHARTER TO ALLOW THE BECKHAM GROUP TO "WAVE COMPETITIVE BIDDING" OF THEIR UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL, AND IN FACT, THE ACTUAL LANGUAGE OF THE REFERENDUM IS GROSSLY MISLEADING IN THAT IT DOES NOT REVEAL THE FACT THAT IN ORDER TO DO THIS, IT WILL REQUIRE A FOUR/FIFTH'S VOTE BY THE CITY COMMISSION IF THE REFERENDUM IS PASSED.
So what does this really mean?
If Willie Gort, who Channel 4 reported has said he is opposed to this deal, and if Manolo Reyes, who wrote to me saying that he is opposed to this deal, keep their word, then there is no way, even if all 400,000 plus residents of Miami showed up and voted for this referendum, that the Commission could reach the 4/5th vote required to amend the City Charter.
And that's where it gets really interesting.
Back when the Marlins stadium deal was going down, I was told by a source inside the negotiations at the time that Manny Diaz went to Marc Sarnoff to get his support to approve the Marlin's deal, and Sarnoff supposedly promised Diaz that he had his vote, but that he would have to trust him to do it his way.
I've written about how Sarnoff did it his way, voting NO on the first vote to support the construction of the stadium - it was a simple majority vote - and then an hour later, after he had made it possible for him to every more claim that he had voted against the stadium, Sarnoff did an about face and when it came time to vote on the bid waiver for the parking garages - a 4/5th vote - Sarnoff voted for that, and that was the critical piece in the jigsaw puzzle that actually allowed the construction of the stadium to go forward. (You can read my original story that includes the minutes of the Commission meeting HERE.)
Could that happen here?
Could either Willie Gort, or Manolo Reyes, after claiming that they were opposed to the soccer stadium being built at Mel Reese Golf Course, announce after the passage of the referendum that maybe since the public had voted for this, they should honor that vote and turn around and change their mind and their vote?
Nothing's impossible in Miami, and we've seen it before, so here's the only way to make sure that these guy are really men of their word.
They both need to write letters stating that they are on principle and in fact opposed to any construction of any soccer stadium on the Mel Reese property, and that no matter how the public might vote on a referendum, they will not change their mind, and they need to have those letters made part of the record of this item.
If both of those guys will do that before the vote to support a referendum going before the voters on Thursday, then that's the end of this deal.
David Beckham and the Mas brothers can go build their stadium somewhere else.
If they won't, then buckle up bitches, because somebody figured out how to hold the Beckham Group hostage for a really big payday!!
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There is no explanation why the Charter needs to be amended or why a separate for/fifth's vote is required anywhere in the actual referendum language
WHY THE REFERENDUM LANGUAGE ON THE SOCCER STADIUM DEAL IS GROSSLY MISLEADING AND SHOULD BE CHALLEGNED IN COURT IF THE COMMISSION VOTES TO APPROVE IT
NUMBER 62 - JULY 11, 2018
The Miami City Attorney is never to be trusted.
I know that from first hand experience. Even though I'm not an attorney I've had to be one on too many occasions when I couldn't afford an attorney, and given that in the last 30 years I've only lost one case, I think I can read, understand and explain why this referendum is grossly misleading even though I don't have a law degree.
My arguments are based on a recent 3rd DCA opinion in the case of Bruce Matheson against the County over the Tennis Stadium on Key Biscayne, and I believe based on that decision, this referendum could easily and successfully be challenged in court.
Let me walk you through why I believe this is possible.
Here is the language in latest referendum on the Mel Reese Golf Course.
Here is the language in the referendum question that went before the residents of the City of Miami last November on extending the lease for Monty's Seafood restaurant and marina.
The first and most glaring difference between these two referendum questions is that in the Mel Reese referendum, unlike the Monty's referendum, there is no mention that the voters are being asked to approve the waving of "competitive bidding," in order to allow the Beckham group to negotiate a non competitive bid agreement.
This difference of, and lack of language that explains what the citizens are really being asked to approve would, I believe, be seen as a failure to provide a critical material fact, and according to City of Miami v. Staats, 919 So 2nd 485,487 (Fla 3rd DCA 2005), such a failure fails "to provide the voter with fair notice of the content of the proposed measure so that he or she will not be misled as to its purpose and may intelligently cast his or her vote"
Furthermore, in City of Rivera Beach v. Riviera Beach Citizens Task Force, 87 So 3rd 18 (Fla 4th DCA 2012) that quotes Fla. Educ. Ass'n v. Fla Dep't of State, 48 So 3rd 694, 700 (Fla 2012), a referendum "only must describe its chief purpose."
In this case, the "chief purpose" of the referendum is to ask the voters to amend the Charter in order to "wave competitive bidding."
The language referencing the projected construction and financial projections aren't relevant to this question.
And in fact, because there is no lease, nor even an agreement, there is no way to insure that any of the construction or financial numbers provided in this referendum language would reflect the numbers agreed to in a negotiated contract between the City Commission and the Beckham Group at some later time.
In the Monty's referendum on the other hand, the specifics of the agreement are based tied to an existing lease agreement, and this negotiated agreement was reached with the city before the referendum was put to the voters.
The proposed numbers provided as part of the referendum language in this latest referendum have been revealed at best to be speculative "projections," without documentation to support them, and the question mark at the end of the referendum language is actually quite astounding because a question mark is the last thing you want to see ending a presentation that is supposedly based on financial calculations being presented as facts.
For these and other reasons best left to competent attorneys, I believe that not only is this referendum question flawed, but that it reveals once again the degree to which the City of Miami Attorney is willing to go to lie and hoodwink the public on a matter of critical importance.
It's Miami, Bitches!
HERE IS THE 3RD DCA OPINION ON THE MATHESON CASE
MY FAN BASE CONTINUES TO GROW - THESE ARE REAL EXCHANGES
GOOD MORNING MIAMI
NUMBER 63 - JULY 12, 2018
HERE IS THE CRESPODAMAS GAME DAY SCORECARD
Joe Carollo Willie Gort
Ken Russell Manolo Reyes
VOTING YES VOTING NO
Things could change by the time of the vote, but right now Commissioner "Selfie Boy" Russell is flopping around like a mullet out of water looking looking for any and all reasons why he can line up with Francis Suarez on this.
Suarez has been putting a full court press on him the last few days, and "Selfie Boy" who has little backbone, and less political skills looks like he's willing to turn the rare opportunity to have a John McCain moment of political courage into a self-serving vote to support this referendum in the hopes that as a quid pro quo, Suarez will act like a big brother in protecting him from ass whipping that Joe Carollo keeps giving him at every Commission meeting.
Carollo on the other hand sees Suarez and Russell as Lamb-chop 1 and Lamb-chop 2, and in days to come Suarez is going to have his own hands full trying to keep Carollo from sticking a knife in back, because sooner or later that's what Carollo does to all the people who try to make deals with him as a way to keep him pacified.
Carollo has a couple deals cooking on the back burner that he needs Suarez's help on and that I would suspect explains why Carollo has been so silent this last week, even though this referendum deal is the kind of issue that he normally salivates over
Recent examples of how Carollo loves going after questionable deals with questionable financial numbers includes the new lease for the Miami Sailing Club, and the mid-year budget revelation of new hires in Communications, and of course the OMNI CRA budget.
It will be interesting to watch Carollo, because while he won't, and probably can't resist taking a few pokes at Emilio and his hocus pocus handling of the misleading and dubious financial projections, the truth as to how much Carollo believes he needs help from Suarez will be revealed in how he tries to dress up and justify his YES vote.
Keon Hardemon on the otherhand didn't do himself any favors with yesterday's tweet about, "Your mama is pay to play. I never said I was voting for the soccer stadium so stop lying to people."
If he votes NO, then he's inoculated himself against the charge that his Auntie Barbara being on the Mas payroll as a lobbyist for this deal means he's on the take himself, but if he votes YES, then everyone will say, "See, we said you were going to vote YES, and you did. That means Auntie Barbara is your bag-lady, and somebody call the FBI on this shit!"
WILDCARD MOVE: Manolo Reyes might challenge the item being heard this afternoon by invoking the 5 Day Rule. This is a rule that states that if documents that are part of an item up for a vote are provided to a Commissioner in less than 5 days before the Commission meeting the Commissioner may invoke the rule and push the item to the next meeting. There are more than enough documents that have been released in the last three days by the city to support invoking this rule.
FUNNY MONEY: In the last 14 days Francis Suarez has received approximately $70,000 in donations for his campaign for Strong Mayor on top of the $779,383.00 he has already reported. An undetermined, but sizable amount of that money is said to have come from friends of the Mas brothers who are rumored to be leaning on their friends to donate to Suarez, and in some cases to hand deliver their checks to lobbyist Steve Marin at his home.
It's Miami, Bitches!