The terms of agreement for The Phinsider contain a no politics clause. A clause I am generally happy to follow. We have little to no need to speak of politics in a football blog. However it seems the politicians have brought politics to our own Dolphins.
As most here are aware, the Dolphins had a bill in the state congress that would put a package to renovate SunLife Stadium on the ballot for Florida voters to pass. The State Senate passed the bill through with no problem. Yet the State House of Representatives refused to put the bill on the floor for a vote.
I, like most of you, awoke this morning to find phinfansc1980's Fanshost about House Speaker Will Weatherford. I read the misnomers and double speak that he oozed. Will Weatherford is, in no uncertain terms, a liar. I don't care what party you are from, but you will not step in front of the media and commit multiple bold faced lies. Not without being called out on it anyway.
“It’s not the fault of the Florida Legislature that Dolphins’ management failed to win legislative approval to force taxpayers to upgrade Sun Life Stadium after paying for a local referendum. Some would call that putting the cart before the horse.” -Will Weatherford
1) The speaker stated the bill didn't have enough support to pass the house and that is why it wasn't put on the floor. Why is it that it didn't have enough to pass the house? It passed the senate just fine. Either he is a psychic or there is more than a little room to assume there may have been some tampering. (Which would be in line with comments from Mike Dee and Stephen Ross in the last couple of days.)
2) Weatherford goes on to state that the bill would "force" tax payers to pay for the renovations. Well, that entire statement is false.
First, the bill that was to be put on the floor simply passed the vote along directly to the taxpayers. The voters would then decide.
Secondly, Ross in his proposal for renovation stated he will pay for more than half the upgrade out of pocket.
Third, the remainder of the monies to pay for the renovations would come from bed taxes and SALES TAX REBATES. Bed taxes are paid for when you rent a hotel room. Ie. out of state travelers who visit the area. Not the actual taxpayers of Florida themselves. (Obviously some exceptions apply, such as in state visitors etc.) The other portion would be pain in sales tax rebates. So, basically, the Dolphins would be fronting the money and then the state doesn't even have to pay them back. The state simply collects LESS money than it would have for all stuff bought at the stadium. Again, the Florida taxpayers are loosing nothing out of pocket. Only people whom visit the stadium and bought things there would spend money. Seeing as it is sales tax and they would most likely have made the same purchases anyway it is generally a moot point.
Seriously Mister Speaker, did you even read the bill? Did you miss the positives?
1) It actually costs the taxpayers of Florida 0 extra dollars. In fact business owners would likely see gains.
2) The sales tax rebate is over the span of thirty years. Mr. Ross is 72. Do you even think he will to see that money come back to him? No. This whole package is incredibly unselfish but Ross and the Dolphins.
3) With the addition of Super Bowls and/or more sporting events/concerts/etc. in the upgraded stadium there would be Millions more dollars spent, thousands more hotels booked and thousands of more jobs. Not to mention the sales tax rebates could allow the stadium to hire MORE employees. Not to mention all of the construction work the project would create.
The only person who could actually hate this bill is a corrupt politician serving himself or a private interest. Why do you feel so strongly against this Mr. Speaker? Where did you have that money allocated...hmmm? Or was there someone paying to not bring the bill to the floor...hmmm?
But what can we do about it?
Well, I am so glad you asked that question. I hate complaining for the sake of complaining. If I am going to complain or gripe about something I will always have an alternative solution. Well, here you go.
In the state of Florida, a petition of the Attorney's General's office can be made. IF enough signatures are accumulated the petition is passed onto the state's Supreme Court for verification of legality (which is why you have a lawyer or seven write it up) and then, as long as the petition/bill is legal, the state then puts the vote to the populous. This in essence is what the Dolphins were trying to accomplish in the first place. It is just a backdoor method that would actually require effort on the part of few and the time to acquire the signatures (which can be done electronically). A quick briefing on petitions in Florida
I have witnessed this site rally together and support OFFL (Griff) in his Dolphins Cycle quests. And hats off to you sir, we all appreciate the charity you do. I have seen sects of this fan base not only rally and pay for a fireland banner to be flown over the stadium but to then go back a year later and protest outside the gates of Sunlife Stadium. I have witnessed the Miami-Dade community come together and rebound from one of the worst natural disasters in history. This city, these fans, us members of the Phinsider have proven to believe in the human condition and the human spirit and have rallied around them before.
I am asking you this, can we do it again? Should we? I have included a poll. If you all believe this is possible, I can and will do some more research to get this petition started. I can not and will not be able to do it alone, it will take all of us and more. But I believe in this cause, I believe in all of you. I say YES, let's show the politicians that we want to spend the tax money the way we see fit. That we the people of the state of Florida can and will decide for ourselves what matters to us, not what matters to Will Weatherford and whomever is paying him.