Did you see the mostly nude photo(s) of former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez showing off his buff body? I wonder if those muscles were helped along, at the age of 60, by banned substances. You know… the same kind Congress wastes our time by chasing sports figures who use them and then lie about them.

OK, so Carlos Alvarez has little to do with this blog post. But maybe he does…

It’s about the new mayor, another Carlos but with the last name of Gimenez. The current mayor, Gimenez, beat out the former Carlos, now bodybuilding champ who likes to expose himself in public, when he was one of the few politicians in the county commission who vehemently and rightfully opposed the deal that bought us (the taxpayers) an unwanted billion dollar baseball stadium where the old Orange Bowl used to sit. This Gimenez victory came after community forces, funded by local billionaire and car salesman Norman Braman, recalled our newly crowned muscle king.

Since last week I’ve written about, and will continue to do so, a brand new effort to help fund improvements on another stadium. This one owned by the Miami Dolphins and located in Miami Gardens.

What I find interesting is that Mayor Gimenez, who won reelection last year in Miami-Dade, has been timid on the subject. The new stadium deal, I mean. Almost the opposite of his attitude when he was a sitting commissioner – and had plans to run for mayor, I suppose. Maybe it has to do with what I wrote in my blog post titled “Piggies”: “…community leaders, politicians and the chamber of commerce types that will line up and push this $400 million Dolphins stadium project… Most who do so will have accepted money from the Dolphins. Guaranteed. It’s how this game is played.”

And then today’s (Friday Sept. 25) Miami Herald, in an article written by Patricia Mazzei, inform us that “the Miami Dolphins’ lobbying team looks like a reunion of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s campaign brain trust.”

Here are some of the names of the mercenaries being paid by the Dolphins to convince the politicians that the Miami Dolphins deal is different – and good for the community:

  • Marcelo Llorente – Hired as Dolphins lobbyist in Tallahassee and “frequent presence on the campaign trail after losing his own mayoral bid.”
  • Brian Goldmeier – Mayor Gimenez’s fundraiser.
  • Jesse Manzano-Plaza – A former Gimenez campaign manager.

Also involved in this con game are known Miami influence peddlers. Some who have helped institutionalize corruption in our community: former mayor, Alex Penelas; Ron Book, a high-profile lobbyist; Rodney Barreto, lobbyist and president of the Orange Bowl Committee; Brian May, former Penelas chief of staff and now high-profile lobbyist and Barreto partner; respected attorney H.T. Smith. There are others.

Just goes to show you that money does talk – at least in this community.

Alvaro F. Fernandez

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