Dolphins owner Stephen Ross isn’t happy with the failure of the Florida Legislature to give citizens in the Miami area the ability to vote on a hotel tax increase that would have helped fund upgrades at Sun Life Stadium.
To his credit, Ross isn’t biting his tongue. He’s unloading on the man Ross deems directly responsible for the failure of the Legislature to pass a bill that would have allowed the May 14 public vote in Miami-Dade County: Speaker of the House Will Weatherford.
“Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy,” Ross said in a statement issued by the Dolphins. “The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong.”
Ross is right. This is something the people should have decided. But Weatherford didn’t even give the House of Representatives a chance to vote on the bill that would have given the people the chance to vote.
“He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate,” Ross said. “It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.”
Though it would perhaps be too easy and obvious to point to Weatherford’s residence in the Tampa area, which could fill Miami’s void in the Super Bowl rotation, as the primary reason for the decision to drag his feet on the bill, in politics the easy and obvious reasons usually are the accurate ones.