Witnesses claim Weatherford promised a vote to Dolphins


The Dolphins claim that Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford promised not once nor twice nor thrice but at least four times to put the bill that would have authorized a public election on stadium improvements up for vote of the full House of Representatives.  Weatherford claims he never promised to do it.

The tie has now been broken.

Others who witnessed the interaction between the Dolphins and Weatherford claim the promise was made.

“I was in the room with Mike Dee and Steve Ross and did hear what they heard,” South Florida Super Bowl bid committee chairman Rodney Barreto tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.  “And yes, I’m disappointed.  I’m disappointed that the people of Dade County were not given the opportunity to vote and that’s a huge disappointment.”

Others, per Salguero, heard the conversations, including Jeffrey Soffer, who owns the company that owns the Fountainbleu Hotel.

Weatherford easily could respond by claiming that those who claim they heard the comments have a bias in favor of the Dolphins and/or the stadium upgrade project.  Regardless, when a he said/she said becomes a he said/they said, “he” ends up looking like he’s telling something other than a truth.

Then there’s the fact that Weatherford is a politician.  Which makes it even more likely that no one will believe him.

56 responses to “Witnesses claim Weatherford promised a vote to Dolphins

  1. If you’re shocked that a politician lied…… logicalvoicesays has a broken QB with a decent season under his belt that he like to sell you as the greatest QB in the league….

  2. The NFL is so wishy-washy on this issue… they are disappointed that the coutny did not get to vote… but in MN, they fought to make sure the people did not get a vote! you cant have it both ways!!! With the amount of profits the league makes I’ve got an idea… how bout stop taking the money from low income families via taxes for your stadiums. How bout take one billion a year from your billions of dollars in profits, and build a new stadium every year. They average about 30 years in lifespan, so you could continually build a new stadium every year and leave the taxes for real things we need, like education and such! too many budget cuts are being placed on things we need just to turn around and give it to these stadium funds… time for a change!

  3. And Dolphins ownership say that their main interests here are creating jobs and ensuring citizens the right to vote. When you are running a highly profitable company and applying for a taxpayer handout, you should expect nothing less than lies and spin.

  4. Which makes it more unlikely that my family and I don’t vote for him in his future political aspirations. Being a Florida resident/native and all.

  5. You know, I think someone from the “South Florida Superbowl bid committee” might not be entirely unbiased either…

  6. A politician lieing?

    A billionaire whining about public funding?

    What’s next a Tebow story about nothing?

  7. It would be cooler the moment took place on an iPhone.

    Witnessing is overrated when catching is easier than ever before.

  8. Weatherford did the right thing. No one has any sympathy for a multibillionaire owner of a billion dollar business in an industry worth tens of billions of dollars when they whine, cry, and stamp their feet when the public taxpayers won’t pay for their lavish palaces. Taxpayer money, whether tax or forcing out of town visitors to pay for it should go towards education, emergency services, social services, roads, bridges, etc, not the fancy workplace for billionaires.

  9. All I can think of is Robert De Niro in the movie CASINO, sitting in the courtroom being denied a fair hearing after he was promised he would get one.

  10. Weatherford is a Republican, so accusing someone of bias when he’s caught spewing BS is a given.

  11. To me, I don’t care if he promised or not. For him to not allow this to go to a vote shows that there is a bias somewhere. This is OUR country, and we have every right to be heard. If this clown didn’t want us to vote on it, regardless of reason, then he needs to be shown the door. As a Florida resident, I will remember his name, and never vote for him.

  12. How do you know when a politician is lying ?
    His lips are moving.
    What did they expect.
    The Marlins owner promised to build a winner and then got his way and gutted the team.
    What comes around baby.

  13. Anyone even minutely tuned into politics in ’08 witnessed Obama promise to:

    -Close Gitmo
    -Cut the deficit in half (LOL)
    -Veto any bills with pork
    -Leave Iraq within a year
    -Be the most transparency administration ever (again LOL)

    I could keep going…

  14. granadafan says: May 9, 2013 6:00 PM
    Taxpayer money, whether tax or forcing out of town visitors to pay for it should go towards education, emergency services, social services, roads, bridges, etc, not the fancy workplace for billionaires.

    Once again oh broken record you’re dead wrong. This money was not earmarked for “education, emergency services, social services, roads, bridges, etc.” so once again you know not what you’re speaking of. Of course, it may not matter as your soapbox knows facts are irrelevant.

    So, again this would have been mostly for an increase in the bed tax from tourists. Most of the rest was to be paid back over time. The Dolphins had enough votes and this moved through every process smoothly until Weatherford delayed it on purpose.

    As it is now, Ross got shafted and the Dolphins are out the $3M (I believe) they paid for the County election process costs.

    If you’re going to come on here daily better learn what your speaking of if you want to be taken seriously.

  15. Why all the hemming and hawing over spilt milk. I know the Dolphins upper management want to crush Weatherford’s political aspirations but why aren’t they reissuing a new bill to once again have a referendum in Dade County? Time to move on people and get back on the task at hand, if every person gave up on their goal after one try there wouldn’t be jack sh.. gettin done.

  16. some people miss the point entirely-

    Ross gets his money no matter where the SB is played. Does not need upgrades to play games during season where he makes the money.

    Miami and FL get influx of Millions from players and fans coming in to watch games.

    The tax is not from FL residents (unless they are choosing to stay in a motel). So they are not making FL residents pay for the improvements.

    As a business owner, would you spend millions without a return on investment? No The city and state will see the return therefore they should make the investment. The fact that Ross is offering to pay for 70% is amazing, as well as paying back a majority of balance over time. (maybe all, I can’t remember from earlier articles).

  17. Whatever? South Fl. could offer to play the game in somebodys back yard and still have a better chance of getting the Superbowl than Buffafo. Might be time for new Vette…’75? Whatever.

  18. Politicians promise the moon, sun and stars but deliver a pile of steaming dung instead.

  19. So even if Weatherford is the biggest weasel in the history of weasels, why did Ross pull his “70% of the funding” off the table? Shouldn’t that part get done whether or not the other 30% came thru, you know, since the stadium is apparently moments away from collapsing?

    Run for your lives!!!

  20. I know the easy and popular thing to think is, “He’s a gazillionaire. He should just use all his own money.” Ultimately, I agree and if I had his kind of money I would build myself the greatest stadium the world has ever seen with no financial assistance.

    However, the other side of the argument is that it sets a dangerous precident. Not every NFL owner has the cash to rebuild their teams stadium and why would any city vote to help after other stadiums are built privately?

    When your team has to move to LA because they can’t afford a state-of-the-art stadium… you’ll wish the public was accustom to increasing a tax that only significantly affects tourists.

  21. Does anyone believe for one moment the phins are going to pack up.

    Where are they going? LA? Where the voters just raised the state income tax so millionaires are paying for than 50 percent effective tax rate.

    Where else. He’s going to trade Miami Beach for London Fog?

    How about Miami or sunny Toronto!

  22. Quit freaken crying dolphfins…get your greedy owner to pony up the dough. He’s got plenty of it. Do you really think the state wants to get stuck again like that baseball nut Loria did?! And that stadium he built for who? No one shows up…sports in south FL is a joke along with their fans and owners.

  23. Brehman or whatever his name, former eagles owner is puffing out his chest saying I told you so over the Marlins stadium and he most likely promised Weatherford his backing in his political career if he stopped the vote. He made this offer because Brehman has a lot of clout in Florida and only a few in Miami will even care enough to not vote for him. The rest of the state won’t have a clue, it’s brilliant strategy really and will most likely work out for him, sucks for Miami tho as the citizens wouldn’t have paid for this themselves.

  24. The upgrades to these stadiums that the owners want public money for is for one purpose: to make them more profitable.

    @ssmac54, business owners spend their own (and corporate) money all the time to make capital improvements, after studying the potential return on investment benefit. These improvements generally include new and upgraded luxury suites and boxes that the owners can charge a premium for to increase the per game revenue. Historically this has been the main point in stadium “upgrades.”

    Ticket prices also usually rise, and while I don’t know the specifics of the Miami case the latest trend is to add new PSL fees to desirable seats.

    As far as the hotel/motel tax only hurting non-Floridians, what about the fans of the Dolphins that don’t live anywhere near Miami, but are Florida residents? Many of the fans who fill the stadiums come from outlying areas of their respective team’s state. The state has a burden to keep infrastructure to and around the stadium in very good shape. Generally they also give the teams generous tax incentives to locate and stay there. I do take issue with the NFL being about the only business that says to a community, “I have a business, build me a state of the art facility that will maximize my profit so I can run my business here.”

    Not attacking you at all, just making some counter-points that many people agree with. Particularly my non-football interested relatives :/

  25. It would never have passed anyway. People are angry enough about the Marlins ballpark fiasco. The taxpayers here aren’t going to foot the bill for a billionaire so they can get one game every 7 years or so. That’s not really an economic boon. And the stadium gets plenty of non-NFL events as it is.

  26. you guys may not know this but stadiums do help the economy of the areas by it. also when building it, it will increase tax revenue from increased jobs and construction. just remember that an economy is an exchange of money.

  27. Politicians lie all the time to screw the average people. Quite happy to see one lie for once to a billionaire instead of getting down on their knees and genuflecting for campaign contributions no matter what the cost to the people and country.

    If there’s a way to generate new taxes it should go to keeping police, teachers, firemen, EMTs and other crucial people employed, not for charity to a billionaire.

  28. Love this…. Who is the bigger liar…a real estate salesman from manhattan or a republican politician….. Ross promised to pay 70% of 350 million so that means 245 million…… Scale the back & spend 245 million mr Ross ……unless there was someway that was a lie pray tell.

  29. I can tell a lie too.
    The Packers are the best ever in the entire universe of any professional sport. Excluding lumber jacking of course.

  30. Weatherford did you a favor, Miami. Your team is lousy, your fans are worse. No one cares.. Did you idiots not learn anything from the Marlins stadium fiasco?

  31. ivedoneyourwife says: May 9, 2013 5:24 PM

    Which makes it more unlikely that my family and I don’t vote for him in his future political aspirations. Being a Florida resident/native and all.

    Do you realize that the way you worded this means you will likely vote for the guy?

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