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Dolphins get more ammo to challenge Will Weatherford

Weatherford AP

The Speaker of the House in Florida has become an unlikely character in the ultimate reality show.

But after Will Weatherford allegedly (per the Dolphins) reneged on multiple promises to bring to the House floor a measure that would have authorized a public vote on renovations to Sun Life Stadium, Weatherford became a central figure in the ongoing effort to upgrade a venue that has fallen out of the Super Bowl rotation.

Owner Stephen Ross has since formed a Political Action Committee that will, among other things, target those who opposed the legislation.  And Ross surely was happy to see a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times that raises questions regarding Weatherford’s income.

I’ll defer to Michael Van Sickle of the Times for the details, but perhaps the most significant fact was that Weatherford would answer only written questions about his non-government income.

Think about that one for a second.  How many people would be concerned about answering questions about what they actually do for a living extemporaneously and without knowing what the questions were in advance?

Weatherford’s uncle is an investor in one of the companies that pays Weatherford.  Beyond saying that his nephew doesn’t have a “supervisor,” Weatherford’s uncle quickly became uncomfortable answering questions about what Weatherford actually does.

It’s apparently not uncommon for Florida House speakers to have side income that doesn’t trace via bright line to an actual, you know, job.  But it’s the first time the Florida House speaker has been drawn into a fight with a billionaire who owns an NFL team — and who is upset specifically with said House speaker.

It’s unlikely the issue will derail Weatherford’s career.  If it does, he looks suited for telemarketing.

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25 Responses to “Dolphins get more ammo to challenge Will Weatherford”
  1. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 16, 2013 9:40 AM

    Ross will lose this one. Speakers don’t have to worry about support of billionaires that are angry. Weatherford needs 50% + 1 of the GOP Members in the House to remain Speaker. The most important matters to those Members have zero to do with pro football or a vote to raise taxes for a stadium. Ross needs a lobbyist.

  2. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Jul 16, 2013 9:41 AM

    Politicians squirming, always a blast….

  3. mrpresident50 says: Jul 16, 2013 9:43 AM

    Finally a politician gets called out for all his bull crud. Go Ross!

  4. irkjames says: Jul 16, 2013 9:43 AM

    Rule #1 In America:

    DON’T PISS OFF A BILLIONAIRE.

  5. jagwires says: Jul 16, 2013 9:44 AM

    They’re all rich crooks. I hope none of them get what they want.

  6. bucrightoff says: Jul 16, 2013 9:47 AM

    Rich douche or political douche. Tough to choose in this battle.

  7. gottaplan says: Jul 16, 2013 9:56 AM

    Whoah…is that a serious picture of Waetherford?? That is unbelievable! THAT guy is helping to determine policy?? SMH

  8. sargeisf says: Jul 16, 2013 10:07 AM

    Go Ross!! Get’em. Im starting to like you more and more! Go Phins!

  9. gth829c says: Jul 16, 2013 10:08 AM

    @johnnyjagfan,

    He could, you know, finance the opponent in the next election. Its pretty hard to be Speaker of the House if you’re not in the House.

  10. purpleguy says: Jul 16, 2013 10:19 AM

    So a politician gets an “allowance” from his rich uncle — what the hell does that have to do with his decision as House Speaker not to take the funding vote to the floor? Didn’t know Dolphins ate so many sour grapes.

  11. phinfan says: Jul 16, 2013 10:27 AM

    If Ross pursues this man to an unemployment line and wins a bid for a new stadium, i swear i wont bash that old man again and will put him ahead of joe robbie on my idle list!!!

  12. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 16, 2013 10:33 AM

    gth829c says:
    Jul 16, 2013 10:08 AM
    @johnnyjagfan,

    He could, you know, finance the opponent in the next election. Its pretty hard to be Speaker of the House if you’re not in the House.
    ________________________

    Yeah how’d that strategy work out for the GOP in the last national elections ? All or virtually all the candidates the billionaires tried to buy in lost.

    I think you’d also see an even larger public outcry against funding the nfl if Ross buys someone in and immediately that guy tries to ram through stadium funding. That’s a major conflict of interest, which doesn’t mean its impossible to overcome but I don’t think it would be well received. If Weatherford thought his constituents wanted to give Ross this money and it would get him reelected, the Fins would already have it in their bank account.

  13. packerbackernj says: Jul 16, 2013 10:43 AM

    Should boycott events in Florida till they change the laws that allow a man to shoot another man in the face if he feels “intimidated.” I cancelled my vacation to Orlando. They don’t deserve my money.

  14. micknangold says: Jul 16, 2013 11:05 AM

    You can read more about this over on ProPoliticsTalk! 24/7 updates on this, Congress harrassing Dan Snyder, and all the NFL crime you can handle!

  15. damnsureis says: Jul 16, 2013 11:05 AM

    By the looks of that picture, his side income also includes royalties from when he played the evil business man in a Steven Segal movie.

  16. 2jivecrew says: Jul 16, 2013 11:20 AM

    Stephen Ross, pay for your own damn stadium renovation. You wanna bring it to the voters? You’ll lose. This Florida voter will vote no as well as every other resident I know (including quite a few season ticket holders). Even the die hards are sick of your act and your hapless product.

  17. darthvincent says: Jul 16, 2013 11:52 AM

    As a politician being harassed by a billionaire, I would demand that Ross and the Dolphins open up their financial books to prove they need monetary assistance. I wouldn’t stop harping on it until they did…

  18. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 16, 2013 12:53 PM

    “I’m on this HUGE telephone, and it has a cord attached to it. I kid you not. Maybe they think someone will steal it, I don’t know……”.

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 16, 2013 1:45 PM

    Telemarketing? Great so now I have to deal with this guy when he calls me? Thanks a lot Mr. Ross!

  20. jrcoop says: Jul 16, 2013 3:11 PM

    darthvincent says: Jul 16, 2013 11:52 AM

    As a politician being harassed by a billionaire, I would demand that Ross and the Dolphins open up their financial books to prove they need monetary assistance. I wouldn’t stop harping on it until they did…
    —————————————————-
    Already did darth…

    “Two consultants hired by Miami-Dade County to review the team’s finances concluded the Dolphins could not afford to finance a planned $350 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium without outside money.”

    Miami Herald 4-10-13

  21. twyger says: Jul 16, 2013 3:12 PM

    “As a politician being harassed by a billionaire, I would demand that Ross and the Dolphins open up their financial books to prove they need monetary assistance. I wouldn’t stop harping on it until they did…”

    Then you wouldn’t have started, as the Dolphins already opened their books with an independent audit for Dade county and other partners. If you don’t pay attention, refrain from comment.

  22. jrcoop says: Jul 16, 2013 3:12 PM

    “Don’t get mad, get even,”. ― Robert F. Kennedy

  23. joseffar says: Jul 16, 2013 3:21 PM

    The guy looks like a complete D*****bag.

  24. upthegut34 says: Jul 16, 2013 6:08 PM

    That photo is indeed Mr. Weatherford. Florida’s Speaker of the House is 33 years old.

  25. thechronicjoker says: Jul 16, 2013 7:47 PM

    The problem is/was not allowing the citizens of Florida to vote on it. Just put it on the ballot, its not that hard. I’m still waiting to see medical marijuana in Florida. which by the way isn’t even on the ballot for next election. It’s a shame we start losing our rights to vote even on silly things.

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