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Florida House Speaker continues to face questions over his income

Weatherford AP

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has yet to use his new political action committee to target Will Weatherford, the Florida Speaker of the House who put the brakes in May on legislation that would have allowed a public vote on renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

Ross may not have to.

Reporters in Florida have been chasing loose ends and open questions regarding Weatherford’s income.  Last month, questions were raised about Weatherford’s income.  More recently, Steve Miller of the Miami Herald found a new wrinkle that will serve only to make things more uncomfortable for the relatively young speaker with, in the view of the Dolphins, big aspirations.

Per the Herald, Weatherford is listed as a founding member and former director of U.S. Cat Adjusters, a Texas company that has receiver $826,676 from Florida’s state-run insurance company.

Weatherford says neither he nor his wife have “received a single dollar of income” from the company, even though he admits he was “listed” as a board member for several years.  Tax records show that his wife owns 2.8 percent of the company.

As the article points out, Weatherford doesn’t say whether he owns or previously owned stock in the company.

“He would have to have an interest beyond sitting on the board,” Lance deHaven-Smith, a professor of public administration and public policy at USF, speculates to the Herald.  “He’s not doing this as charity.  What is being raised here is the possibility of a rather obscure but significant conflict of interest that would be hard to track and hard to know if there are violations of the spirit of the law.”

While the early portions of the article raise questions about Weatherford’s interest in the Texas company, the bottom of the item seems to concede that Weatherford hasn’t done anything wrong, and that his voting record shows no favoritism to the Texas company.

Still, the overriding message of the story is that Weatherford has landed squarely in the cross hairs of influential portions of the Florida media, and if they ever hit the target a major impediment to the efforts to upgrade Sun Life Stadium will be removed.

There’s a chance that Weatherford’s replacement will be even less favorable to the cause, but it’s clear that, with Weatherford in place, the no public money will be funneled to the project.

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14 Responses to “Florida House Speaker continues to face questions over his income”
  1. jonevans83 says: Aug 4, 2013 5:24 PM

    Anyone who takes the right to vote away from the people should not hold office.

  2. bunjy96 says: Aug 4, 2013 5:37 PM

    Media fishing again.

    No real story here.

  3. heisthejuan says: Aug 4, 2013 5:43 PM

    This is why you don’t piss off billionaires. If you’ve got any dirt, they’ve got the resources to uncover it.

  4. commonsensedude says: Aug 4, 2013 5:47 PM

    Come on. Who amongst us hasn’t had a few corporate board appointments and side jobs here and there that we forgot about?

  5. thingamajig says: Aug 4, 2013 5:50 PM

    you can pretty much question the income of any politician.

  6. djdvd says: Aug 4, 2013 5:51 PM

    Don’t mess with the bull young man you get the horns

  7. modhairken says: Aug 4, 2013 6:00 PM

    Will Weatherford is not Stephen Ross’ butler and Florio needs to read the law. He was not required to report it.

  8. mackie66 says: Aug 4, 2013 6:15 PM

    yet. again another non football story in a very long line of non football stores. egads

  9. 8drinkminimum says: Aug 4, 2013 6:23 PM

    Whether you like/dislike Ross or public money being spent on local stadiums isn’t the root cause of this ongoing political battle.

    Weatherford should have and could have allowed the vote to happen. Many claim the vote would not have tallied in Ross favor. That misses the point.

    The voters should have been allowed to determine the outcome.

  10. lgbarn says: Aug 4, 2013 6:24 PM

    I like the fact that Ross is targeting dirty politicians since there are lots of them in the Florida legislature but I still don’t want him to receive a dime of my tax payer money for his stadium.

  11. watchfullhose says: Aug 4, 2013 6:34 PM

    These jerks are always in politics for personal gain. So much for serving the public.

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 4, 2013 7:01 PM

    This is the big boys’ version of a game of poke.

  13. notoriousjebus says: Aug 4, 2013 7:13 PM

    If you are a normal law abiding citizen you really only have to remember two things to live a happy life. 1) Don’t get on the wrong side of the Federal Government/IRS and 2) Don’t go around pissing offs billionaires.

  14. styx630 says: Aug 5, 2013 11:25 AM

    Rick Scott and his band of criminals need to go.

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