Marlins’ pal Alvarez is recalled by voters

Hey, remember Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who memorably declared that the Florida Marlins stadium agreement was “probably not the best deal that has ever been worked out between a community and a team, [but] at some point, negotiations have to stop”? He is now ex-Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, as he was bounced by a public recall vote on Tuesday.

It’s hard to see much connection between public outrage over Alvarez’s stadium boosterism and his ouster, frankly, though one particular stadium opponent played a large role: Former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, who filed multiple lawsuits in a fruitless attempt to block the Marlins stadium deal, bankrolled the campaign to dump the mayor. And the Marlins donated $50,000 to Alvarez to help fight the recall effort. So while it’s probably not accurate to say that Alvarez was recalled because of his support for the stadium (his raising of property taxes and angering of local Tea Partiers look to have been more important), you could say that his mayoralty was the first collateral damage of the bruising stadium fight.

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5 comments on “Marlins’ pal Alvarez is recalled by voters

  1. maybe samson will give alvarez a high-paying no-show “job” with the franchise. oh wait, no that won’t happen because that’ll cut into samson’s windfall profits.

  2. I’ve read several reports about Alvarez’ recall and have seen no mention at all of angry ‘local Tea Partiers’ you cite as a predominant reason for it. The only time the term Tea Party was mentioned at all was in one of the articles you link which said Braman spearheaded the effort which was also supported by Marco Rubio, who was a Tea Party favorite. That was the only article I’ve seen where Rubio’s name was mentioned, and it did not state that he went around making appearances with ‘angry Tea Partiers.’ For that matter, plenty of reports say Rubio is supported by Jeb Bush (an anti-Tea Party person) who was against the stadium in the past, but is into bigger things these days). I have read Braman heavily utilized advertising and public appearances on local Spanish language radio stations (although he does not speak Spanish). I’ve seen quotes in the press from voters leaving the polls, although random, included no mention of Tea Party but seemed to be middle class Dade residents with Spanish surnames(which isn’t to say they were not Tea Party members, but the Tea Party was never mentioned). Some quotes referenced the property tax increase. Long time residents may be aware the stadium deal was addressed and voted down at least twice by the legislature knowing it would be too costly for residents who are now on the hook for $350 million. Alvarez is supposedly a Republican in case anyone is keeping tabs, and was voted out by the same people who once enthusiastically endorsed him according to multiple reports. As your linked article notes, decidedly non-
    Tea Party groups are heavily into recalls these days.

  3. Okay, fair enough – the Tea Partiers look to have jumped on the Dump Alvarez bandwagon, but aside from Rubio weren’t especially crucial to its success. More here for those interested:

  4. Chili Palmer,

    This Marlins stadium deal was not voted on “at least twice” by the legislature. What was voted on was a $2 million/year tax exemption that all teams in Florida have receieved. The Marlins arguement was that former owner Wayne Huizenga received the exemption for his stadium (and thus for the Dolphins) and the Marlins should get the same for a new stadium. The legislature voted on this 2 years in a row (it passing the House one year, but never being heard in the Senate) and then visa versa the next year. This current stadium plan wasn’t voted on in the legislature because no state money was involved. So to say the deal was “addressed and voted down at least twice by the legislature knowing it would be too costly for residents who are now on the hook for $350 million” is entirely incorrect. The state never once voted on this stadium deal and residents are not paying for the ballpark. The ballpark is being paid for with TOURIST tax dollars, which by law, can only go toward projects like this (convention centers, museums, performing arts centers, etc).

    What local taxpayers will pay millions for was Braman’s personal vendetta against the Mayor. This recall election was a giant waste of money as Alvarez’s term would have ended next year anyway. Now Miami-Dade will have to pay for the recall election, the replacement election, and then the 2012 election to name a permanent mayor.

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