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M-D Republicans Internally Fighting Over Sun Life Stadium

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An artist rendering of proposed changes to Sun Life Stadium (Source: Miami Dolphins)

An artist rendering of proposed changes to Sun Life Stadium (Source: Miami Dolphins)

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Miami Dolphins

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Republican Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County issued a strong message to all local Republicans in the state legislature; don’t even think about voting in favor of the Sun Life Stadium renovation plan.

“The Republican Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County express their staunch disapproval of siphoning $120 Million from Miami-Dade tax-payers, and $47 Million from Florida tax-payers for multi-billionaire Stephen Ross,” a letter released Friday said. “Tax-payers should never be the source of corporate welfare for billionaires, and should not be responsible for the funds to renovate Sun Life Stadium for the Miami Dolphins.”

The resolution was being distributed to all Republican state representatives, state senators, and to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office. The Executive Committee also “instruct the sponsors of HB 165, Rep. Eddy Gonzalez and Rep. Erik Fresen, to immediately withdraw sponsorship and support.”

According to the resolution, the executive committee said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee “has admitted that the renovations would be an ‘unwise’ investment for owner Stephen Ross,” as one of the reasons the executive committee opposed the move.

The executive committee called the plans to renovate Sun Life Stadium as “corporate welfare for billionaires,” “socialism for the rich,” “distribution of wealth to private parties from tax revenue,” and against free market economic policies.

Putting the Republicans in the legislature could be a precursor to potential primary challengers for any legislator who does support the stadium deal.

The Sun Life Stadium renovation plan has sailed through the legislature to this point and negotiations between Miami-Dade County and the Miami Dolphins on the stadium plan continued Thursday night into Friday morning.

The plan calls for renovations to be partially played for by taxpayers and the other half by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. The taxpayer money would come from a 1 percent increase in tourist taxes and the Fins have offered to repay much of the money over a thirty year deal.

The Dolphins have also made the deal contingent on getting to host an upcoming Super Bowl, either Super Bowl L or Super Bowl LI. South Florida is battling Santa Clara, California and Houston, Texas for the rights to host the two respective Super Bowls.

UPDATE:  1:00 p.m.

The Miami Dolphins issued a statement to CBSMiami.com in response to the REC’s letter which read:

“The largely internal, personal politics of the Miami-Dade REC, which drove the 37-34 vote, has no impact on the efforts to modernize Sun Life Stadium. As the people of Miami-Dade learn more about the unprecedented public-private partnership where the Dolphins will pay more than a majority of the costs, will repay approximately $167 million to the state and county, and will pay for 100 percent of any cost overruns during construction, the momentum continues to grow to modernize Sun Life Stadium. We are confident that the people of Miami-Dade will support bringing Super Bowls, college championships and international soccer in Miami by voting to modernize Sun Life Stadium,” said spokesman Anthony Bustamante.

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