JUNE 25, 2012


After all of the bullshit posturing and claims that the deal between the City of Miami and Jungle Island was “a bad deal,” the administration of Tomas Regalado will at this week’s Commission meeting introduce a deal memo that essentially gives the deadbeat owners of Jungle Island all that they want.

Here is a copy of the Term Sheet.

Appreciate that after all the fake gnashing of teeth and claims of a “bad deal” this document was written and ready to go no later than the day after the Special Commission Meeting on June 19th, in order to comply with the 5 day rule that requires all documents related to an item on the agenda be made available to the Commissioners at least 5 days before the next Commission meeting.  So the Special Commission meeting that was held was little more than stagecraft to  set the stage so-to-speak.

Additionally though the owners claimed that they were unable to pay the latest $2 million federal loan payment, they had no problem in finding the money needed to hire high-priced lobbyist Brian May, who just so happens to represent the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and Flagstone Properties among several other interesting clients seeking to do business with the City of Miami.

The Las Vegas Sands is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who donated $24 million to the Super PAC that supported Newt Gingrich, before turning around and pledging $10 million to Mitt Romney.

Adelson is no stranger to the Miami and Florida political swamp, having spent money last year to try and get a foot in the door as the Legislature and their lobbyist pals fleeced all of the casino proponents on the expectation that they would pass some sort of Destination Resort bill allowing for major casinos to come into the state.

A replay of that game of “Gimme your money and we’ll see what we can do,” will again play out during next year’s legislative session, and it looks like Adelson, who wasn’t happy about the way things turned out this session might be angling to get a foothold into the deal by essentially buying out the Jungle Island folks and plopping his own Resort Hotel complex on Watson Island.

While Adelson and the Sands provide the most obvious reasons for singling them out, the $460 million mega-yacht complex by the Flagstone Group that was approved by the Miami City Commission in 2001 and 2010, also seem to have found a Sugar Daddy earlier this year when Brian May was quoted in the May 3rd edition of Miami Today claiming, “Due diligence is underway right now with a potential equity partner who’s looking to provide some additional equity for the project.”

The notion that in the last 2 months hundreds of millions of dollars - perhaps as close to 1 BILLION - has become available for both the Flagstone Group and Jungle Island should make the 5 Dwarfs both cautious and curious as to what’s up on Watson Island.

Of course, all of that is predicated on having elected officials who actually give a fuck about what’s going on in their city, but when you continue to see skanky deals like the other story I’ve posted today, and when you consider all of the no-bid contracts, misuse of public money and the general belief that the City of Miami is for sale, often to the lowest bidder, you have to wonder whether the real job of the City Commission is making sure they don’t get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, rather than looking out for the best interests of the citizens.

The possibility that Sheldon Adelson is the money bags behind both of these deals is only speculation, because the owners of Jungle Island have refused to publicly reveal who their big money financier is, and the 5 Dwarfs, not having learned anything from the fiasco around the Miami Marlins refusal to allow anyone to look at their books before they all too willingly agreed to commit almost $3 BILLION of taxpayer money for the new stadium, don’t seem willing or capable of just drawing a line in the sand and demanding the name of whose going to write the check to pay off the City and the loans before anything else happens.

For those who think that they can put their faith in the citizens voting against this deal if it come to a Referendum, “Forgetaboutit!”  This deal is all about money talking and bullshit walking, and whoever’s financing this deal will have absolutely no compunction in flooding the airwaves with TV commercials to the point that folks will be willing to vote YES just as a way to get them to stop!

It’s Miami, Bitches!



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