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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

JULY 10, 2013

MIAMI SOLVES ITS ILLEGAL WALL MURAL PROBLEM
THEY’RE GOING TO PAYOFF THE STATE TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY
PART I

What do these two Wall Murals, along with over a dozen others on buildings throughout the city have in common?

From the very first day that all of these Wall Murals were hung on buildings along I-395, Biscayne Boulevard and other buildings in Miami many of them were in violation of both federal and state law. The laws in question are the Highway Beautification Act, 23 U.S.C. Sec. 131, et seq. the Florida Department of Transportation Agreement of January 27, 1972, Federal Regulations 23 C.F.R. Sec 750.706, and Chapter 479.156, Florida Statutes.


Over the years these illegal Wall Murals have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not several million dollars in revenue for the advertising companies and for the buildings.


They have also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the City along with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for the members of the Miami City Commission like Commissioner Marc Sarnoff who came into office pretending that he was going to be a champion against the proliferation of these murals and billboards and immediately turned around and became the biggest Billboard Pimp in Miami for the billboard companies.


The Commissioner has never had a problem selling out his principles, his constituents nor the taxpayers in general when it came to forwarding his personal agenda.

Every time the City came up with a new scheme to increase the number of these illegal Wall Murals or billboards, Barbara Bisno. the president of Scenic Florida would write a strongly worded letter, and Peter Ehrlich, Nathan Kurland and a few other hardy souls from Scenic Miami would show up at the City Commission meeting where they would be disrespected, ridiculed, or short changed when it came to the amount of time they were given to speak. 


Always the most abusive and disrespectful was the sociopathic lying, weasel dick Commissioner “Ethics.”


Alas, all things have to come to an end, and it appears that Commissioner “Ethics” and the rest of the Billboard Pimps on the City Commission are now poised to put an end to the visits by Bisno, Ehrlich and Kurland, by doing what pimps always do when they feel threatened: In order to avoid the risk that the State of Florida might make them take down all these illegal Wall Murals and billboards, the City is poised to pay a bribe to the Florida Department Of Transportation (FDOT) in the form of a 50/50 split of the money they collect from all of these illegal Wall Murals and billboards.


Now, none of these august elected public officials like Commissioner “Ethics” would ever concede that bribing the FDOT is what this is, but the deal will be introduced at this week’s City Commission as part of a new agreement between the City and the Florida DOT.


Here is the specific part of the letter of agreement that spells out the bribe - or “revenue sharing” -that will keep the state off the city’s back. The complete package can be read by clicking HERE.

Now you have to appreciate that the single most important reason that the Billboard Pimps on the City Commission have always given for continuing to increase the number of the illegal Wall Murals and billboards is that the city desperately needs the money.

Yet, without a blink of an eye, here is the city agreeing to give  FDOT  50% of the money that they collect from these signs to go along with sanctioning the illegal Wall Murals and billboards! In return for the money the FDOT is turning over the control of all billboards in the city to the pimps.  

I think that in a situation where life imitates art, you would have to agree that in any crime novel or movie that you or I have ever seen, whenever the crooks think that they might get caught and offer to split the money, or diamonds, or whatever they’ve stolen with the cops, that’s always considered and open and shut case of bribery.

So why would this be considered any different?

Well, this is Miami, Bitches!  

MIAMI PARKING AUTHORITY FIGHTS TO STOP FDOT FROM COLLECTING PARKING METER MONEY
PART II

At around the same time that the City of Miami was negotiating with the FDOT to get them to ignore the illegal Wall Murals and billboards, across town at the Miami Parking Authority (MPA), the FDOT was engaged in another little deal that many would consider to be an act of extortion.

To appreciate just how seriously Art Noriega, the Director of the MPA took this news, a full 7 days before he even got the above letter he had already gone out and hired a lobbyist in Tallahassee to try and stop this raid on MPA money

And not only did Noriega go out and hire a lobbyist, on a six month contract that paid $60,000, but he also got the city to make the opposition to this scheme it’s top Legislative Priority for 2013.

Noriega wasn’t playing around! No one was going to come in and take a couple million of his dollars without a street fight.


But then again, the Florida Legislature is the Florida Legislature, so they ended up tabling this proposed legislation by the FDOT until after the did a study that wouldn’t be completed until next year’s legislative session, or as it’s known in Tallahassee, the study was a way to support the Lobbyist Continued Employment Program.


But a bigger question than the MPA willing to spend $60.000  for a lobbyist to deal with their specific problem when the City of Miami had to cancel it’s own lobbying contacts because they have no money, is the apparent schizophrenia between the the Miami City Commission willing to give the FDOT 50% of the money from the permit fees for illegal Wall Murals and billboards, and on the other hand, the MPA, an agency of the City putting up a fight against giving the FDOT 50% of the parking meter money they collect on state streets like Biscayne Boulevard?


One has to wonder whether all this came about now because of efforts by the Billboard Pimps at City Hall to placate the billboard advertising companies led them to offer the FDOT 50% of the permit fees as a way to bribe themselves out of potential trouble and provided the FDOT with the idea to try and force the MPA into a similar deal, or did the FDOT, under the leadership of the Rick Scott administration decide on their own that strong-arming cities and counties as a way to cover part of their operating expenses was a viable strategy, and the City of Miami was just considered a suitable test case?


In any event, the folks at Scenic Miami figure that any deal that let’s the Billboard Pimps at City Hall have complete control over Wall Murals and billboards, and allows the State of Florida to forsake it’s oversight responsibilities in return for a payoff, s a very bad deal.


You can go to their website, and see what you can do to try and stop this bullshit from happening, by clicking HERE.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

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