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Miami officials who backed Marlins Park: Loria should “get the hell out of here for the good of the community”

Dec 3, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Jeffrey Loria AP

In this day and age it is almost impossible to find something that, upon being criticized, doesn’t find itself with at least some defenders.  The urge to be contrarian can be almost overwhelming for some people — Slate has built its entire reputation on it — and thus you can be assured that even the most loathsome figures will inspire some “hey, they’re not as bad as you think” sentiment.

Still waiting for that with Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins ownership group. The knives have been out for them for weeks now, and it shows no sign of stopping. Even the people who once supported them so strongly that they gave them hundreds of millions of dollars are slamming them. For example, here’s former Miami-Dade County commissioner Javier Souto — who voted in favor of funding Marlins Park back in the day, but who now excoriates Loria — speaking to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

“This ownership group is a disgrace. I regret supporting it … This was a convoluted, complicated deal that [former county manager George] Burgess concocted and only he understood. He promised us it was the best deal…. Now, we’re close to a total boycott of the team. The best thing that could happen is for this ownership group to get the hell out of here for the good of the community.”

That’s nice and all — and, not coincidentally, a quite expedient position for a politician in Miami to have these days,  but would that Souto and his friends have been as critical of Loria and his plans before giving tax dollars to him against the taxpayers’ will as part of a deal he now admits he didn’t even understand.
  1. mrwillie - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Loria and politics? Does it get any worse?

  2. js20011041 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Would anyone be surprised at all to find out that Loria bribed and/or blackmailed these politicians?

    • daisycutter1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Speaking as a Miami resident, I’d be more surprised if the commissioners didn’t personally benefit financially from having voted for the stadium plan.

  3. saints97 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Imagine that. A politician not understanding what it is he supported. Well, you voted for it, douche bag, and now you get to see what’s in it.

  4. 78mu - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Politicians are so free and easy spending other people’s money. If Souto had given Loria his own money, do you think he might have been a little more circumspect about what the team was going to do with it. I’m tired of these politicians, especially in D.C., that have been spending our money at rates that would embarrass even drunken sailors acting all high and mighty because a recipient of their generosity acted a way they don’t approve.

    Mr. Souto and the rest of the fools that voted for giving the Marlins money without a solid agreement that Loria wouldn’t gut the team should repay the money out of their own pocket. That goes double for the lifelong politicians in D.C. that have spent our money so freely and are now shocked when people are reluctant to give them more funds to waste.

  5. kkolchak - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    If Javier Souto gets reelected next time he faces the voters, then Miami residents get EXACTLY what they deserve.

    • kevinleaptrot - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      and they’ll get it hard, too.

  6. Old Gator - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I think a little background on Macondo political hack, bagman and pinhead supremo Javier Souto should be in order here. The guy is one of the biggest sick jokes in Macondo.

    The fact that Souto admits he didn’t understand the deal is not at all surprising. Of the band of boners who comprise our county commission, Souto is far and away the least intellectually tumescent. He was first elected to the commission in 1993 on a flood of special interest money, mostly from the Cuban-American Builder’s Association, and has consistently won on special interest money despite just as consistently trailing every other serious candidate in non-special-interest campaign contributions. He consistently whores away for his big-money pimps, voting over and over to dismiss safety and environmental codes – and hardly a week goes by without him vomiting more clueless babble and making headlines for his abject stupidity and illiteracy. He also wins because he’s a Bay of Pigs veteran and – get this – a CIA operative (Javier! Go get Admiral Turner some coffee!) – and of course it’s really important to be associated with failed enterprises if you want any cachet down here.

    But Craig is right – the denizens of the county commission, our local political version of the Mustang Ranch, have been warned by their pollsters to shit on Scrooge McLoria as often as possible in order to build political capital. It’s hilarious to see Souto now backstabbing County Manager Burgess, the man he served so faithfully as a pliant bagboy.

    I would move someplace cold if not for all the free theater here.

    • 78mu - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      I’ll bet he’s one of these “public servants” that enters office with a net worth of his typical middle class neighbors and will retire a multi-millionaire and a cushy pension and medical plan. All while never making more than his normal salary for being a county commission.

      • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        Well, you’d be wrong.

        He’s one of those corporate servants.

  7. gibbyfan - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    How complicated and complex could it be.Politicians trip all over themselves in pursuit of the reins of power and I think we can safely presume their own self interest. In doing so they spend fortunes to convince us that they will represent the best interests of the public, only to dole out favors and funding to their own benefit. Most of the time the consequences of their nefarious deeds do not get on the public radar to the extent that this case has….so now the politicians are running for cover. I think it may be time for accountability here. If you get elected based on your unbridled self promotion you dont get to claim that the job was too hard for you……….If you really want to serve your public pack it in and do something else.

    • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Read the story again and draw the obvious conclusions. It wasn’t complex and complicated. Souto is just that stupid. He avoids Rubiks Cubes the way someone with a peanut allergy avoids Southwest Airlines – just coming into contact with one would put him into a coma.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Those Rubiks Cubes are tough. I can never get that last piece in there without the whole damn thing falling apart in my hands. And it’s not easy to remove those stickers, either. Total bummer.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    I won’t defend Loria, because he is a loathesome figure. However, I still wonder how many of us, if we owned a baseball team, would say “No, I don’t want to use all that public money…just give me 50%, not 92%.” LOL Of course not. It was a great business deal for Loria and he took it.

    Him gutting the team and getting younger so soon after they built the stadium is a gutless decision, but once again, Bud and the boys brought this guy in and allowed the precedent when they gutted the teams after BOTH of their World Series Championships.

    The saying should be “Fool Bud and the idiot owners once, shame on you…fool Bud and the idiot owners again(and again and again), shame on Bud and the idiot owners” They continue to allow these types of people to own teams, but actual rich people who care, like Cuban, can’t get a sniff. Well, here’s Loria for ya Bud…hope you like him!!!

  9. chacochicken - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I can’t be sure but that photo of Loria reminds me of a used car salesman I once knew. I almost bought the car but when I opened the trunk Rondell White jumped out and ran away.

    • jwbiii - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      How far did get before he pulled a hamstring?

  10. joeyashwi - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    As a Twins fan we are in the same situation. New public funded ballpark, no players! Oh, we paid Mauer, big deal. Nobody to put around him so what’s the point?

  11. mcjon22 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    The Marlins, a team no one in South Florida gives a damn about, got a new stadium, but the Dolphins can’t get 15% of what the Marlins got to update their stadium, put a roof on, and continue to host Super Bowls that bring in on average $250 million in revenue. Miami politics at there finest. No doubt Loria bribed these guys.

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