Dade Heritage Trust In Shakedown Of Genting
The Dade Heritage Trust opposed casino giant Genting’s plans to redevelop the Miami Herald building site in downtown Miami only after the Trust’s attempts to extort Genting for a $2 million donation where rebuffed, a source told the Florida Clarion.
The Trust this week asked the City of Miami to declare The Miami Herald building a historic landmark, which would prevent the Genting Group from demolishing the 49-year-old building to make way for new development. The application was submitted by the Dade Heritage Trust, with assistance from the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program. Historic designation — which can be imposed without Genting’s agreement — would bar any significant alteration of the building’s exterior but would allow additions.
This naked shakedown was in the tradition of the worst of Miami-Dade politics, a shady world in which huge legal and lobbying fees and big campaign donations buy access and influence. Tea Party Miami Chair Eric Von Tausch has asked the Miami-Dade States Attorney, Kathryn Fernandez Rundel to investigate.
The building the Dade Heritage Trust is trying to preserve is without architectural merit. The Trust attempted to preserve a building only feet away built the same year by the same architect and the same builder and it was held not to have any architectural merit and was razed. This power play by the Miami-Dade Heritage Trust is brazen and transparent. Genting refused to wallow in the “pay-to-play” culture of Miami-Dade County and City politics. The City designated the Boulevard shops nearby as historically significant. The Boulevard Buildings, also known as the Shriner Building, is on the same property. The Miami Herald building was REJECTED then in the formal process for preservation status. Nothing has changed . They don’t meet the criteria and nothing has changed. The so-called “Trust” knows that. Their filings are frivolous at best. The Miami Herald building does not met the criteria-it has no architectural or historical significance.
Miami needs the jobs and development yet the so called “Trust” stands in the way. The Miami-Dade Heritage Trust is being quietly funded by the “No Casinos” crowd, Disney, the cruise lines, and other special interests who don’t want casinos in Miami. The cruise ships that leave Miami all have gambling when they get into international waters. The Seminole Indians have a sweetheart gambling monopoly through their current compact with the State of Florida.
The Dade Heritage Trust objection is not to tearing down a eyesore building- it is to stopping potential development of the down-town area for a world class casino/hotel facility.
All these special interests conspire together to defeat expanded casino gambling in Florida and Genting’s plan to transform Miami into an International resort destination. Money was funneled to the Dade Heritage Trust from “No Casinos” by notorious slash –and-burn political operator John Sowinski who fronts for the “No Casino group”, funded largely by Disney and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. According to sources, Miami car magnate and Tea Party funding megalomaniac, Norman Braman, as is Carnival’s Micky Arison. The Dade Heritage Trust Refuses to disclose who is funding their efforts.
The Dade Heritage Trust is being manipulated and funded by these very special interests. Their opposition to Genting’s plans to develop the Miami Herald site should be ignored after Genting made more than $1 billion in investment in our community.
Genting has made it clear that they are in Miami-Dade for the long haul as they continue to explore various paths to legalize casino gambling. Florida is losing billions in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs because special interests who have the current monopoly on tourism block any serious consideration of limited casino gambling legislation in the Florida legislature.
Who can blame Genting for hiring some of the most high powered and respected political professionals like Republican strategist Anthony Fabrizio and Florida Attorney Bruce Rogow to explore putting a Constitutional Amendment before Florida voters that would circumvent the Tallahassee politicians who are bought and paid for by the anti-casino’s special interests.