Rough Ryder

The behind-the-scenes battle to put Miami's homegrown Fortune 500 Co. next to the Herald raises an old specter

Blumberg counters that he registered as a lobbyist for the Ryder complex he wants to develop under his company's name because he would be the developer. Knight Ridder, he says, is just the landowner in the deal.

County Manager Steve Shiver remembers that Blumberg recently showed him a rendering of a proposed Ryder complex near the Performing Arts Center. He said it was a brief conversation. "I was not aware the Miami Herald was involved. I'm sure they'll editorialize in favor of it," he quips. "I find it funny that they are often quick to come down on lobbyists and hold public officials to an extremely high standard [in dealing with] lobbyists -- yet they are hiring their own lobbyists to push their agenda."

Blumberg argues that he has been forthright about ownership of the land. As for Ryder, the company is playing it close to the vest. David Bruce, director of corporate communications, says the company has no urgency to move and plans to review all the options carefully.

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