Friday, April 24, 2009 at 12:35 p.m.
On its corporate website
, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod boasts that its land use and zoning lawyers have "literally helped to reshape the skyline of our community."
No doubt the influential downtown Miami law firm knows how to persuade local government officials to allow developers to build, build, and build all over Miami-Dade. A lot of that success can be attributed to the firm's astute practice of showering campaign contributions on favored candidates.
More recently, the firm has taken an active interest in seeing North Miami Beach Mayor Ray Marin
re-elected in the upcoming May 5 election. The firm has a lot of stake in the city, and Marin has been on Bilzin's side on several occasions.
In 2004, when he was a councilman, Marin voted to give Bilzin client Boca Developers permission to build two 24-story towers on Biscayne Boulevard. The city council approved the project despite strong citizen opposition. A year later, an appeals court overturned the council's decision.
According to campaign treasurer reports, Marin
has collected $2,200 from people with direct ties to Bilzin Sumberg. Name partners Brian Bilzin and Stanley Price
each gave the mayor $500. So did Price's wife, Barbara. Partner Carter McDowell gave $200. Five other attorneys from the law firm gave $100 apiece.
You can verify it yourself by clicking on the links over the names of the elected officials. The links take you to their campaign treasurers' reports, where you can search for Bilzin contributions by typing in the first three parts of the firm's address: 200 S. Biscayne.