When Lobbyists Rule the World
I was intrigued by Jim DeFede's analysis of the Miami Herald's American Airlines upgrades-to-commissioners expose ("Smeared for Takeoff," February 22). As I read the Herald's front-page article, I was amazed that our principal daily newspaper would publish such a trivialized deja vu and that the reporter allowed herself to be so influenced by a lobbyist that the expose came off as an attack on American Airlines.

Then I read Todd Anthony's review of the movie City Hall in the same issue of New Times and wondered when someone would expose the contemporary mafia that tries to rule both the political and the publishing world. I refer, of course, to the ubiquitous, increasingly wealthy and arrogant lobbyists. They work their craft in the shadows of county and city hall, profiting from advancing the cause of private clients at the expense of the public interest.

The incredible thing is that the Herald has taken to quoting lobbyists on matters of public policy, as if they were scientists or disinterested observers.

Xavier L. Suarez

Morello Verdict: A Victory for Taxpayers
Jim DeFede's article on the Morello family ("Justice Undone . . . Again," February 15) was so one-sided that one wonders if he had a stake in the outcome. He declares it an injustice simply because the family of an admitted criminal did not collect big in a civil lawsuit against Dade County when their son was shot in the middle of the night by a Metro cop.

It looked to me like they got the most justice money could buy. How many people could afford to spend $10,000 for expert witnesses and mock juries, as these people did? According to the article, the family has a house on the Gulf Coast. What other homes do they own? How much was the county (read: taxpayers) forced to expend to defend a lawsuit that was ultimately found to be without merit A despite the expert witnesses paid for by the Morellos? Also, what was the full criminal record (including juvenile) of Andrew Morello and his cohorts in the van?

Kudos to the county attorney for holding the line for us taxpayers.
C. Rodriguez

Dimwits on Parade
Regarding Oscar Musibay's article about the defunct Firehouse Four restaurant and bar ("Four-Alarm Foulup," February 15): It was typical of the moronic boobs involved in this fiasco that they wound up with no money and an empty Firehouse Four.

These idiots in City of Miami government (and they just added that cowboy clown Joe Carollo as a new commissioner!) have given Dade County the proverbial middle finger time and again.

Let's see: no Firehouse Four, no new arena, no Miami Dolphins, no Orange Bowl game.

And why? Because this collection of dimwits knows nothing. Wait, I take that back. They did give us Avenida Ronald Reagan, didn't they?

Harvey Slavin

Eureka! Calypso!
With regard to Anya McCoy's blazing defense of reggae music ("Letters," February 15), let me say this: Having traveled to Jamaica many times (most recently in November 1995), I would like to remind Ms. McCoy that the Third World conditions lionized in reggae music by and large do not relate to our on-line, roller-blading, freeway-driving, tabloid-loving, free-spending, drug-free society. Also, a standing-room-only crowd at the Cameo Theatre wouldn't make a restroom line at the Miami Arena.

But bless her heart for her unbridled enthusiasm. For you, Anya, a riddle. If you take pot, pussy, and politics out of reggae, what is left? Calypso!

John E. Brown


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