Moreno Sidebar

On average Dario Moreno's name appeared in local newspapers more than once per week in 1998, five times as often as two years before.

* number of times FIU professor Dario Moreno was quoted in the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel.

Florida reporters love to quote him.
Among the Morenistas are:

"15" Tom Fiedler, opinion page editor, the Miami Herald
15 times between May 1997 and January 1998

"14" Jay Weaver, staff writer, the Sun-Sentinel, the Miami Herald
14 times between January 1998 and July 1999

"24" Karen Branch, staff writer, the Miami Herald
24 times between September 1996 and August 1999

"8" David Adams, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times,
8 times between October 1997 and April 1999 ... and his newspaper circulates in the Tampa Bay region.

Yet his predictions are sometimes wrong.

On October 1, 1998, he anticipated challenger Gus Garcia would defeat State Sen. Alberto Gutman after the incumbent was indicted on 26 counts of Medicare fraud. "I don't think Gutman wins a mudslinging campaign against Garcia," Moreno said. ''As long as the issue is ethics, I think Gutman is going to lose.''

Result: Gutman won re-election.

On June 25, 1997, he said Miami voters would reject a plan to add more power to the mayor's job. "If this goes down to a [citywide] vote, I have real concerns that it will not pass," he said.

Result: Miami voters approved the measure by a 4-1 margin.

And he sometimes, well, overstates the issue.

In April 1999 he called a rift between Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas and Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez "a Cuban-American civil war."

In June 1998 he compared a summit on ways to polish Miami-Dade's scandal plagued image to "a fading movie actress, trying to put more and more makeup on her face as a way to deal with the ravages of age."

In March 1998 he felt only divine intervention could save Miami: "The city is facing a situation that is beyond mere mortals."

And at the height of the Gianni Versace murder madness in July 1997, Moreno tied the crime to the city's seedy reputation: "People like reading about Miami Vice," he said. "If you want to put the Versace Murder and [indicted Miami city commissioner] Humberto Hernandez together, they fit into the theme."

Sources: the Miami Herald, the Sun-Sentinel, the St. Petersburg Times


"Moreno Madness," September 16

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