Commissioner Bruno Barreiro helped shepherd a truly terrible Marlins Park deal through the Miami-Dade Commission.
Commissioner Bruno Barreiro helped shepherd a truly terrible Marlins Park deal through the Miami-Dade Commission.
via City of Miami

Five Times Congressional Candidate Bruno Barreiro Helped His Wealthy Donors

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro would like to be a congressman. He announced this past week he's officially running as a Republican to replace longtime incumbent Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a moderate GOP congresswoman who will retire this year (and likely can't stand dealing with Donald Trump's carnival sideshow any more days than she legally must).

Running for Congress is a remarkable act of hubris for Barreiro considering his campaign-finance reports are crammed with money from Miami's wealthy real-estate developer class and his resumé includes a laundry list of cases in which he voted to benefit rich people who gave him money. Running for Congress will only highlight that fact further. (Also worth highlighting: Barreiro was a major Trump booster in 2016 and spoke at the president's final Bayfront Park rally just before he was elected.)

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In fact, it's somewhat astounding Barreiro still has a job in local government: He was the person deemed most responsible for ramming through the infamous Marlins Park deal, which suckered taxpayers into forking billions of dollars over to Marlins owner (and English-fluent lamprey) Jeffrey Loria. Barreiro did more to push the deal through than then-Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who ended up taking the fall for the deal and getting recalled. Barreiro somehow survived.

But that's not the half of it. Here are the worst examples:

1. Helping billionaire Jorge Pérez (of the Related Group and Pérez Art Museum Miami fame) make millions off affordable-housing developments that were supposed to benefit the poor. (Pérez is also a buddy of Trump's.)

2. Taking a few thousand dollars' worth of campaign cash from local developer Masoud Shojaee before voting on a measure that raised Shojaee's property values.

3. Accepting $10,000 from a felon before voting to give that felon $110 million in county bonds.

4. Taking $6,500 from the Related Group, which is also helmed by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, as well as thousands more from the team, before pushing to make it easier for the Fins to get taxpayer money to renovate their stadium.

5. And, most obvious, the Marlins Park fiasco, one of the worst public-funding deals in the history of anything, ever. Katy Sorenson, one of the few former Miami-Dade commissioners committed to governing in the public interest, said Marlins Park ought to actually be called "Bruno Barreiro Stadium."

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